Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Wednesday announced he is staying in the presidential race, in his first public remarks since losing the majority of Mini Tuesday primaries to former Vice President Joe Biden.
“On Sunday, I very much look forward to the debate in Arizona with my friend, Joe Biden,” Sanders said at a press conference in his hometown of Burlington.
“While our campaign has won the ideological debate, we are losing the debate over electability,” Sanders asserted. The Vermont senator also said he was winning the “generational debate,” as he performs consistently better among young voters while Biden relies on older voters for support.
Currently, Biden holds 857 delegates to Sanders’s 709. The next set of Democratic primaries, scheduled for March 17, will be held in Ohio, Arizona, Illinois, and Florida. Polls currently show Biden gaining support from Latinos, an important Sanders constituency, in Arizona, while a majority of Florida Latinos support Biden.
Earlier on Wednesday, Biden campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield reached out to Sanders supporters.
“Our message is, we’re building a movement to defeat Trump and we would love to have you,” Bedingfield told Fox News. “I think that there is a lot more that unites us than divides us.
On Tuesday Sanders lost the Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho and Michigan primaries to Biden. Sanders captured North Dakota and is posied to win Washington as well, though not by the wide margin his campaign initially expected. In 2016 Sanders had bested Hillary Clinton in Michigan in an upset primary race, but Biden managed to increase voter turnout and won every county in the state.
Sanders’s strong support from people under the age of 40 as well as among Latinos helped drive his earlier victories in California and Nevada. Meanwhile, Biden rode a wave of support from moderate and African American voters to victories in both Mini Tuesday and Super Tuesday primaries.