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Bernie Sanders on eve of New York primary: Don't underestimate us

The Vermont senator takes on chances he has for winning New York's Democratic primary election.
/ Source: TODAY

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders dismissed the “public polls” that he says underestimate his chance of defeating frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the crucial New York election on Tuesday.

“Let’s look at the real poll tomorrow. Generally speaking, polling errors underestimated how we’re doing in elections,” he said on TODAY Monday morning, pointing out his campaign trailed by as much as 25 points in some polls in Michigan, which he ended up winning.

Sanders also dismissed the notion that he would have little chance to secure the nomination should he lose New York.

“Pundits told me that when we began this campaign there would be no chance that we would go anywhere — well, here we are, having won eight out of the nine last caucuses and primaries," the Vermont senator said.

“We have a message that is resonating all over this country. We have enthusiasm, we have energy. People understand it’s too late for establishment politics and economics. They want real change in this country.”

Both Sanders and Clinton have been campaigning in New York ahead of Tuesday's presidential primary, but Sanders took a detour over the weekend to fly to Vatican City to attend a social justice and economic conference. During his visit, he met briefly with Pope Francis, calling the occasion an "honor and a joy."

Sanders said the meeting should not be seen as an endorsement.

On TODAY, Sanders also:

  • Described the nickname Republican candidate Donald Trump has been using for Clinton — "crooked HIllary" — an "ugly statement." He said it’s the overall campaign finance structure that needs to be criticized and overhauled. “We have a corrupt system. I’m very proud that we’re doing it differently.”
  • Supported legislation to allow families affected by the September 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. Sanders said “it’s important point we do understand the role that Saudis may have played.”
  • Vowed to spend less on nuclear proliferation and more on the nation’s health care, education and other domestic problems. He said he would also encourage China and Russia to do the same. “The goal is to move to get rid of nuclear weapons, not to get into an arms race. We have other, more important things to spend our money on.”