On MSNBC tonight, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver shows MSNBC's Steve Kornacki where he sees Bernie Sander's path to victory in the Democratic primary. Weaver said even if Hillary Clinton secures the nomination through pledged and superdelegates the campaign would still challenge her at the convention.
"We're going to go to the convention. It is extremely unlikely either candidate will have the requisite number of pledged delegates to get [the nomination]. So it's going to be an election determined by the superdelegates," Weaver told MSNBC's Steve Kornacki during election night coverage.
Asked if instead of rallying the party he would spend the remaining months trying to flip superdelegates, Weaver said, "at this point, yes."
Transcript, via MSNBC:
And then when we get to the convention, look, at the end of the day, the Democrats are going to have to decide who they want to elect in terms of who is going to be best in November.
And clearly the polls are almost unanimous now that Bernie Sanders is a much more electable candidate in November. It's very important, I think, for Democrats.
You know, the other thing that's not -- that you haven't pointed out is we picked up a number of delegates, a lot of these caucus states have a sort of iterative process where there's a county convention and a state convention.
And we've done a very good job at picking up additional delegates at each one of those levels. We've picked up delegates in Nevada, we're going to pick up delegates, I believe, in Iowa, Washington State, even though, you know, we won 70/30, the outcome in delegates eventually could become 80/20 or even in a really big turnout in Washington State, we could sweep the delegates in Washington State.
So there's a lot of opportunities to pick up delegates in the caucus process, as well.
KORNACKI: Let me ask you this, though. Is this a fair statement, the popular vote and the pledged delegate count, if you are not leading at least one of those counts when June 7th finishes up, when we finish this primary process, you don't have a claim to get those superdelegates to flip -- or are you still going to try to flip superdelegates if you're not winning one of those?
WEAVER: I don't think that that's the case. Look, we're going to go to the convention. It is extremely unlikely that either candidate will have the requisite number of pledged delegates to get to this number, right?
So it's going to be an election determined by the superdelegates. And superdelegates are largely elected officials, party leaders…
KORNACKI: Who are overwhelmingly right now announced for Clinton. So the question is, if you guys can't come to them and say, we won the pledged delegate count, you have to honor the will of the people, if you can't come to them and say, we won the popular vote, you have to honor the will of the people, if these superdelegates already want to be with Hillary Clinton, and they can say, hey, she won the popular vote, hey, she won the pledged delegate vote, how can you flip them after the primaries?
WEAVER: Well, because they are going to want to win in November. And if the polling continues to show that Bernie Sanders is a much stronger candidate in the general election, and that's for a few reasons, right?
He brings out a lot of young people into the process who might otherwise participate. He's extremely popular with independent voters. If you look at when you have open caucuses and open primaries, he wins independents 65/35, 70/30.
And in November, you know, only about a quarter of the population is Democrats. If you can't create a coalition with independent voters, you can't win the White House. You can't win the Senate. You can't bring additional people into the House.
So this is what has to be built in November. It has to be Democrats along with independents to defeat the Republicans. And Bernie Sanders is the candidate who can do that.
KORNACKI: Because you know as well as I do, if June 7th comes and goes and Hillary Clinton has won the pledged delegate count and the primaries, and she has won the popular vote, there are going to be calls from her campaign and calls from a lot of influential delegates in this country for you the Sanders campaign to make a decision to unite around her.
You're saying instead of that, you will spend those months, those weeks in the summer trying to flip superdelegates to Bernie Sanders before the convention?
WEAVER: At this point, yes, absolutely.