Former and current aides and allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) expect the candidate to stay in the Democratic primary race even as his chances of winning shrink, according to a Politico report.
"What I know about Sen. Sanders's thought process and focus is, it's all about representing the movement and leading what he initially called the political revolution," Kurt Ehrenberg, who served as a political strategist for Sanders prior to leaving the campaign in September, told the outlet.
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"I think he's in. Who is going to advise him to drop out?" another former aide said. The aide added that current Sanders staffers can work for a Sanders-founded group after the campaign ends.
Justice Democrats, an influential far-left group that helped Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) win office in 2018, was founded by former Sanders staffers in the wake of his failed 2016 presidential run.
Another former senior adviser to Sanders told Politico the Vermont senator already has the political leverage to "influence the platform" of the Democratic Party.
While former vice president Joe Biden leads the delegate count by more than 100, he has shifted to the left to try to appeal to more ideological voters. Biden pledged to adopt Sanders's plan to offer free public college for families with incomes below $125,000, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) bankruptcy plan.
First: Bernie has put forward a plan that would make public colleges and universities free for families whose income is below $125,000. It's a good idea, and after consideration, I am proud to add it to my platform.
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 15, 2020
Sanders also has staff in place to compete in primaries through April 28, according to Politico. He could also benefit from the coronavirus pandemic, which has led several states to postpone primaries.
Voters in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois are expected to vote today. Biden is leading in all three states, and an across-the-board sweep could cement his delegate lead over Sanders.