Speaking at the National Press Club Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders told reporters his campaign would take the fight for the candidacy all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Hoping to convince superdelegates to throw their support behind his underdog campaign, Sanders said it was “virtually impossible” for Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton to win a majority of delegates based on pledged delegates alone, arguing Clinton “will need superdelegates to take her over the top of the convention in Philadelphia.”
“In other words, the convention will be a contested convention,” Sanders said.
Sanders currently has 1,318 delegates to Clinton’s 1,645 delegates; he also lags behind Clinton in super delegates — 30 to 530. A total of 2,383 delegates are needed to clinch the nomination.
At the National Press Club, Sanders suggested superdelegates could switch to him in states where he won the majority of the votes.
“If I win a state with 70 percent of the votes, you know what? I think I’m entitled to those superdelegates,” Sanders said. “I think the superdelegates should reflect what the people in the state want. And that’s true for Hillary Clinton as well. I can’t tell you one thing for me and another thing for Hillary Clinton.”
Sanders also said it’s the role of the superdelegates “to decide what is best for the country and what is best for the Democratic Party.”
“If those superdelegates conclude that Bernie Sanders is the best candidate, the strongest candidate, to defeat Trump and anybody else, yes, I would very much welcome their support.”
Sanders conceded his campaign has “a tough road to climb” to win the majority of pledged delegates, noting he needs at least 65 percent of votes in the remaining primary contests to defeat Clinton. Still, he insisted it’s “not an impossible” outcome.
“We intend to fight for every vote and delegate remaining,” Sanders said.