FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Bernie Sanders, who fell further behind Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s presidential primaries, told supporters Wednesday that he has “an extremely good chance to win nearly every state that votes in the next month.”
Sanders’s rosy assessment comes as he tries to reassure supporters that he has a path to the Democratic nomination despite a mounting lead by Clinton in the number of delegates needed to claim victory.
In a fundraising solicitation, the senator from Vermont wrote that Clinton had reached her “high-water mark” in the campaign.
“Starting today, the map now shifts dramatically in our favor,” Sanders said.
His take echoes the case his aides have sought to make in recent days that Sanders is well-positioned to win all three contests Tuesday in Arizona, Idaho and Utah. Primaries and caucuses then follow in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington state and Wisconsin.
It’s unclear how the momentum gained by Clinton on Tuesday will factor into those contests. The former secretary of state won at least four of the five primaries, in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Illinois. Clinton also had a narrow edge in Missouri, though Sanders could request a recount there.
Clinton’s campaign also acknowledged Wednesday that Sanders could have an upcoming winning streak but expressed no worry about Clinton maintaining a solid lead in the delegate count. In the Democratic race, delegates are awarded on a proportional basis, making it difficult for a candidate to catch up once he falls behind.
“Looking ahead to the rest of March, Sen. Sanders is poised to have a stretch of very favorable states vote, including 5 caucuses next week, which he is likely to win, and the primary in Arizona, in which he has invested more than $1.5 million in ads,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook wrote in a memo to supporters. “Our pledged delegate lead is so significant that even a string of victories by Sen. Sanders over the next few weeks would have little impact.”
Sanders’s email solicitation carried the subject header “How we respond to this moment.”
He said that his campaign has exceeded all expectations, winning nine primaries and caucuses to this point, and said that on Tuesday “we earned a significant number of delegates, and we are on track for the nomination.”
Sanders, who aides said was spending the day in Arizona, had no public appearances planned Wednesday.