Bernie Sanders

Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Sees Path to Victory in Washington

March 24, 2016

Bernie Sanders

YAKIMA, Wash. – Campaigning with an edge over Hillary Clinton in a new national poll, Bernie Sanders on Thursday addressed rallies here and in Spokane, Washington, ahead of weekend caucuses to decide who should be the Democratic Party pick for president.

Sanders took the stage in the SunDome on the Yakama Nation's treaty territory surrounded by 7,000 people cheering, stomping their feet and banging on drums.

"Native Americans have been lied to. They've been cheated," he said. "If elected president, there will be a new relationship with the Native American community," Sanders pledged. The "first Americans," he said, have enriched our country's culture and "taught us respect for our environment."

Before taking on Big Oil's role in causing climate change, Sanders said Native Americans "understand that if this planet is to survive we have to be a part of nature, live with nature."

Turning to politics, Sanders said "a lot has happened" since his campaign began almost 11 months ago. Once a long shot, Sanders in the past week has narrowed Clinton's lead in pledged delegates and added more states to his column. "We've carried 11 states up to now and with your help at the caucus on Saturday we're going to win Washington," he said. "And if we can do well in Washington, do well in Hawaii, do well in Alaska, we have a road to victory."

Earlier Thursday, Sanders picked up a major West Coast labor union endorsement. He won the backing of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents about 50,000 workers in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Those union members all work in states where Democrats have yet to decide who should be their standard bearer.

The stop in Yakima followed a rally in Spokane. The second visit to the city this week is part of an aggressive schedule of appearances in the state where 101 delegates will be selected at caucuses on Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, Sanders' wife, Jane, traveled on Thursday to Alaska after making campaign stops earlier this week in Hawaii. The 49th and 50th states also are holding caucuses on Saturday.

Speaking at a mid-day rally to 3,200 supporters at the Spokane Arena, Sanders pointed to polls consistently drawing double-digit support in match-ups with Republican front-runner Donald Trump. "We have to do everything we can to make certain that a Republican does not occupy the White House and in order to do that we need the strongest Democratic candidate possible," Sanders said, "and you are looking at him."

In a recent CNN poll, Sanders out-polled Trump by 20 points. In a new Bloomberg Politics poll, Sanders was 24 points ahead of Trump. He held a 12-point advantage over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and was four points ahead of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Clinton lost to Kasich by four points and held much narrower leads than Sanders over Cruz and Trump.

The poll also showed Sanders is now the first choice of 49 percent of those who already have voted or plan to vote in this year's Democratic contests. The former secretary of state was the choice of 48 percent.

Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Sees Path to Victory in Washington Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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