NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — Donald Trump’s last two opponents have dropped out of the Republican presidential race, but on the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders said he is staying in until the very end.
Sanders won Indiana over front-runner Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night, and said he expects “more victories in the weeks to come.”READ MORE: 16-Year-Old Killed In Double Shooting On Lower East Side, Second Victim In Hospital
“The Clinton campaign thinks this campaign is over. They’re wrong,” Sanders said in a statement after his Indiana victory.
But CBS News pointed out that Sanders essentially split the Indiana delegates with Clinton, who now has 92 percent of the delegates she needs for the nomination. Still, Sanders told Scott Pelley on the “CBS Evening News” Thursday that he is not going anywhere.
He also said he thinks victory is still possible.
“I admit that it is a narrow path. But we think everybody in this country — people in California, in Kentucky, in West Virginia — have a right to determine who they want to see as president of the United States and what kind of agenda they want the Democratic Party to have,” Sanders told Pelley. “So we’re going to fight, Scott, for the very last vote that we can get.”
Sanders agreed that defeating Trump is now the Democrats’ highest priority, and said Trump would be “a disaster for this country.”
But when Pelley asked Sanders if he was standing in the way of defeating Trump, Sanders said, “No, on the contrary.”
“Look, my candidacy, what we call the political revolution, has energized millions and millions of people — working people, young people,” Sanders said. “And the way Democrats win elections is when the voter turnout is high, when people are excited. And that’s what we are doing.”
Sanders also said he did not believe Clinton’s delegate lead was an insurmountable hurdle. He said the focus would be on superdelegates, or party officials who can back any candidate.READ MORE: CDC Issues New COVID-19 Guidance For Holiday Season
“It’s a tough hill to climb. I acknowledge that. But I think we have a shot,” Sanders said. “A lot of the superdelegates, I hope that they will listen to the people in their state and say, ‘Hey, we delivered for Bernie with landslide numbers. You, as superdelegates, have got to listen to us.’”
Pelley asked Sanders how he would convince the superdelegates to go his way when Clinton has more votes.
“I think we make the case that … if you look at virtually all of the polling nationally and in battleground states, Bernie Sanders does much better against Donald Trump than does Hillary Clinton,” he said.
Pelley ended by asking, “Do we have your word, in this interview, that you’re not going to drop out before the Democratic Convention?”
“Absolutely,” Sanders replied. “We have made that commitment. I’m going to be in it until the last vote is cast.”
With 83 Indiana delegates at stake, Sanders will gain at least 43 with his Indiana victory Tuesday night. Clinton picked up at least 37. Three delegates remain to be allocated, pending final vote tallies.
That means based on primaries and caucuses to date, Clinton now has 1,682 and Sanders has 1,361.
Clinton’s lead is bigger when including superdelegates. According to CBS News, Clinton has 2,205, or 178 delegates away from the 2,383 needed to win, keeping her on track to clinch the nomination by early June. Sanders has 1,390.
If he still hopes to win the nomination, Sanders would need to win, or win over, more than 84 percent of the remaining delegates and superdelegates.
Talk of a contested convention was also raging on the Republican side in recent weeks, with Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich even forming an alliance in hopes of denying Trump the 1,237 delegates he would need to clinch. But Cruz dropped out of the race on Tuesday night after losing Indiana to Trump in a landslide, and Kasich followed Wednesday.
Early Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted: “I would rather run against Crooked Hillary Clinton than Bernie Sanders and that will happen because the books are cooked against Bernie!”MORE NEWS: New Video Shows Woman With Red Gas Can Inside Store Before Fire At Brooklyn Yeshiva
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