Bernie Sanders Claims Momentum Despite Being ‘Decimated’ in South Carolina's Democratic Primary

Sanders appeared on "This Week"

ByABC News
February 28, 2016, 11:23 AM

— -- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders believes his campaign still has the momentum to win the Democratic presidential nomination despite being “decimated” by Hillary Clinton in the party's South Carolina primary.

“I think it's going to be a tough fight,” Sanders told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday on "This Week." “I think we can win this thing.”

Sanders, who finished with a mere 26 percent of the vote, found a silver lining in results in the voting of one demographic of the South Carolina electorate.

“We got decimated. The only positive thing was for us is we won the 29 years of age and younger vote,” he said. “But we got killed.”

African-American voters played a significant role in dealing Sanders the loss. Blacks accounted for 61 percent of South Carolina's Democratic primary voters in ABC News exit poll results and Sanders only won 14 percent of their votes.

Sanders said he “absolutely” must do better with black voters to even have a chance at winning the Democratic nomination.

“I think you’re going to see us doing –- and I think the polls indicated -– much better within the African-American community outside of the Deep South,” Sanders said.

Sanders pointed to New York, California and Michigan as states where he believes he can pick up enough delegates to take back the race -– but they are primaries after the upcoming Super Tuesday ones in which polls have shown Clinton with large leads in states like Georgia, Tennessee and Texas.

With large African-American and Latino populations, the demographics in the Super Tuesday states also give Clinton a sharp advantage, and without wins there, the opening for a Sanders comeback narrows.

“We think we’ve got a lot of work in front of us, but, George, I think we can win this thing,” Sanders said.