Bernie Sanders brings his “Future To Believe In” rally to Sioux City, South Dakota, on Thursday as the underdog “democratic socialist” candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination continues to defy the odds — and the political pundits — by staying in the race against frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who appears to have the nomination locked up mathematically already.
But Sanders has refused to accept the verdict of the delegate math, as well as the voters, continuing to insist that he has a “path” to the nomination — and that he is the stronger candidate to defeat Republican Donald Trump in the November general election, an assertion he repeated in an interview with Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC, which can be viewed in the video below.
Sanders admonished Mitchell in the interview, telling the veteran reporter, “please do not moan to me about Hillary Clinton’s problems,” when Mitchell asked him if he believed his continued attacks on Clinton were damaging her in her race against Trump.
“I know it’s a steep climb,” Sanders told Mitchell. “We still have the possibility of coming in with the majority of pledged delegates.”
While Sanders is technically correct that he could end the primary season with at least 2,026 pledged delegates, which would be a majority, his realistic prospects of doing so appear remote at best.
— Jill Johnson (@JillJohnsonKDLT) May 11, 2016
Even after winning the West Virginia Democratic primary on Tuesday and the Indiana primary the Tuesday before that, Sanders still requires 589 delegates to reach 2,026. That would be 66 percent — two out of every three — of the 897 pledged delegates remaining.
Clinton needs to win only 34 percent of the remaining delegates to hit the 2,026 total.
To watch a live stream of the Bernie Sanders rally from the Sioux Falls Convention Center, click on the video below. The rally is scheduled to get underway at 5 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, May 12, 7 p.m. Eastern Time, 4 p.m. Pacific. Sanders is expected to take the podium about two hours after the doors open.
Of the remaining delegates in the Democratic primary race, two-thirds come from just two of the 11 states and territories remaining on the primary season schedule — New Jersey with 126 and California with 475.
Sanders must score enormous landslide wins in both of those states to have a hope of securing enough pledged delegates to head to the Democratic National Convention with a majority, and any hope of forcing a “contested convention” that would allow him to leave as the party’s presidential nominee.
Recent polls in both states do not bode well for Sanders scoring those landslide wins, or even winning at all. Clinton has led in the last 10 polls taken in California, most recently showing a whopping 19 percentage point lead over Sanders in a KABC/Survey USA poll taken between April 27 and April 30.
New Jersey looks even worse for Bernie Sanders, who again has trailed by significant margins in all 10 of the most recent polls in that state. In the newest poll, taken by Monmouth University between May 1 and May 3, Clinton led Sanders in New Jersey by another staggering margin — 28 points. In that poll, Clinton showed 60 percent support among Democratic likely voters, to just 32 percent for Sanders.
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There has been no polling in South Dakota, but Sanders is expected to win there based on the demographic makeup of the population in the state. But whether he will score the large margin needed to get enough of the state’s 20 pledged delegates to make a difference in the race against Clinton remains uncertain.
South Dakota holds its primary election on June 7, the same day as both California and New Jersey, and except for the Washington D.C. primary on June 14, the last day of the 2016 Democratic primary season. In other words, June 7 will be a day of decision for Bernie Sanders in his bid to wrest the nomination away from Hillary Clinton.
[Featured Photo By Mark Makela / Getty Images]