The Bernie Sanders campaign sure thinks so. It’s starting to look increasingly likely that Hillary Clinton will not get the number of pledged delegates that she needs to win the nomination outright. Probably she will when superdelegates are counted in, but the Sanders campaign says, “not so fast!”
Bernie Sanders will surpass Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in pledged delegates and emerge as the nominee at a contested convention, his campaign said Tuesday.
Sanders has vowed to win Wisconsin, New York and ultimately the nomination, but his campaign is pushing back on the notion that either state is a must-win. The Vermont senator holds a narrow lead over Clinton in Wisconsin, according to a RealClearPolitics average of state polls, but trails her by 11 percentage points in New York.
“We’ve mapped out a path to victory in our campaign in terms of delegates — pledged delegates — and we don’t have to win everywhere, but we do have to win most of the states coming up,” Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told MSNBC on Tuesday. “So there’s no one state that’s a must-win, and as we look forward we’re gonna be able to accumulate the delegates we need to get the pledged delegate lead by the end of this primary and caucus process.”
Sanders is moving right now into the friendliest part of his schedule, and all the polling momentum is on his side. Basically, the national picture on the Democrat side is a tie, but presumably the national Democrat polls take into account the South, which a) is Clinton’s territory and b) has already voted. There are a lot of states coming up on the calendar for the Dems that have a ton of white, liberal voters, and Bernie Sanders stands to do well.
Will he erase Clinton’s delegate lead? Ehhhhhhh, probably not. But what he will do is get himself to the convention in a position that is reasonably close to Clinton’s. And he will have a pretty good argument for why he ought to be the nominee, especially if the Republicans look likely to nominate someone other than Trump: he destroys Clinton in head-to-head polling, she racked up her delegate lead in the deep South, which is never going to vote for Republicans anyway, and the looming FBI investigation could well doom her candidacy.
You add all these up and Sanders might just give himself a puncher’s chance at convention time.