Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden wins Connecticut in final presidential primary of year Vermont Rep. Peter Welch easily wins primary Three pros and three cons to Biden picking Harris MORE's presidential campaign insists it will spend the summer working to persuade Democratic Party superdelegates to abandon Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNAACP seeks to boost Black voter turnout in six states California Dems back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden picks Harris as running mate MORE even if the Vermont senator loses to her at the ballot box.

Shortly after Clinton declared victory in the New York primary on Tuesday night, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver appeared on MSNBC. He was asked whether his boss would continue trying to convince party insiders to back him even if he loses both the pledged delegate count and the popular vote to Clinton by the time the primary season wraps up on June 7.

"Are you still going to try to flip superdelegates if you're not winning one of those?" asked MSNBC analyst Steve Kornacki, who contrasted the campaign's populist message with its attempts to outmaneuver Clinton, who is likely to win many more votes than Sanders overall. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Weaver said the Sanders campaign would still be within its rights to try to persuade superdelegates — a group of elected officials and party insiders — to switch from Clinton to Sanders regardless of the state of the delegate count at the Democratic National Convention in July. 

"We're going to go to the convention," Weaver said.

He added that the Sanders campaign will be using an electability argument — that Sanders does better than Clinton in hypothetical general election match-ups against Republicans — to flip superdelegates who are currently declared Clinton supporters. 

"It is extremely unlikely that either candidate will have the requisite number of pledged delegates to get to this number," Weaver said. "So it is going to be an election determined by the superdelegates."

Given that the Democratic Party awards delegates proportionally, there are no mainstream forecasters predicting Sanders will secure the huge wins over Clinton required to close the gap. Sanders is still relatively unpopular with minorities and is struggling to break 30 percent among African-Americans.

ADVERTISEMENT

MSNBC estimated that going into Tuesday night, the Sanders campaign trailed Clinton by 210 pledged delegates. MSNBC expects Sanders to lose a net of 25 delegates after his loss in New York, and Weaver was asked to show how the Sanders campaign planned to make up that difference of 235 delegates in the states to come. 

Standing in front of a map of the remaining voting states, Weaver laid out what he said was a path to the nomination. He told Kornacki that the Sanders campaign was banking on "a big win" in California, which offers 475 pledged delegates, and wins in Oregon, Indiana and New Mexico, among other states.

Following Sanders's loss in New York on Tuesday night, Sanders's top strategist, Tad Devine, told Associated Press reporter Ken Thomas, "Next week is a big week. We'll see how we do there and then we'll be able to sit back and assess where we are."