— -- Presidential hopeful and underdog for the Democratic nomination Bernie Sanders said one of the reasons he is staying in the race is that he does not want Americans "voting for the lesser of two evils."
Sanders added that he will use Hillary Clinton's low favorability ratings as part of his case to Democratic party superdelegates that they should back him over her.
"We need a campaign, an election, coming up which does not have two candidates who are really very, very strongly disliked. I don't want to see the American people voting for the lesser of two evils," the senator told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos during an interview that will air on "This Week" Sunday. "I want the American people to be voting for a vision of economic justice, of social justice, of environmental justice, of racial justice."
Asked by Stephanopoulos whether he would describe Clinton as the lesser of two evils against Donald Trump, Sanders responded, "No, I wouldn't describe it, but that's what the American people are saying."
"If you look at the favorability ratings of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, both of them have very, very high unfavorables," Sanders added.
A NY Times/CBS poll this week found that nationwide voters have a more negative than positive opinion of both Donald Trump and Clinton. (Trump had a 55 percent unfavorable rating, and Clinton had a 52 percent unfavorable rating, according to the poll.) By comparison, only 34 percent of participants in the poll had an unfavorable view of Sanders, and 41 percent had a favorable view of him. However, a significant number, 26 percent, said they were undecided about the senator.
Sanders has long argued that although he is losing the primary fight to Clinton, party elites should consider how well he does with independents as one of the reasons he is better equipped to take on Trump in November.