early and often

Bernie Sanders Says Democratic National Convention ‘Will Be Contested’

Bernie Sanders Holds Campaign Rally In South Bend, IN
Still reaching. Photo: Joe Raedle/2016 Getty Images

Despite losing five of the last six Democratic primaries — including a crucial loss to Hillary Clinton in New York — Bernie Sanders isn’t ready to call it quits. In fact, at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Sanders told reporters he expected the Democratic National Convention in July to be “a contested contest.” “It is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach the majority of convention delegates by June 14 with pledged delegates alone,” he said. “She will need superdelegates to take her over the top.”

He therefore urged superdelegates to switch allegiances if their vote doesn’t coincide with the outcome of their state’s primary. “In states where either candidate has won a landslide victory, those superdelegates ought to seriously reflect on whether they should cast their vote in line with the wishes of the people in their states,” he said. “If I win a state with 70 percent of the votes, you know what? I think I’m entitled to those superdelegates.”

He also asked superdelegates to consider whether he or Clinton would be a better candidate to beat the Republican nominee. “It is incumbent upon every superdelegate to take an objective look at which candidate stands the better chance of defeating Donald Trump and other Republican candidates,” he said. “And I think the objective evidence is I am that candidate.”

According to Sanders, he needs to win 65 percent of the remaining delegates in upcoming primaries to win the majority of pledged delegates. He acknowledges that it’s a “steep climb” but insists it’s “not an impossible road to climb.” He told reporters that he has an “excellent chance” to win the majority of delegates in upcoming contests, including in California.

Democratic candidates need 2,383 pledged delegates to win the nomination. Clinton currently has 1,645 and 520 superdelegates, while Sanders has 1,318 and 39.

Sanders Says Convention ‘Will Be Contested’