Sen. Bernie Sanders said that he is staying in the presidential race but acknowledged that he is losing the electability argument to Joe Biden after bruising losses in a series of states.
“Last night, obviously, was not a good night for our campaign from a delegate point of view,” Sanders told reporters, referring to his losses to Biden in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho.
Sanders said that although he is trailing in the delegate count, polls show support for his agenda.
“Our campaign continues to win the vast majority of younger people,” Sanders said, adding that he is not just talking about those in their 20s but those in their 30s and 40s.
Sanders argued that Democrats should take those younger voters into account, as they are the future of the party and are embracing his agenda, which includes Medicare for All and tuition-free college and trade school education.
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“Today, I say to the Democratic establishment: in order to win in the future, you need to win the voters who represent the future of our country, and you must speak to the issues of concern to them,” Sanders said.
But Sanders acknowledged that “while our campaign has won the ideological debate, we are losing the debate over electability.” Pundits saw it as an unusual acknowledgement of the realities of his chances of winning the Democratic nomination. CNN’s Dana Bash described Sanders as being on the “top of the exit ramp,” with the speech being the first step toward an eventual departure from the race.
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Sanders won North Dakota’s presidential contest on Tuesday, while the Washington state primary remains too close to call.
Sanders said that he looked forward to the next presidential debate on Sunday, when he and Biden will face each other on the same stage for the first time.
The Vermont senator outlined a series of issues that he said Biden had to address at the event, including student debt, health care and climate change.
“Today I say to the Democratic establishment: In order to win the future, you need to win the voters who represent the future of our country, and you must speak to the issues of concern to them,” Sanders said.
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