- Associated Press - Thursday, July 28, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Bernie Sanders told West Virginia delegates Thursday that this election was never about electing him, and said their push for political change can’t stop even after they unite behind Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump, several delegates said.

Sanders said “the day of the election is extremely important and the day after the election is just as important. And if we think it’s not, then we’re mistaken,” said Joe Jividen, a Sanders delegate now supporting Clinton. “To me, that really resonated.”

Sanders said the political movement he inspired already succeeded in making the Democratic Party platform more progressive, with calls for a $15 federal minimum wage and a significant reduction in the influence of superdelegates who can counter the voters’ will, according to Justin Click, a Sanders delegate.

“After three days of, in my opinion, a wonderful convention, he really pushed the message that in part, Bernie people have already won,” said Click, who will support Clinton in November.

Sanders won West Virginia’s primary by about 15 percentage points, only to see superdelegates swing the state’s nominating vote to 19-18 in favor of Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

“I’m a Hillary delegate today, and I think there is reason for criticism that, if a state votes a particular way, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense that, in the end, somehow Hillary got more votes,” said delegate Rod Snyder.

Sanders also drew praise from some Clinton supporters at the delegates’ breakfast, who said tension between both factions has dwindled since the convention’s raucous start.

“I really appreciate what he’s done for the party,” said Ronald Curry, a Clinton delegate. “I more specifically appreciate the fact that he has brought all of these young people into the party, and all of the enthusiasm that goes with that.”

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