Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has stated clearly that he is in the party’s primary race for the long haul.
Addressing a group of supporters in California, Sanders said his campaign has achieved far more than anybody expected adding he will not heed to calls by political pundits to quit the race.
“I should tell you that there are lots of people out there, politicians and pundits who say Bernie Sanders should drop out. The people of California should not have the right to determine who the next president should be. Let me be as clear as I can be, I agree with you, we are in till the last ballot is cast,” Sanders said.
The 79-year-old Senator from Vermont had little name recognition when he started his campaign over a year ago.
But having stayed in the Democratic primary this long, Sanders is confident he will win the race.
“You know, when we began this campaign a little over a year ago, we were 60 points behind Secretary Clinton in the polls. We had no political organisation, no money, very little name recognition. The media and the pundits determined that we were a ‘fringe’ candidacy. And nobody thought that this campaign was going anywhere… Well, a lot has changed in the last year,” Sanders said.
Clinton narrowly defeated Sanders in Kentucky, a state where she was not expected to win while Sanders beat her in Oregon, a state that played to his strengths.
Oregon, together we are taking on virtually all of the Democratic establishment. Thank you for the strong victory! pic.twitter.com/nH7fI6QXU7
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 18, 2016
The two candidates will likely split the 55 delegates up for grabs in Kentucky, which Sanders hailed as a victory when he took to the stage during a campaign speech in Carson, California moments after the results came in.
Sanders is also expected to take only a handful more of the 61 delegates that were awarded in Oregon.
Clinton’s sizeable lead in delegates means she will most likely emerge her party’s nominee.
But as the final set of major contests approach, Clinton remains more than 100 delegates short of sealing the deal to become the Democratic party nominee for the November 8 election.