PHILADELPHIAPolls show Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is the favorite going into Tuesday's primaries. A sweep could make her nomination almost a sure thing. With 189 delegates, the big prize is Pennsylvania, where theCBS News Battleground Tracker poll shows Clinton leading Bernie Sanders by eight points.
While Sanders faces some daunting polling going into Tuesday's five primary races in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island, he told CBS News' Nancy Cordes Monday night he was not entertaining the possibility that he might be all but mathematically eliminated from contention after Tuesday.
"If you look at state polling, you're behind in Pennsylvania, in Maryland and Connecticut. If you wake up on Wednesday and you've lost most or all of these five states, what do you do then?" Cordes asked him.
"What we do is go to West Virginia and Kentucky, and then head out to California, the largest state in our country," Sanders said. "I believe that the people in every state in this country have a right to cast a ballot to determine who they would like to see as president of the United States, and equally important, the agenda that they want the Democratic Party to have. Do they want to address the issues of rampant poverty in this country, of massive income and wealth inequality?"
Cordes pointed out Clinton also talks about these issues and asked, "Is she strong enough on poverty to win over your supporters, if she needs to?"
"Well, I'll let my supporters make their own decisions," Sanders responded.
"But you have a lot of influence over them," Cordes said.
"We're in this race to win. We're going to be in California in June and we're going to be in Philadelphia back here in July. And my job is to win this nomination," Sanders said. "If I don't win the nomination, I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that a Republican does not get elected president of the United States."
On Sunday, when asked about supporting Clinton if she wins the nomination, Sanders suggested that his support would come with conditions.
"That is totally dependent on what the Clinton platform is and how she responds to the needs of millions of Americans who are sick and tired of establishment politics and establishment economics," Sanders said on ABC's "This Week."
Clinton, at a town hall Monday, recalled that her response to losing eight years ago differed, telling MSNBC town hall host Rachel Maddow, "We got to the end in June and I did not put down conditions. I didn't say, 'You know what, if Sen. Obama does W, Y, and Z maybe I'll support him.'"