A confident Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats offer double-talk on Veterans Affairs Dean drops out of DNC chairmanship race Sanders vs. Trump: The battle of the bully pulpit MORE told his supporters how far his presidential campaign has come and insisted he’s still on track to pull “one of the great political upsets in history” as he conceded the Democratic Nevada caucuses on Saturday.
Speaking to supporters from Henderson, Nev., after getting edged in the caucuses, Sanders noted that just a few months ago, he was down double-digits in the polls to Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDemocrats miss warning signs, even in blue Maryland Robert Gates doesn't expect job in Trump administration Dean drops out of DNC chairmanship race MORE in the first three states to vote.
“Five weeks ago, we were 25 points behind in the polls [in Nevada], so we have made real progress,” the Vermont senator said.
Clinton appears to have won the state by about 4 points. She similarly edged Sanders in Iowa, although he clobbered her in New Hampshire.
“What this entire campaign has been about is the issue of momentum, the issue of bringing more and more people into the political process,” Sanders said. “When we began in Iowa, we were 50 points behind. When we began in New Hampshire, we were 30 points behind. And we were way behind here in Nevada.”
Clinton is the heavy favorite to win the Democratic primary in South Carolina next week.
Sanders seemed to look beyond that state, focusing instead on the March 1 contests, when 12 states will vote — many of them in the Deep South, where the former first lady will likely be favored.
Sanders said he believes he has “an excellent chance to win many of those states.”
But he warned his supporters what he’s up against, as he sought to frame Clinton as in the pocket of special interests.
“I also know that on Super Tuesday and before, we’re going to be taking on a powerful and well-funded super-PAC, a super-PAC that receives significant amounts of money from Wall Street and wealthy special interests,” he said. “So as we head to Super Tuesday, we would very much appreciate the support of the American people who have been so kind and generous.”
Sanders has raised tens of millions of dollars, predominantly from small-dollar donors.
He also sought to frame Clinton as an entrenched establishment figure who will be difficult to overcome, although he said he could still pull the upset.
“Taking on the establishment, whether the financial establishment, the political establishment, or the media establishment, is not easy,” Sanders said. “We have come a very long way in nine months. … The wind is at our backs.
“We have the momentum, and I believe, I believe that when Democrats assemble in Philadelphia in July at that convention, we are going to see the results of one of the great political upsets in the history of the United States.”