Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday sought to portray himself as the candidate best positioned to beat Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in the general election, after his unexpected win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan.
Sanders told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he expects to net more victories like that in western states, evidencing that he would be the most competitive Democratic candidate in the general election.
“When they begin to look at the reality of politics today, and that is virtually every national poll and almost all of the statewide polls that have Bernie Sanders against Donald Trump, we do better and in some cases much, much better than Hillary Clinton does against Trump,” he said.
Polls conducted prior to Tuesday’s primary vote in Michigan had painted the state as Clinton country, but Sanders ended up beating the former secretary of state by more than 18,000 votes, according to the Associated Press. He won 65 delegates while she won 58.
Sanders told Mitchell that his campaign expects more victories like that as voters in other states out West head to the polls.
“If you look at the map of primaries and caucuses, it turns out that the early states really do favor Secretary Clinton, because a lot of those delegates came from the Deep South,” he said. “But as the map moves forward and we move, for example, into the west, California, Washington, Arizona, Oregon, Wisconsin, you’re going to see a lot of states where we believe we have an excellent chance to win.”
Sanders also argued that superdelegates, who are not tied to the state vote, will eventually flock to his campaign.
“I think that many of these superdelegates who understand the most important issue is that we do not allow a Republican to get into the Oval Office. I think you’re going to see some of them rethinking their commitment to Secretary Clinton if we can show that we’re winning states around this country,” he said.
Sanders has won Democratic primaries and caucuses in nine states to date.