WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) -- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday he will continue campaigning after Tuesday's primaries, when the final six states cast ballots in the Democratic presidential race, and that if he does well, he will go to the Democratic National Convention in July with 'an enormous amount of momentum.'
Sanders trails front-runner Hillary Clinton in the delegate count 2312-1545, but the race has remained competitive, with Sanders winning 21 primary contests, compared to 27 for Clinton. Polls show the two in a statistical tie in the California primary race, The New York Times reports.
Including superdelegates, Clinton is 71 shy of the number needed to clinch the nomination, a number she is virtually assured of attaining Tuesday, win or lose, when California and five other states cast ballots.
Sanders, who has pledged at times to campaign until voting ends, or until the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, reaffirmed that stance Wednesday.
"We have absolutely the financial resources that we need to run a very, very strong campaign here in California and in the other states and in D.C. and Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands and throughout the rest of the campaign," Sanders said, referencing the handful of smaller contests that follow the conclusion of state voting on Tuesday.
Sanders said he would continue running and would lobby superdelegates, the elected officials and party leaders who will help decide the nomination, that he is a better candidate in a general election than Clinton to defeat the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
Clinton holds a large lead in superdelegates and Politico reports Sanders may need to convince upwards of 200 of them to change their minds prior to the convention if he is to win the nomination.
Sanders, who is campaigning hard to win California, said if Tuesday's vote gives him a victory there and in the other states where he is favored, he would end the primary calendar with more political momentum than Clinton.
"If we win California, and if we win South Dakota, and North Dakota and Montana and New Mexico and New Jersey, and the following week do well in Washington, D.C.," he said, "I think we will be marching into the Democratic convention with an enormous amount of momentum."