Sanders, Clinton camps make last-minute pitches in Hawaii

Sanders, Clinton camps make last-minute pitches in Hawaii
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Television ads for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders are running in Hawaii, as the candidates' camps make their last-minute pitches to Democrats heading to the polls Saturday.

Clinton and Sanders also appeared on Hawaii News Now Sunrise on Friday morning for live interviews, something almost unheard of for the state.

"Hawaii is important because we have a tough race, every delegate is important and we want to do everything that we can in the great state of Hawaii," Sanders said.

Clinton told HNN, "I'm hoping that people in Hawaii will join with the many millions who already supported me to have a strong campaign in choosing our democratic nominee to go after whoever the republicans nominate."

Polls for the Democratic Party of Hawaii's presidential preference poll, or caucus, will open at 1 p.m. Saturday. There are 34 delegates at stake in the Hawaii caucus and Hawaii isn't a winner-take-all state.

Hawaii Democratic Party officials are expecting turnout to be impressive.

"In 2008, when President Obama first ran, we had about 37,000 (voters). We're expecting to hit those numbers, if not more," said Ethann Oki, Democratic Party of Hawaii communication specialist.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, (D-Hawaii), is out campaigning for Sanders in the islands, and believes the race will be tight.

"I'm confident that Bernie Sanders is that commander in chief who will work hard and be strong against our enemies, those who are threatening us, groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, but who will put an end to these unnecessary costly regime-change wars," Gabbard said.

But Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, has gained the support of U.S. Rep Mark Takai, (D-Hawaii), and Hawaii's two U.S. senators, Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono.

Only Democrats can participate in Saturday's vote but officials say it's not too late to register to vote or join the party.

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