Sen. Bernie Sanders
Press Conference
National Press Club
May 1, 2016

[prepared remarks]

We announced the beginning of this campaign a year ago. Before I talk about delegate math and a path toward victory, I want to say a few words about how far we’ve come in the last year.

When we started this campaign we were considered a “fringe” candidacy. We had no campaign organization, no money and very little name recognition. In national polls, we were 60 points or more behind Secretary Clinton, we were taking on the entire Democratic establishment and, in the Clinton campaign, the most powerful political organization in the country.

That was then. Today is today.

As of today, we have won 17 states and hope to make Indiana the 18th, and we have received some 9 million votes.

In recent national polls we are either defeating Secretary Clinton or are within single digits behind her.

In terms of fundraising, we have received more individual campaign contributions, 7.4 million, than any candidate in presidential history at his point. What the political revolution is about is that we have shown we can run a strong, winning campaign without a super PAC and without being dependent on big-money interests.

As of today, our rallies have brought out more than 1.1 million people throughout this country and that number will go up significantly by the time we are through in California.

Very importantly, in state after state we have won a strong majority of the votes of younger people – voters under 45 years of age. Our ideas are the future of the Democratic Party and the future of America.

Let me now say a few words about delegate math and a path toward victory.

There are a total of 4,766 Democratic delegates – 4,047 pledged, 719 super delegates. A candidate needs 2,383 votes to win. Let’s be clear. It is virtually impossible for Secretary Clinton to reach the majority of convention delegates by June 14 – the end of the primary season – with pledged delegates alone. She will need super delegates to take her over the top at the convention in Philadelphia. In other words, it will be a contested convention.

Currently, Secretary Clinton has 1,645 pledged delegates – 55 percent of the total. We have 1318 pledged delegates – 45 percent of the total. There are 10 states plus D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam remaining. We believe we are quite strong in many of these remaining contests and have an excellent chance to win California – the state with far and away the most delegates.

For us to win the majority of pledged delegates, we need to win 710 out of the remaining 1083. That is 65 percent. That is, admittedly, a tough road to climb, but not an impossible one. And we intend to fight for every vote and delegate remaining.

In terms of super delegates, I want to say the following.

Obviously, we are taking on virtually the entire Democratic establishment. Secretary Clinton has an estimated 520 super delegates. Many of those committed to her even before we got into this campaign. We have all of 39 super delegates. In other words, while we have won 45 percent of the pledged delegates up to this point, we have only 7 percent of the super delegates.

Two points:

First, those super delegates in states where either candidate has won a landslide victories ought to seriously reflect on whether they should cast their super delegate vote in line with the wishes of the people in their states.

Let me give you just a few examples.

In the state of Washington, we won that caucus with almost 73 percent of the vote but at this point Secretary Clinton has 10 super delegates. We have zero.

In Minnesota, we won the caucus there with 61 percent of the vote. Hillary Clinton has 11 super delegates. We have three.

In Colorado, we won that state with 59 percent of the vote. Secretary Clinton has 10 super delegates. We have zero.

In New Hampshire, we won that state with more than 60 percent of the vote. Secretary Clinton has six super delegates. We have zero.

And that pattern continues in other states where we have won landslide victories.

Secondly, and extremely importantly, Secretary Clinton and I have many differences on some of the most important issues facing the American people. We disagree on trade, on breaking up Wall Street banks, on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, on imposing a carbon tax to combat climate change, on insisting that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share of taxes, on fracking and on a number of other issues.

But where Secretary Clinton and I agree and where every delegate to the Democratic convention agrees is that it would be a disaster for Donald Trump or some other right-wing Republican to become president of the United States.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon every super delegate to take a hard and objective look at which candidate stands the better chance of defeating Donald Trump. And in that regard, I think the evidence is extremely clear that I would be the stronger candidate to defeat Trump or any other Republican. This is not just the subjective opinion of Bernie Sanders. This is based on virtually every national and state poll done in the last several months.

Look at some of the very recent national polls.

In a Morning Consult survey, we beat Trump by 16. She beats him by seven.

An Investor Business Daily poll, we beat Trump by 12. She beats him by seven.
In the USA Today poll, we beat Trump by 15. She beats him by 11.

A George Washington University poll, we beat him by 10. She beats him by three.
Fox News, we beat Trump by 14. She beats him by seven

And it’s the same story in battleground state after battleground state. In Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina and many other states we defeat Trump by larger numbers than she does.

Further, what recent elections tell us is that Democrats win elections when the voter turnout is high. Republicans win elections when voter turnout is low. There is little doubt in my mind that the energy and excitement we have created will, in fact, create a large voter turnout in November, which will mean not only victory for the White House but for Democratic candidates in the Senate, the House and in governor’s races.

This is an important reality that super delegates cannot ignore.