Sanders still sees 'narrow path' to Democratic presidential nomination

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) says he still sees a “narrow path” to the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination despite trailing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE by an all but insurmountable margin among pledged delegates. 

“We’re about 300 delegates behind. Biden has 1,200, we have 900,” Sanders said in an interview on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” that aired late Monday night. “There is a path. It is admittedly a narrow path. But I would tell you, Seth, that there are a lot of people who are supporting me. We have a strong grass-roots movement who believe that we have got to stay in in order to continue the fight.”

The remarks indicate that Sanders will stay in the Democratic primary race despite a cavalcade of calls for him to withdraw, with many officials and observers citing Biden’s hefty advantage in delegates and national polling.

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Sanders’s camp has insisted that the Vermont Independent could continue to tout progressive issues if he stays in the race and try to push Biden further to the left on topics such as health care, climate change and more. Liberals have also noted that Sanders may have an extended runway to stay in the race after the postponement of a litany of primaries, preventing Biden from obtaining the necessary number of delegates to clinch the nomination until June at the earliest.

“Campaigns are an important way to maintain that fight and raise public consciousness on [these] issues,” Sanders said, citing his keystone “Medicare for All” policy, raising the federal minimum wage, boosting paid family and medical leave and more. “So that’s I think one of the arguments for going forward.”

Sanders specifically cited the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as evidence that progressive health care proposals like Medicare for All are necessary and deserve further debate. 

“A Medicare for All system is designed to provide quality care for all,” he said. “To do preventative work in order to prepare for some types of pandemics, not simply to make huge amounts of money for the insurance companies and the drug companies.” 

The remarks come as the presidential race is in limbo. Both Biden and Sanders have been forced off the campaign trail as they practice the social distancing recommended by health officials to blunt the spread of COVID-19. 

Sanders, who has mainly turned to hosting virtual town halls dedicated solely to the pandemic, noted it is a “very, very strange time for me,” noting, “We can’t do rallies. We can’t get out and do door-to-door stuff, which is what we like to do.”

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