2 Mar 2016

American Samoan Demos support Clinton

4:41 pm on 2 March 2016

The American Samoa Democratic Party has again come out in support of Hillary Clinton as its preferred candidate for the US presidential race.

In 2008, an overwhelming number of local Democrats voted in support of Mrs Clinton, who later became US Secretary of State in the Obama Administration.

Today, the local Democratic Party held its caucus in Pago Pago where a total of 237 people registered and voted.

Mrs Clinton received 162 votes, or 68 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders with 61 votes, or 25 percent and Roque 'Rocky' De la Fuentes with 14 votes or six percent.

A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at American Samoa's Decocratic Caucus.

A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at American Samoa's Decocratic Caucus. Photo: RNZI / Fili Sagapolutele

The chairman of the American Samoa Democratic Party, Fagafaga Daniel Langkilde, said early on, it was clear Mrs Clinton had the majority of support.

"The general feeling that's going around is that Hillary's message is more realistic because there's a lot of questions about Bernie Sanders message of free education, and free health care, and the question is, how are we going to pay for it?"

A Hillary Clinton supporter, Patrick Ti'a Reid, said she is the most experienced and qualified of the candidates, and she has a better sense of direction than others.

He said generally, the Clinton brand resonates the most with local residents.

"She's actually visited American Samoa, and that's something that she mentioned, and Chelsea Clinton had recorded a little message for the island, and she's actually visited the island. It's not something that she's just talking about she's actually been here and she's actually spoken with members of the party. Yeah, people are comfortable with her and they feel like she truly cares and she's not just spewing political rhetoric."

The candidates secure delegate votes proportional to how party members have voted.

This means Hillary Clinton has a total of eight party votes from American Samoa, four delegate votes from the polling results today, in addition to the four superdelegate votes who had already promised their support.

Bernie Sanders picks up two delegate votes, with one superdelegate pledging to support him.

Party caucuses are the only time American Samoans can have a say in the selection of the United States president, as they cannot vote in the US general elections.

Hillary Clinton addresses a rally in Columbia, South Carolina following her sweeping victory in the state's Democratic primary.

Hillary Clinton addresses a rally Photo: AFP

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