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Bernie Sanders Won Democrats Abroad ... But Who Are They?

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gather in London earlier this month as voting began for American Democrats abroad.
Frank Augstein
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gather in London earlier this month as voting began for American Democrats abroad.

The next big day in the presidential nominating contest is Tuesday when voters in Arizona, Utah and Idaho head to the polls.

But the votes are already in for another overlooked primary — Democrats Abroad. Between March 1 and March 8, Democrats living across the globe cast their votes for who they want to see as their party's nominee. The votes have now been tallied, and Bernie Sanders won by a wide margin, according to results released Monday.

Sanders beat Clinton 69 to 31 percent in a year of record turnout for American Democratic voters living overseas. More than 34,000 people participated, a 50 percent jump from 2008. Sanders picked up 9 pledged delegates to Clinton's 4.

But who are Democrats Abroad? Where did the votes come from?

Where did these Democrats actually vote?

Votes came in from more than 170 countries. There was in-person voting at 153 voting centers in 38 different countries. Voters could also submit ballots by email, post or fax.

What were the top five countries where people participated?

United Kingdom: 13.3 percent of total (4,610 total votes)

  • Sanders 2,874
  • Clinton 1,726
  • Canada: 9.5 percent (3,272 total votes)

  • Sanders 2,171
  • Clinton 1,087
  • Germany: 8.4 percent (2,917 total votes)

  • Sanders 2,103
  • Clinton 805
  • France: 8.4 percent (2,901 total votes)

  • Sanders 1,825
  • Clinton: 1,058
  • Spain: 4.93 percent (1,706 total votes)

  • Sanders: 1,295 votes
  • Clinton: 405 votes
  • Clinton only won in three places

    The only countries where Clinton had more votes than Sanders were the Dominican Republic (350 to 53), Nigeria (4 to 1) and Singapore (149 to 107).

    Which countries had the fewest?

    - 7 people cast votes in Afghanistan (5 for Sanders, 2 for Clinton)
    - 5 people cast votes in Nigeria (1 for Sanders, 4 for Clinton)

    Any other surprises?

    Despite having suspended his campaign in February, Martin O'Malley still received 21 votes from around the globe. Those votes came from people in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the Asia-Pacific.

    Perhaps more surprisingly, car dealer and real-estate tycoon Rocky De La Fuente received 6 votes, coming from Germany, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom.

    What about the superdelegates?

    Democrats Abroad is granted eight superdelegates. (Each carries half a vote.) That means that there are four superdelegate votes at stake — three have made verbal commitments to Clinton and one committed to Sanders. The remaining four have yet to announce. So stay tuned.

    What does that bring the delegate count to?

    Clinton now has 1,630 delegates (1,163 pledged and 467 supers).

    Sanders now has 870 delegates (844 pledged and 26 supers).

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

    Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.

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