Bernie Sanders Advisor: CA Could Decide Race in June

Sanders Los Angeles (Ringo H.W. Chu / Associated Press)
Ringo H.W. Chu / Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has not relented following Super Tuesday contests that handed him four more state wins — and the Sanders campaign is looking forward to races in states like California, which votes in June, to overcome Hillary Clinton.

Sanders’ chances remain slim, especially in light of Clinton’s Tuesday wins, but the “democratic socialist” outsider has said he will remain in the fight until the last nominating contests.

Sanders won Vermont, Minnesota, Colorado and Oklahoma to Hillary Clinton’s seven states and American Samoa. Clinton has a seemingly insurmountable delegate and super-delegate lead, however.

Tad Devine, senior media advisor to Sanders, said that his candidate expects to gain support with minority voters using his story as the son of a Polish immigrant, as well as backing from figures such as former NAACP president Ben Jealous and filmmaker Spike Lee according to USA Today.

Devine said that Sanders is looking ahead to Michigan (March 8), Wisconsin (April 5) and Pennsylvania (April 26). Kansas and Nebraska hold caucuses on March 5 that could bring Sanders more success, according to the USA Today report.

Then comes usually irrelevant California in June, which Devine says could play a role. The senior Sanders advisor expects to see a winning trend for Sanders over Clinton when it comes to Latino voters and an upward trend in African-American support.

As of Wednesday, Clinton holds 595 delegates to Sanders’ 405. That does not include super-delegates which launches Clinton to 1,052 and Sanders to just 427. Super-delegates are the elected officials and Democratic Party leaders that also vote which candidate to back.

The Sanders campaign predicted a potential path to victory in each of the four Super Tuesday states that he won, as well as Massachusetts, which Clinton won by a narrow margin.

Sanders supporters have launched campaigns of their own to sway the hoard of super-delegates that could change the outcome of the nomination. The move is not unprecedented, with two dozen super-delegates switching allegiance during the contentious fight between then Sen. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Sanders has achieved what many regard as an unexpected level of success. In the year of the outsider, Sanders has survived as all other Clinton dynasty challengers have dropped.

During last weekend’s California Democratic Party convention, Vice President Joe Biden spoke and congratulated candidate Hillary Clinton on her win in South Carolina. Yet that same evening, an estimated 1,000 Sanders supporters marched on the convention.

The hope of a Sanders win in California is slim itself. The Desert Sun reported that a late December to early January poll showed Clinton with an 11-point lead over her socialist competitor. Field poll director Mark DiCamillo put significant weight on races between Super Tuesday and the March 15 primary. The nonpartisan Field Poll group expects to conduct its next survey after those mid-March races.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana