Politics

Sanders: 'We are Not Writing Our Obituary'

Democratic candidate says polls show he has a shot to win many of the states that have yet to vote, including California

   

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 4 - Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks while at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, November 4, 2015. Sanders and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., were announcing the Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground Act of 2015, a bill that prohibits the issuance of new leases or renewal of non-producing leases for coal, oil and natural gas on all federal lands and waters. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks while at a news conferencein November. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Bernie Sanders on Sunday acknowledged that he has a “narrow path” to the Democratic nomination, but he plans to take that small opening and continue his presidential run.  

“We’re going to give the people in every state of this country the right to determine who they want to see president of the United States, what kind of agenda they want,” Sanders said on CNN’s "State of Union."  

Asked by host Jake Tapper if he has a path to the nomination, Sanders said, “I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy, but I think we do.”  

Sanders noted that polls show he has a shot to win many of the states that have yet to hold their primaries, including California. He also cited polls showing that he fares better than Clinton when matched up against Republican front-runner Donald Trump.  

On NBC’s "Meet the Press," Sanders acknowledged that he has “a narrow path to victory” and that he would have to win big in the remaining primary states. However, he was adamant that he’s not giving up.  

“We are not writing our obituary,” Sanders said. “We are in this race to California.”  

A Fox News poll conducted last week found Clinton leading by just two points in California, while a You Gov poll a week earlier showed a 12-point margin in her favor.  

California’s primary is not until June 7. Next up are primaries in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Delaware on Tuesday.  Clinton supporters feel that a strong performance on Tuesday could effectively clinch the nomination for the former secretary of state.  

"I've always thought Connecticut wasn't going to be a runaway, but I feel more confident now than I have in the past about her chances," Sen. Christopher S. Murphy said in an interview with Roll Call . "And look, you know, Connecticut looked to be the closest of the five states on Tuesday so you know, a win in Connecticut might be a sweep."  

The most recent poll by Quinnipac University shows Clinton leading Sanders 51 to 42 percent in Connecticut. The survey, conducted from April 12-18, involved 1,037 likely Democratic primary voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The 9-point lead is smaller than a 13-point margin for Clinton in Pennsylvania and 25-point gap in Maryland found in the most recent polls.  

Asked on ABC’s "This Week" if he would make an enthusiastic case for Clinton if she wins the nomination, Sanders said, “That is totally dependent on what the Clinton platform is and how she responds to the needs of millions of Americans who are sick and tired of establishment politics and establishment economics.”  

“I can’t snap my fingers and tell people what to do,” he added, “but what I will do is do everything that I can to make sure that somebody like a Donald Trump or some other right-wing Republican does not become president of the United States.”  

In another acknowledgement toward a likely Clinton victory, Sanders commented on her selection of a vice presidential candidate. Her campaign has reportedly begun vetting potential running mates.  

“If she is the nominee, I would hope that she puts together the strongest progressive agenda … and if she has a candidate for vice president who is prepared to carry that mantle, prepared to engage in that fight, I think that would be a very good thing for her campaign,” Sanders said.  

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on "Fox News Sunday" that the Democratic primary race has been far less contentious and divisive than the Republican contest but that she’s advised the candidates to start toning down their attacks on one another.  

“What I have cautioned over the last several weeks,” she said, “is that we need to make sure that the rhetoric that each candidate uses is such that it doesn’t make it more difficult for us to reunify.”  

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report. Contact McPherson at lindseymcpherson@cqrollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @lindsemcpherson Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.