Bernie Sanders supporters in New York City are flying high, after their underdog candidate racked up caucus wins in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington this weekend, and his statewide campaign headquarters opened in Gowanus, Brooklyn, on Saturday.
His new momentum, they believe, will help him in the New York primary April 19.
“We have a good chance in New York! Bernie is a New York boy – this is his home state!” exclaimed supporter James Bambina, 38, a utility worker from Ridgewood, Queens.
Bambina dismissed Hillary Clinton, a former New York senator and a resident of Chappaqua, Westchester County, as “a carpetbagger!” noting that Sanders, a senator now from Vermont, was born in Brooklyn and raised in Flatbush.
“More important than the delegates,” Sanders picked up, “is the moral victory,” that shows him with strong support in “progressive” states, said Bambina, who acknowledged that the primary here “will be close” and by no means a shoe in.
According to a tally by RealClearPolitics.com, Sanders now has 1,004 delegates to Clinton’s 1,712. The latest RealClearPolitics average, looking at the Siena and Emerson polls and spanning Feb 28 through March 16, has Clinton with a 63% to 28.5% edge over Sanders in New York.
Nonetheless, Sanders supporters have faith.
“We’re ramping up. . . . We have a real shot” to win New York, and the election, said Karthik Ganapathy, a spokesman for the Sanders campaign. “It’s truly amazing. There is no way to not feel good,” he said.
“I reject the premise we were sort of dead before the weekend,” said Ganapathy, noting that Sanders detractors and Clinton supporters had been urging Sanders to surrender since he announced his candidacy last April.
Sanders had been trailing Clinton significantly prior to the weekend rout. But yesterday, the Vermont senator told newscasters he thinks his latest wins might help persuade some “super delegates” to support him as polls have shown he has a better chance than Clinton of trumping a Republican candidate in a general election.
“Momentum is with us. A lot of these super-delegates may rethink their position with Hillary Clinton,” said Sanders on CNN’s State of the Union news program on Sunday.
The Clinton campaign is “building a grassroots campaign from the bottom up,” for the New York primary, because “they know she fought for them in the U.S. Senate and will have New Yorkers’ backs as President,” said her campaign spokesman, Harrell Kirstein, in a statement. (with Reuters)