WASHINGTON - Bernie Sanders won the US presidential Democratic nominating contest in Wyoming on Saturday, besting rival Hillary Clinton and adding to a string of recent victories as the two candidates gear up for a crucial matchup in New York.
Sanders, a US senator from Vermont, has won seven out of the last eight state-level Democratic nominating contests, trying to chip away at Clinton's lead in the number of delegates needed to secure the party's nomination.
Wyoming's 14 Democratic delegates - fewer than any other state - are awarded proportionally based on support from individuals participating in the nominating contest.
Early estimates showed that while Sanders won the contest, both he and Clinton would likely receive seven delegates each in the close race, maintaining Clinton's lead overall.
Clinton's lead widens when superdelegates, Democratic leaders who can decide whom to support at the party's July convention, are included in the tallies.
Clinton and Sanders both spent Saturday campaigning in New York, which holds its contest on April 19 and where a total of 291 delegates are up for grabs, more than 10 percent of the tally needed to win the party's nomination.
Sanders' wife, Jane Sanders, went onstage where he was speaking at a community college in Queens, a borough of New York City, to alert him to Saturday's victory.
"News bulletin - we just won Wyoming!" Sanders said to cheers.
Speaking to reporters after the event, Sanders said he believed he had enough momentum to secure the nomination.
"We are closing very fast," Sanders said.