BURLINGTON, Vt. (Reuters) – Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders plans to stay in the White House race despite suffering a series of sweeping losses in nominating contests to front-runner Joe Biden, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Sanders will provide a “campaign update” at a 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) news conference in his home state of Vermont, the U.S. senator’s campaign said, but the Post reported he does not intend to suspend his campaign.
Biden, the former vice president, notched decisive primary victories in Michigan and three other states on Tuesday, taking a big step toward the party’s nomination to take on Republican Donald Trump in November and casting doubt on the future of Sanders’ fading White House bid.
Sanders, who won in North Dakota but had hoped for an upset victory in Michigan to boost his flagging chances, was forced to cancel an election night rally in Cleveland due to concerns over the coronavirus and has yet to comment on the results.
Biden, 77, has already begun to look ahead to the general election, calling for party unity and making an appeal to supporters of Sanders, 78.
“We share a common goal, and together we are going to defeat Donald Trump,” Biden said in Philadelphia, thanking Sanders and his supporters for their energy and passion.
Just two weeks ago, Sanders was seen as the front-runner after an impressive win in Nevada in mid-February, while Biden and the other moderate candidates continued to split the vote of the party’s centrists. But Biden has scored a series of victories since.
Reporting by Michael Martina in Detroit, John Whitesides in Washington and Trevor Hunnicutt in Philadelphia; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Ginger Gibson and Chris Kahn in Washington; Writing by Joseph Ax; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis