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After New York Defeat, Sanders Says A 'Path To Victory' Remains

Sen. Bernie Sanders, pictured here after the 2016 New York primary, faces a very different political landscape in 2020.
Taylor Dobbs
After polls closed in the New York primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders congratulated Hillary Clinton on a victory in her home state but said he still sees a path to the nomination.

Sen. Bernie Sanders says he’s looking forward to next week after Hillary Clinton beat him by about 15 percent of the vote in the New York primary Tuesday.

“Today we took Secretary Clinton on in her own state of New York and we lost,” Sanders said to reporters after landing in Burlington Tuesday night. “I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her victory.”

Sanders didn’t say much about New York after that.

“Next week, we will be competing in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Delaware, and we look forward to winning a number of those states,” Sanders said.

He didn’t venture a guess as to how many of those states he thinks he can win, but Sanders says he still thinks he can win the nomination.

“We believe we have the momentum, and we believe we have a path toward victory,” Sanders said.

When asked to elaborate on that path, Sanders said he’s counting on supporters getting his campaign’s message out, and getting other supporters to the polls.

“We think we have a very, very strong grassroots movement that’s going to be knocking on a lot of doors and making a lot of telephone calls,” Sanders said. “At the end of the day, I always believe it is grassroots activism that wins elections, and I think you’re going to see that in place next week.”

Though he didn’t question the legitimacy of Clinton’s victory, Sanders raised questions about the voting process in New York. According to the New York Times, officials in Brooklyn confirmed that more than 125,000 voters were somehow removed from the voter rolls between November 2015 and the state’s primary Tuesday.

Sanders also questioned New York’s rules governing party affiliation in primary elections.

“I remain also concerned that in a state as large as New York, almost 30 percent of the eligible voters – some 3 million New Yorkers – were unable to vote today because they had registered as independents, not Democrats or Republicans, and that makes no sense to me at all,” Sanders said. “People should have the right to participate in a primary and vote for their candidate for President of the United States.”

Sanders refused to address a question about his support for reform of the federal EB-5 program after federal authorities uncovered an alleged fraud in Vermont involving hundreds of millions of dollars raised through the EB-5 program.

“Let me stay off that right now and focus on the election,” Sanders said.

Sanders has been relatively quiet about the EB-5 program since the allegations were revealed last week, though he publicly endorsed the allegedly fraudulent projects in the past.

Taylor was VPR's digital reporter from 2013 until 2017. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.
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