BURLINGTON, Vermont — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced he is staying in the presidential race, despite the losses in Super Tuesday last week and the Democratic primaries Tuesday night.
“While we are currently losing the delegate counts, we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas that will determine the future of our county,” Sanders said in during his press conference in Burlington, Vermont, Wednesday.
This comes after the Vermont senator lost momentum in the Democratic primary after former Vice President Joe Biden hailed victory on Super Tuesday. After that, Sanders lost his front-runner status and has been falling behind Biden in delegate counts.
Sanders said that while Biden is doing well within older demographics, Sanders is the top choice for younger voters.
“In order to win in the future, you need to win the voters who represent the future of our country,” Sanders said. You must speak to the issues of concern to them.”
Biden has also gained support from several former presidential candidates, in efforts to help secure the moderate vote.
“While our campaign the ideological debate, we are losing the debate over electability,” Sanders said, referencing to Biden’s gain of support from people saying he has the best chance to defeat the president.
He said despite not having a “great night in delegate point-of-view” Tuesday night, the polls still reflect a majority support. Overall, Sanders said it is crucial to defeat President Donald Trump in November.
“I will do everything in my power to make that happen,” he said.
Sanders left the stage without taking questions.
Bernie Sanders after Super Tuesday 2.0
The Vermont senator did not publicly address his supporters Tuesday night after suffering a primary defeat. He instead returned to his home in Vermont.
By the end of the night, it was confirmed Biden had won Michigan, Missouri, Idaho and Mississippi. Sanders had only secured a win in North Dakota — one of the five states voting in the March 10 primary.
This was all after he announced canceling a rally in Cleveland because of concerns over the spread of coronavirus.
It left the question of whether Sanders would drop out from the race. However, this concerned young voters who said the senator embodies the dramatic change they crave.
It also leaves the question of whether young voters would rally behind Biden for the primary vote.
Joe Biden’s surge
As the former vice president’s confidence surged, supporters of Sanders acknowledged his campaign was facing an existential threat.
“Bernie Sanders has a mandate not to abandon the movement,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, former executive director of National Nurses United and a Sanders confidant. “He needs to stay in this race no matter what.”
She added: “Heroes aren’t made, they’re cornered. He is cornered.”
Sanders’ most prominent ally in Congress, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, couldn’t hide her disappointment after the March 10 primaries.
“There’s no sugarcoating it. Tonight’s a tough night,” she said in an Instagram live post. “Tonight’s a tough night for the movement overall. Tonight’s a tough night electorally.”
There was a concern even before polls closed Tuesday night. Sensing disaster, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee issued an afternoon statement calling for Sanders to not drop out — or at least not before Sunday’s debate.
“No quick Biden coronation,” said Maria Langholz, speaking for the group. “Win or lose tonight, Bernie should stay in the race until the March 15th debate at the earliest.”
However, Sanders was left isolated in his party after Elizabeth Warren dropped from the race last week — with a majority of former candidates standing behind Biden.
The Vermont senator entered an endorsement hiatus, earning his first endorsement from someone in Congress in nearly three weeks. Biden, on the other hand, has earned nearly 50 congressional endorsements in the last 11 days.
Who will be the nominee?
Beyond elected officials, the party’s infrastructure began lining up behind Biden in a more formal way after his second consecutive strong Tuesday.
The head of the most powerful super PAC in Democratic politics, Priorities USA, pledged allegiance to Biden as the scope of his latest victory set in.
“The math is now clear,” tweeted Priorities Chairman Guy Cecil. “Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee for president.”
The math is now clear. Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee for President and @prioritiesUSA is going to do everything we can to help him defeat Donald Trump in November. I hope others will join us in the fight.
— Guy Cecil (@guycecil) March 11, 2020
He vowed his organization would do “everything we can to help him defeat Donald Trump in November.”
He added: “I hope others will join us in the fight.”
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