Sanders: Voter turnout ‘not as high as I had wanted’


On the morning after Bernie Sanders’ loss to Hillary Clinton in the Nevada caucuses, the Vermont senator admitted he was perhaps finally proven right.

“Voter turnout was not as high as I had wanted,” Sanders allowed on NBC’s Meet the Press, “and what I’ve said over and over again, is we will do well when young people when working class people come out, we do not do well when voter turnout is not large.”

Sanders has trumpeted this sentiment for months, even telling NBC News on caucus day that “The bigger the turnout, the better I feel.”

The presidential campaign: Bernie Sanders
The self-described democratic socialist is known for pushing change on income inequality, college affordability and criminal justice reform.

Yet turnout for Saturday’s first-in-the-west caucus contest was estimated at about 80,000 people, a significant drop from the 120,000 people who came out to caucus in 2008.

“We did not do as good a job as I had wanted to bring out a large turnout,” said the Senator.

With nearly all precincts reporting Sunday, Clinton sat comfortably at 53 percent while Sanders trailed at 47 percent.

RELATED: Six takeaways from Clinton’s Nevada victory

Sanders did highlight bright spots in the results though, pointing to entrance polls showing him leading Clinton with Latino voters (something the Clinton campaign has already argued is misleading) and his unquestioned strength with young voters.

“Remember we were taking on a candidate who ran in 2008,” hedged the Senator, “She knew Nevada a lot better than we did, she had the names of a lot of her supporters, so I’m proud of the campaign that we ran.”

“At the end of the day, I think she gets 19 delegates, we get 15 delegates, we move on to the next states,” he added.

And Sanders assured viewers Sunday, he is not to be counted out yet in the nomination contest.

“We are in this race to the convention,” Sanders emphasized, pointing to states such as Colorado, Minnesota, and Massachusetts where he believes his campaign has a “good shot” at winning.

“I think we’ve got some states coming down the pipe we are going to do very well in,” Sanders continued.

The candidate was then presented with a clip of Hillary Clinton’s caucus night victory speech, during which the former secretary of state went after Wall Street saying, “No bank can be too big to fail, no executive too powerful to jail!”

“We’re looking into the copyright issues here!” Sanders joked, “Those are our words!”

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