Bernie Sanders promised on Wednesday to remain and push forward in the presidential race despite the latest losses his campaign suffered last Tuesday, including the new challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
The senator from Vermont admitted that Tuesday “was not a good night for our campaign from a delegate point of view.” Even so, he said he would stay in the race at least through Sunday’s debate with former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Donald Trump must be defeated, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen. On Sunday night, in the first one-on-one debate of this campaign, the American people will have the opportunity to see which candidate is best positioned to accomplish that goal,”
Sanders spoke to reporters from his headquarters in Vermont. He was in Burlington on Wednesday for the first time since another round of Democratic primaries dampened his hopes of winning the Democratic party’s nomination.
Results from the “Super Tuesday Sequel” did nothing for the senator’s plan to rack up a majority of pledged delegates. Carried by projected wins in Mississippi, Missouri, Idaho, and all critical Michigan, Biden took a decisive step toward facing Trump in November. Sanders will win North Dakota’s caucus, while Washington state’s primary is still too close to call, according to NBC News projections.
The coronavirus pandemic has also hampered Sanders’ efforts to keep pace with Biden. The senator, who relies on packed events to hearten his supporters, way more than his rival, had to cancel a rally in Cleveland on Tuesday because of the crisis. Biden canceled a primary night event in Cleveland, too, choosing to address a smaller group of supporters in Philadelphia for his victory speech.
Sanders was widely considered the front-runner just two weeks ago and now is in dire need of a turnaround — like the kind Biden saw when his campaign was floundering right before the South Carolina primary in February. His last chance to alter the result of the race will come during the debate on Sunday.