Sanders Assessing Campaign After Biden’s Three-State Sweep

Bernie Sanders is staying in the 2020 presidential race for now, but his campaign manager said Wednesday that he that the Vermont senator is speaking with supporters to “assess his campaign” moving forward.

But, the campaign is already shrinking its footprint, as it canceled all of its digital ads on Wednesday. Spokesman Mike Cascasaid the digital ads were deactivated because the campaign was “conserving resources.”

The statement from his campaign came after another tough primary night for Sanders on Tuesday, when former Vice President Joe Biden swept primaries in Arizona, Illinois and Florida, where he took every county. It was the third consecutive week that Biden won the majority of contests.

“The next primary contest is at least three weeks away,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s campaign manager, said in the statement. Sanders “is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign.”

In the meantime, Shakir added, “he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.”

In a later email to supporters, Shakir said Sanders would be in the Senate on Wednesday where he will take a vote on the coronavirus legislation. After the vote, Sanders and his wife, Jane, will head back to Vermont to have conversations with supporters about the status of the campaign, Shakir said.

Sanders delivered an address on the pandemic Tuesday night as results first began to roll in from Florida, but he did not mention the contests, his campaign or Biden’s candidacy. He did not speak again after results from all of the primary states were reported.

When Biden spoke after the results were clear, he called on Sanders’s supporters to unite behind him. The former vice president now has a 284-delegate lead over Sanders and more than half the nearly 2,000 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

“Senator Sanders and his supporters have brought a remarkable passion and tenacity,” Biden said from his home in Delaware.

Addressing Sanders’s supporters directly, he added: “I hear you, I know what’s at stake, I know what we have to do. Our goal as a campaign and my goal as a candidate for president is to unify this party and then to unify the nation.”

Sanders went from winning the popular vote in the first three primary contests in February to quickly falling behind Biden, who got the support of other leading moderate candidates after his commanding win in South Carolina.

The coronavirus outbreak hit the Sanders campaign at a time when he was already lagging behind Biden in national and primary-state polls, and it has prevented him from holding his signature large rallies, which have revved up his base. Both Sanders and Biden have live-streamed events in recent days as they have tried to reach supporters during the outbreak.

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