The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was optimistic after winning a handful of Super Tuesday states, stressing that Hillary Clinton probably saw her best primary day with a schedule ahead that should work in Bernie’s favor as delegates continue to be divided.
Campaign manager Jeff Weaver told reporters this morning that they shot for five states and “got 4.9,” demonstrating they “still have the momentum.”
Weaver also highlighted Sanders’ success with the “critical bedrock of this campaign” — fundraising from small donors in the absence of a super PAC. Sanders raised more than $42 million in February, the most raised in a month by any candidate in this election cycle. That haul broke down to more than 1.4 million contributions averaging $30.
The Sanders’ camp was especially grateful that donations continued to pour in after Clinton stomped Bernie in South Carolina.
“In terms of fundraising, Clinton cannot win a fair fight,” Weaver said.
Sanders won most of his target states: 58.9 percent to Hillary’s 40.4 percent in Colorado, 61.7 percent to Hillary’s 38.3 percent in Minnesota, 51.9 percent to Hillary’s 41.5 percent in Oklahoma, and a whopping 86.1 percent to 13.6 percent in Bernie’s home state, Vermont.
Their fifth target state, Massachusetts, seemed to be in play much of the night, but Clinton pulled out a 50.1 percent to 48.7 percent victory, effectively splitting delegates there.
Sanders’ senior advisor Tad Devine noted that Clinton defeated Barack Obama by “substantial double-digit margins” in Massachusetts eight years ago.
“We did not target 11 states yesterday,” Devine stressed. “We understand that we have a long road ahead of us we have to take if we want to win the nomination” — therefore, “allocation of resources” is key.
Devine added that Clinton’s best electoral days could be behind her. “Super Tuesday was the single best day on the calendar for Hillary Clinton,” he said, emphasizing “you will not win a nomination in the Democratic Party unless you consistently win throughout the calendar.”
“A lot of thing will happen in the weeks and months ahead,” Devine predicted, stressing the “dynamic nature of this process” and how “questions will be raised” about Clinton’s general election viability if she doesn’t have consistent wins from here on out.
Because of superdelegates who changed their allegiance from Hillary to Obama the last time out — more than 120 “changed allegiance” before the convention — and pledged delegates who no longer will be bound, “we believe Bernie Sanders will have more delegates than Hillary Clinton.”
Devine also stressed that Sanders is a “much stronger candidate” in general election polls, “beating Donald Trump by a more decisive margin” than Hillary. “…If they want to beat Trump, we’re going to need Bernie to be the nominee.”
On the schedule moving forward, Devine predicted the Maine caucus on Sunday “should be good for us,” while Michigan next Tuesday is a “critical showdown” where Sanders is stressing that he’s the “consistent opponent of job-gutting trade deals.”
On Sanders’ task of trying to court minority voters, Devine said it’s “pretty clear that that the African-American community is not monolithic” and the senator can still make inroads with his “incredible personal story” of participation in the Civil Rights Movement and telling voters “his agenda for the future is simply better.”
“We think we’re already doing better with Latino voters,” he said, highlighting that even though they don’t have exit polling data from Colorado “I don’t know how you win Colorado without very strong support from Latino voters in that state.” The campaign later sent out a breakdown stressing that Sanders “convincingly carried 10 of the top 15 Latino counties in Colorado, many by wide margins.”
Turnout in Colorado was so huge people they got reports of people caucusing in parking lots because fire officials deemed buildings to be overflowing with voters.
Devine acknowledged Trump “is going to run a vicious campaign — I think we all recognize his tactics.” He underscored Sanders’ strong polling on “critical attributes” to voters, including integrity and caring about people. He also said Bernie is stronger than Hillary on bringing in independent voters, which would be particularly important if Clinton went up against Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) or Ted Cruz (R-Texas), whom she trails in the polls while leading Trump.
Sanders is also “bringing in millions of young people,” which is “a huge contribution Bernie Sanders can make not just to Hillary Clinton but to every Democrat.”
“She has a substantial advantage — we believe we can make that up between now and June… we still think we have a winning hand in this game and we’re going to play it for a while.”
Sanders declared in a statement early this morning that his campaign is “just getting started” as they move on to Maine and Michigan with their war chest. “We’re going all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and beyond,” the senator said.
“Tomorrow, I look forward to a contest this fall between democracy and demagoguery, between ordinary Americans and the oligarchs,” Sanders added. “I look forward to the chance for our people-powered campaign to show Donald Trump that the United States of America belongs to all of us and not just billionaire bullies.”