Despite a slow start, Bernie Sanders has managed to climb back into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. In fact, following a big week in the primaries, the presidential hopeful has narrowed the divide in delegates between himself and Hillary Clinton. With the primaries only expected to get better for Sanders, there are good reasons why the senator can pull off a major upset by the time the Democrat National Convention rolls around.
According to Newsweek, Sanders is coming off landslide wins in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. The Vermont senator won the contest in each of these states by over 70 percent and picked up a good portion of the delegates as a result.
As things currently stand, Clinton maintains a strong lead over Sanders when super delegates are counted in the mix. However, when considering pledged delegates in states that have held primaries, the race is a lot tighter. Clinton is ahead of Sanders by a little over 250 pledged delegates, and there are still a lot of delegates on the table.
So far, Sanders has won three more states than Clinton and has done so with a wider margin of victory. Clinton was particularly strong in the south, while Sanders has won in a variety of locations throughout the United States. This bodes well for Sanders in the remaining primaries, which includes lots of delegates still up for grabs in California and New York.
“Don’t let anyone tell you we can’t win the nomination, or win the general election,” Sanders recently said in a speech in Madison, Wisconsin. “We’re going to do both of those things.”
While it is still mathematically possible, Sanders does have an uphill battle to fight if he wants to beat Clinton for the nomination. Unless Sanders is able to continue his hot streak and win the remaining states by large margins, he’s going to have to convince some of the pledged delegates to switch sides.
In speaking to the Guardian, Sander’s campaign strategist Tad Devine revealed that they are well aware of the enormous task at hand. Despite the difficult odds, Devine is confident that Sanders has a legitimate shot at winning the nomination.
“We’re obviously going to have to win most of the states coming up. We’re going to have to win by large margins. I don’t know if we’re going to hit 82 percent again, like we did in Alaska,” he told the outlet. “We believe we have a path to victory. While Hillary Clinton is the clear frontrunner … she has emerged as a weak frontrunner.”
The New York primaries are definitely going to be the biggest challenge for Sanders in the coming weeks. The state has 291 delegates for the taking, and right now Sanders is not polling very well at around 30 percent of the vote. Unless he makes up a lot of ground in the next two weeks, it appears as though Clinton is going to win the state.
That being said, polls are notorious for being wrong, and Sanders might be able to ride his current momentum into the coming weeks. In the end, Sanders only needs to keep things close and prolong the race as long as possible.
Despite the long odds, Reuters is reporting that Sanders has chipped away at Clinton’s lead in the national polls. Although Clinton once enjoyed a healthy lead, Sanders is now first among Democrats who have actually registered to vote. With his support continuing to grow, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is far from over.
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[Photo by Paul Sancya/AP]