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Bernie Sanders captures US state of Maine

Self-styled "democratic socialist" Bernie Sanders has won the northeastern state of Maine in the US presidential nomination contest. Frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Sanders faced off at a debate in Michigan.

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders won his eighth contest Sunday after defeating rival Hillary Clinton in the Maine caucuses. That hands 74-year-old Sanders at least 14 of Maine's 25 delegates.

Nearly 80 percent of precinct results reported that Sanders had won 64 percent of the vote with 36 percent supporting former US secretary of state Clinton.

Sanders has continued to

hammer at rival Clinton's advantage, winning the states of Kansas and Nebraska

in Saturday's nominating contests. They will soon take the fight to the larger states of Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina.

Sanders wrote in Sunday's Detroit Free Press that Clinton had supported "disastrous trade deals" such as the

North American Free Trade Agreement

and normalized trade relations with China resulting in thousands of job losses that devastated the manufacturing sector.

"Not only did I vote against them," Sanders said, "I stood with workers on picket lines in opposition to them. Meanwhile, Secretary Clinton sided with corporate America and supported almost all of them."

Clinton said during the Michigan debate in the city of Flint that there needs to be both "carrots and sticks" so that manufacturers invest in the US.

Ahead of the July party convention, Clinton had at least 1,129 delegates if so-called "superdelegates" are included. It takes 2,383 delegates to win.

But it remains unclear if the superdelegates would still support Clinton if she falls short of democratically elected delegates in state contests. In that scenario, her margin becomes much narrower leaving the Democratic nomination contest still in play.

USA Trinkwasser in der Stadt Flint vergiftet

Flint faced a public health crisis when the city's water supply was switched to the nearby Flint River from Lake Michigan to save money

Democratic candidates face off in Michigan

Both candidates devoted considerable time during the opening of the debate to the city's water crisis in which

lead-tainted water was allowed to leech into the community's water system.

Sanders and Clinton have been outspoken about the horror of the city's tainted water. Both have visited the city and called for a strong government response. Sanders called for the resignation of Republican Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan, over his handling of the health crisis.

Clinton responded: "Amen to that."

USA Republikaner Wahlkampf Puerto Rico - Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio will collect all 23 of Puerto Rico's delegates after posting a huge win in the US territory. But he still lags far behind rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz

Marco Rubio scoops up Puerto Rico

On the Republican side, Florida Senator

Marco Rubio collected all 23 of Puerto Rico's delegates Sunday

after posting a huge win in the US territory. But he still lags far behind rivals real estate mogul Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

The latest tally gives Trump the lead with 384 delegates. Cruz is in second place with 300 and Rubio trails in third with 151. Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has yet to win a single state contest, has 37. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

Republican presidential candidates have steered clear of the Michigan city of Flint on the campaign trail.

jar/lw (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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