Bernie Sanders: 'People Are Responding to Our Message'

The Democratic candidate spoke with ABC News' Martha Raddatz.

“You know, it’s not just in Iowa. It’s in New Hampshire. It’s all across this country,” he said on "This Week." "I think people are responding to our message."

“Democratic leaders are not dumb," said Sanders, the longest-serving independent member of Congress. "What they want and what I want is to make sure that we do not see a Republican gain control over the White House.

“And I think as these look around the country and see the kind of energy and see the kind of huge turnouts we're getting, seeing the kind of young people who, for the first time, are getting involved in the political process ... I think what these leaders -- maybe not today but in a couple months -- will say, 'You know, we want to win.'"

In the Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night, an overwhelming percentage of Sanders' supporters –- 96 percent -- said they support him and his ideas, while just 2 percent said they were supporting him out of opposition to Clinton.

“I believe that the United States should have the strongest military in the world. We should be working with other countries in coalition. And when people threaten the United States or threaten our allies, or commit genocide, the United States, with other countries, should be prepared to act militarily," he said.

“Do we need to go to war in every instance or can we bring pressure of sanctions and international pressure to resolve these conflicts?" he said. "War is a last resort, not the first resort. So you are looking at a guy, yes, there are times when you have to use force. No question about it. But that should be a last resort."

On the question of the use of drones to strike suspected terrorist targets, Sanders said he believed drone attacks had, at times, been effective.

"There are times and places where drone attacks have been effective. There are times and places where they have been absolutely counter-effective and have caused more problems than they have solved. When you kill innocent people, what the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been," he said. "So I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case."