U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders talks to reporters in New York City April 8, 2016. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will travel to the Vatican next week, setting up a possible meeting with Pope Francis that could serve to broaden his appeal to Catholic voters ahead of crucial nominating contests in a series of Northeastern states.In an interview on MSNBC, Sanders, who would be the first Jewish president if elected, described himself as a "big, big fan of the pope," who leads the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.Asked if Clinton was qualified for the presidency, Sanders replied, "Of course".A meeting with the pope could provide an electoral boost to Sanders, who has trailed Clinton in terms of support among America's Catholic Democrats.A survey by the Pew Research Center earlier this year found that while almost 70 percent of Catholic Democrats thought Clinton would make a good president, just 46 percent thought Sanders would be one.Clinton leads Sanders by almost 700 delegates -- 1,749 to 1,061 -- with 1,955 left to be allocated.
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