(CBS) – Bernie Sanders loyalists packed Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre Monday night as the Democratic presidential candidate held a late-night rally on the eve of the Illinois primary.
Sanders’ advisers saw a path to victory in Missouri and the potential for success in Illinois and Ohio, two states that have similar electorates as Michigan, where the U.S. senator from Vermont upset front-runner Hillary Clinton last week.READ MORE: Five Things We Know About The Adam Toledo Police Shooting Case
Sanders riled up supporters at the late night rally, urging them to take him to victory on Tuesday. They lined up early and long under the L tracks along Wabash, several hours before Sanders’ scheduled arrival late Monday.
“Let us see this great state help lead the country into a political revolution,” he said.
Seizing on an issue of particular importance in Chicago, Sanders pledged to reduce street crime if he’s president. So far this year, shootings and homicides have far outpaced 2015, and Chicago is on track for nearly 600 homicides in 2016, a level not seen since 2003.
“We have got to come together to end this outrageous level of violence,” he said.
Hoping to slow Hillary Clinton’s momentum, Sanders is looking for upsets in Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri.READ MORE: Chicago Public Library Posts Archive Of Speeches By Mayor Harold Washington, Born 99 Years Ago Thursday
But, the Vermont senator faces an uphill battle in the delegate-rich states of Florida and North Carolina, where Clinton holds a sizeable lead.
Clinton was in Chicago earlier Monday. She urged her supporters to help. Recent polls show a tight race with Sanders in Illinois, where she once held a commanding lead in the polls.
“Do not rest. If there’s an L stop you can go to, if there’s a phone call you can make, if there’s a door you can knock on, if there’s a person you can convince, please do everything you can in the next 24-plus hours,” she said.
Clinton did not meet with embattled Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has supported her. Sanders, in turn, has tried to make Emanuel a political liability.
On Monday, the mayor’s office issued this statement:
“Bernie Sanders will leave town and take his empty promises with him, and Mayor Emanuel will be right here doing the hard work to move Chicago forward and create opportunities for our residents.”MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Cooler Than Normal