Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Pence-linked group launches 0K ad campaign in West Virginia praising Manchin Senators huddle on path forward for SALT deduction in spending bill MORE on Wednesday expressed optimism over his campaign’s chances of winning the nomination, despite having lost the New York primary on Tuesday to front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE.
“We still have a path to the nomination, and our plan is to win the pledged delegates in this primary,” the Vermont senator said in an email to his supporters.
“Next week five states vote, and there are A LOT of delegates up for grabs. I am going to keep fighting for every vote, for every delegate, because each is a statement of support for the values we share.”
Sanders followed up with a fundraising pitch, asking supporters to chip in $2.70. Also included was a message he had sent out to supporters when he launched his campaign in April of last year.
Sanders currently trails Clinton in pledged delegates, 1,428 to 1,151, according to The Associated Press. The count increases to 1930 to 1,189 when including unbound superdelegates. The former secretary of State needs 453 more delegates to secure the nomination before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia at the end of July.
In the short time since its Empire State win Tuesday night, the Clinton campaign has been trumpeting the message that Sanders now has no shot at becoming the nominee.
“I don’t see a clear path for them at this point. The numbers are pretty daunting,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in an interview with Yahoo on Wednesday.
Part of the reason why the Sanders campaign believes it’s still viable is his team says many of Clinton’s unbound superdelegates are getting ready to jump ship and throw their support behind the Vermont senator. Mook shot down that claim on Wednesday, saying it’s unrealistic.
“I find that odd because a few months ago the Sanders campaign was decrying superdelegates, saying they’re undemocratic, and now they’re presenting them as path to victory.” Mook said. “I don’t see the rationale for all these superdelegates to suddenly support Sanders.”
Still, Sanders has vowed to stay in the race all the way to the convention. Before the New York results came in on Tuesday, he was asked in an interview with CBS if he would consider dropping out if he didn’t have a good showing in the state.
“No, no we’re going to California,” he responded. “The people of every state in this country must have the right to make a choice about who they want to be the Democratic nominee, and that’s certainly going to happen. We’re going to the convention in Philadelphia, we’re going to be out in California, we’re going to be out in Oregon, we’ve got a number of states left that we’ve got to fight for."
But Clinton still has the edge in polling in almost all of the upcoming states — and when it comes to the largest states set to vote next week, that edge is in the double digits. In Pennsylvania, which heads to the polls on Tuesday and has 189 delegates up for grabs, Clinton has a 13-point lead, according to RealClearPolitics.
She also leads by more than 20 points in Maryland, which has 95 delegates and is set to vote next week as well.
Updated at 3:51 p.m.