Bernie Sanders is looking to make a strong closing statement to the superdelegates who could determine his fate in the Democratic primary, and he may have it. Polls currently show he is headed for a big winning streak to end the voting season.
Sanders has fallen far behind front-runner Hillary Clinton, who now holds an edge of roughly 300 pledged delegates, but Sanders has been undaunted and has vowed to remain in the race until the final vote has been counted.
After suffering a loss in the tiny Pacific island of Guam on Saturday, Bernie Sanders has more favorable ground ahead. A poll of West Virginia voters found that Bernie Sanders is headed to a victory in next week’s primary, but it may be narrow.
As the New York Post noted, a win in West Virginia could give Bernie Sanders momentum to continue on to states that will vote in May and June. Polling shows that a win could be in the cards for Sanders, the report noted.
“Sanders has the support of 47 percent of Democrats and independents likely to vote in the primary, according to a poll by MetroNews West Virginia.
“Clinton is the choice of 44 percent.”
There could be more good news ahead. Politico noted that Bernie Sanders is poised for a big winning streak in May, with the chance for a very big win in Oregon. Sanders is seen as an underdog in Kentucky, but polling has been light and he could press Clinton on her opposition to the coal industry, which has a presence in the Bluegrass State.
Even with the winning streak, the task will be difficult. Bernie Sanders will be unlikely to win by the margins necessary to surpass Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead, or even come close to it, but he may be able to end on a winning streak that gives superdelegates pause when determining which candidate will have the best chance to defeat Donald Trump in November.
That is the case Sanders has been making this week, pointing to polls where he defeats Trump by 20-point margins while Clinton is in a much closer race. If he can end the primary season with a series of wins, Bernie Sanders may continue to rise in national polls and could make that case even stronger.
“I think we have got to make the case that the superdelegates, who in many cases were onboard [with] Hillary Clinton even before I got in the race, that they should take a hard look at which candidate is stronger against Donald Trump,” Sanders said to NPR’s Steve Inskeep. “And I think we can make that case.”
With such a big deficit in pledged delegates heading into the final states, Bernie Sanders may have a slim chance at actually earning the nomination or even convincing superdelegates to abandon Clinton. But he may score a win of a different kind, the Los Angeles Times noted.
“But the Sanders campaign was never solely about winning the Democratic nomination. The Vermont socialist’s other goal was to build a progressive grass-roots movement and to push the Democratic Party to the left.
“On that count, Sanders has mostly succeeded. His campaign has reawakened the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and forced Clinton to move leftward on economic issues including Social Security and trade.”
Things could get more difficult for Bernie Sanders after May, however. In June, he faces primaries in Clinton-friendly New Jersey and what could be a decisive contest in California, where polls have shown Hillary Clinton in the lead.
[Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images]