DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders downplayed concerns expressed by some in his party, that as a self-described Democratic Socialist, he is too far to the left to beat President Donald Trump.
“When moderates go to the polling booth, we will have 98 to 99 percent support of all Democrats because people are going to come together,” said Sanders.
The Vermont Senator made his comments during a one-on-one interview last Friday before he rallied nearly 5,400 supporters in Mesquite.
He said, “We are the campaign of energy and excitement, just take a look out there.”
Sanders predicted he’d win the Texas primary March 3.
He leads a UT/Texas Tribune poll released last week with 24% followed closely by former Vice President Joe Biden who has 22%.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is in third with 15%, followed by former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg with 10%, then former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg who has 7% and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has 3%.
Some of his supporters at his Mesquite rally said it’s the party, not Sanders, out of touch.
Colton Ogburn said, “He stands for working class people and I think that’s something the Democratic party has lost site of. When people say Bernie’s not a real Democrat, I say Bernie is the most true Democrat.”
But Eddie Reeves, an undecided Democrat, said he knows who he won’t be backing in the primary: Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. “I’m just not sure they can get elected. At the end of the day, I think they haven’t yet found a way to appeal to a broad swath of the electorate they’ll need to get elected.”
Some of Sanders’ supporters have accused Democratic party leaders of rigging the system against Sanders.
At his rallies, Sanders has turned up the heat on the party.
When asked how concerned he is that the Democratic party establishment would try to prevent him from winning the nomination, Sanders replied, “Hey, that’s the story of my life. I’ve been taking on the establishment my entire life. Whether it’sWall Street or the drug companies or the insurance companies.”
Analysts say Sanders has the most loyal supporters of any of the Democratic candidates.
Reeves said he hopes Wednesday night’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas will help him make up his mind.