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Bernie Sanders pushes ahead, but the math is not on his side

May 7, 2016

A month before voters in California go to the polls in the state’s Democratic presidential primary, his campaign is lagging in fundraising, and he’s down in the polls.

But a defiant Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t going anywhere, despite his uphill climb to defeat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and likely nominee.

“I’m going to fight to see that we can win,” Sanders said in an interview on the PBS NewsHour on Friday evening.

The Vermont senator needs about 1,000 more delegates to clinch the nomination, while Clinton needs fewer than 200.

All but a handful of states have held their primaries or caucuses, and most that remain allocate delegates proportionally, ensuring that both candidates will pick up some delegates.

For Sanders, California’s June 7 primary, in which 546 delegates will be up for grabs, is critical to his underdog candidacy.

Yet the polls are not in his favor.

In each of the last four polls of California Democrats over the last month, Clinton has led Sanders. An average of the polls has Clinton ahead by about 10 percentage points.

This week, Clinton called on Sanders to take a page from her 2008 playbook, when she dropped out of the primary after it became clear that then-Sen. Barack Obama would be the Democratic nominee.

“I knew then that whatever differences we might have had in the campaign, they were nothing compared to the differences between us and the Republicans,” Clinton said while campaigning in Los Angeles. “Now if that was true in ’08, that is true on steroids today.”

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