Calls for Bernie Sanders’s withdrawal from the presidential race continue to mount, but the Senator’s campaign said that he will continue to fight. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that the 2020 hopeful plans to participate in the April democratic debate if the Democratic National Committee decides to hold the scheduled event.
Concerns over the coronavirus left Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden sparring at an empty D.C. venue earlier this month, and to date, the DNC has not yet announced a media partner or site to host the April stage. Still, Sanders’s decision to announce his participation clearly demonstrates his willingness to continue his campaign, despite trailing Biden in delegates.
“Senator Sanders is still running for president,” Mike Casca, a top campaign official told the NYT. “If there is a debate in April, he plans to be there.”
Sanders led a crowded field of hopefuls throughout the Iowa, New Hampshire, and Vegas primaries and caucuses, but hit a stumbling block during the “First in the South ” primary. Biden walked away from South Carolina with a helpful endorsement from Congressman Jim Clyburn and managed to capture nearly 61 percent of the Black vote. Victories on Super Tuesday, “Super Tuesday II,” and the two states that voted last week, put Biden more than 300 delegates ahead of Sanders.
To date, the senator from Vermont has 910 delegates, compared to Biden’s 1,214. A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to secure the nomination. Though Sanders’s chances of capturing the nomination look doubtful, it has not stopped him from holding live-stream events amid the COVID-19 crisis. His last virtual address garnered more than a million viewers, according to his National Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray, and he’s been fervent about pushing his Medicare For All agenda.
The April debate may be the next time both Sanders and Biden address the masses. But for now, Xochitl Hinojosa, a spokeswoman for the DNC says, “We have no updates at this time. We are taking things day by day, as is the rest of the country.”