Sanders vows to take nominating battle to the convention

A defiant Bernie SandersBernie SandersAmazon workers have spoken — are progressives listening? What's really behind Joe Biden's far-left swing? It's time to declare a national climate emergency MORE told supporters on Tuesday night that he can still overtake Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 Close the avenues of foreign meddling Pelosi planned on retiring until Trump won election: report MORE in delegates, and pledged to take the fight all the way to the convention in Philadelphia this summer.

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Speaking at a rally in Southern California just minutes after suffering a narrow defeat to Clinton in Kentucky, Sanders declared that he’s going all-in “until the last ballot is cast” in the Washington, D.C., primary on June 14.

“We have the possibility, it will be a steep climb, I recognize that, but we have the possibility of going to Philadelphia with a majority of pledged delegates,” Sanders said to the huge crowd that gathered to see him in Carson, Calif.

“Now some people say we’ve got a steep hill to climb and that’s absolutely true,” he continued. “But together we’ve been climbing that steep hill from day one in this campaign and we’ll continue to fight for every last vote until June 14, and then we’ll take our fight into the convention.”

Sanders is running out of time and needs to win by huge margins in the remaining contests if he’s going to catch Clinton. Even if he does, Sanders will then have to convince the super-delegates who have long supported Clinton to back him instead.

On Tuesday night, Clinton edged Sanders in Kentucky, although the two will essentially split the delegates there.

Sanders blamed the loss on the closed primary there that prevents independents from voting, and noted that Clinton defeated then-Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHow Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 Biden is thinking about building that wall — and that's a good thing White House races clock to beat GOP attacks MORE by 250,000 votes there in 2008.

Sanders won in Oregon, but he likely won’t have cut too deeply into Clinton’s lead by the end of the night.

He entered election day trailing by nearly 300 unpledged delegates and will need to take more than 60 percent support in the remaining contests if he’s going to catch Clinton.

But Sanders on Tuesday kept his sights on the front-runner.

“Before we will have the opportunity to defeat Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE, we’re going to have to defeat Secretary Clinton,” he said.

Sanders then ticked through a handful of issues where he and Clinton differ, noting that he doesn’t rely on super-PACs or Wall Street money.

He also dinged Clinton for voting to authorize war in Iraq, and argued that only he supports a higher minimum wage than she does and a tax on carbon.

— This post was updated at 12:05 a.m.