Bernie Sanders says his campaign will look beyond the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire and place resources in states that will vote on Super Tuesday, buoyed by polls that show him eclipsing Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton.
“I think we have a whole lot of momentum in this campaign,” Sanders said Thursday morning as he sidestepped a question of whether his poll numbers are forcing Democratic party leaders to address his campaign. “We’re feeling pretty good.”
At least five Southern states, including Texas, are expected to hold primary elections on March 1.
Sanders’ remarks came as he held a press conference at the Capitol to pitch a plan to cut the cost of prescription drugs, railing against what he said was a “greedy” pharmaceutical industry that is “killing Americans.”
The populist stance from the U. S. senator from Vermont, who is actually an independent, but running for president as a Democrat, has struck a chord with voters: Sanders is now within a statistical tie with Clinton in Iowa, according to a Quinnipiac University poll that shows him with 41 percent of Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, with 40 percent picking Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden, who is mulling a bid for the presidency, drew 12 percent.
That compares to a July 2 survey that showed Clinton at 52 percent, with 33 percent for Sanders and 7 percent for Biden. Sanders said the polls say more about his campaign message and appeal to the middle class than anxiety over Clinton and the email controversy that has dogged her campaign for months.
“The middle class of this country is disappearing,” Sanders said. He said he plans to file legislation that would require Medicare to bargain for cheaper prices and would allow individuals, pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies, where he said prices are 40 percent less than in the U.S.