When Bernie Sanders took the stage at approaching 11 o’clock last night, to a crowd of roaring thousands in Santa Monica, California, he was defiant. When he announced he would be campaigning in Washington, D.C. ahead of its primary next week, “to fight for every vote and every delegate we can get,” the crowd erupted.
Bernie Sanders’ decision to stay in the Democratic primary race — and the competitive nature of that race in the state of California — could very well pay dividends for the Democratic Party in the less glamorous, but impactful down-ballot races.
Bernie Sanders has quickly closed the gap in California, and the Vermont Senator is now in a virtual tie with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the Golden State. But in New Jersey, where voters are slightly less liberal, polls show Clinton has the edge by an even larger margin than in New York, where she won by 16 percentage points.
Although Clinton has a significant delegate lead over Sanders, which she is likely to maintain unless the Vermont senator is able to convince hundreds of superdelegates who have declared their preference for Clinton to back him instead, Sanders has resolved to keep fighting.
The shift in support comes as Clinton steps up her attacks on the real estate mogul’s policy positions, and as Trump fends off criticisms of his eponymous university and the pace at which he doled out money that he raised for U.S. veterans.
Trump’s stoking of Sanders’ supporters’ anger by insisting the system is “rigged against Sanders” will bolster the Bernie or Bust movement. And Bernie will have played right into future President Trump’s hand.