Tuesday night was huge for Hillary Clinton in her spirited contest with Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination: The former secretary of state pulled off a royal flush in taking five states.
Yet the Sanders campaign insisted all is well on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
Campaign manager Jeff Weaver said the delegate split in Missouri and Illinois, Sanders’ two most competitive states on Tuesday, was relatively equal to Clinton.
“I understand that media narratives being what it is, that’s not going to get translated all that well,” Weaver said.
The two candidates received 32 delegates apiece in Missouri, and Clinton took just one more delegate than Sanders in Illinois, 28 to 27.
But overall, Clinton leads in pledged delegates, 1,139 to 825.
However, if you add the super delegates, and it’s a different story. There, Clinton leads 467 to 26.
The Sanders camp contends now is the high-water mark of the Clinton campaign, and that the upcoming political terrain favors their candidate.
“We anticipate over the weeks and months to come, we will steadily, consistently, and ultimately successfully erode her current advantage in pledged delegates when we get to June 7,” Weaver said.
That’s the day the primary season ends, when California, New Jersey and seven other states go to the polls.
Tad Devine, senior strategist with the Sanders campaign, calls the current period of the election season “halftime.” He acknowledged that they’re behind, but “we also think that we’re going to win this game.”
With over half the delegates still up for grabs, Devine says the back end of the calendar is as favorable to Sanders as the first part was for Clinton.
The next Democratic primary takes place next Tuesday in Arizona. Sanders is holding campaign events there this week.