Recent polls showed Sanders trailing Clinton in Michigan by double digits.
Now Sanders’ win in Michigan breathes new life into a campaign where Clinton was already pivoting towards the general election.
But Sanders found traction with tough talk on trade policies Clinton supported, which many in the industrial Midwest contend sent jobs overseas, and he made unexpected inroads with African American voters like Macomb County’s Donald Montgomery.
“I like his dream…okay? It’s an idealistic kind of America he’s looking for and I think it would build real greatly on Obama’s legacy,” Montgomery said outside of a Roseville polling place where he had just cast his vote for the Vermont senator.
On the GOP side Donald Trump scored an easy victory in Michigan’s Republican primary.
While pollsters accurately predicted Trump’s decisive win, Sanders narrow victory was a huge upset, though the Clinton camp had been lowering expectations for the primary in recent days.
At Clinton’s primary headquarters in Detroit long-time supporters like Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell said Sanders’ victory was not a complete shock.
Dingell told WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter that the passionate debate between the two Democratic presidential rivals was a very real win for all of Michigan’s electorate.