Sanders’ challenge is to prove that he can run a viable campaign outside of the overwhelmingly white states that kicked off the nominating process. His campaigns says it expects his impassioned calls for raising the minimum wage, breaking up Wall Street banks, and overhauling the current campaign finance system to resonate in more diverse states as well as it did in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Sanders has also been touting his own work on civil rights issues, including a mention on his campaign website of his “long history of fighting for social equality and the rights of black Americans — a record that goes back to the early 1960s.” But in a preview of the fight to come between Clinton and Sanders, U.S. Rep. and civil rights leader John Lewis dismissed the senator’s work Thursday: “I never saw him. I never met him.”
The Democratic contenders next go before voters in Nevada on Feb. 20 and in South Carolina on Feb. 27. But both campaigns are already eying contests in March, when more than half of all delegates up for grabs in the primary are at stake.
Clinton is expected to keep up the aggressive posture she took in the last Democratic debate, the first head-to-head matchup between the rivals. Her campaign wants to continue challenging the feasibility of Sanders’ domestic proposals, such as a government-run health care system and free college tuition, and pushing him on foreign policy, an arena where he’s far less comfortable than he is on economic issues.
Clinton is likely to find herself once again on the defensive over the high-dollar speaking fees she received from Wall Street banks after leaving the State Department. Sanders has relentlessly cast her dealings with Wall Street as an example of how the wealthy try to influence Washington, a message that has tapped into voter frustration.
Clinton so far holds a commanding lead in the overall delegate race due to her strong support from superdelegates, the party officials who can back the candidate of their choice.
Overall, Clinton has 394 delegates Sanders has 44. It takes 2,382 to win the Democratic nomination for president.
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