Bernie Sanders Says It's 'an Awkward Position' but He's Still 'in the Race' for the Democratic Nomination

UPDATE: April 8, 11:39 a.m. EST — Bernie Sanders announced on Wednesday that he is dropping out of the race for president.

Original story:

Bernie Sanders reiterated that he remains in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, although he admitted that it's "an awkward position" as he trails former Vice President Joe Biden and has a "very narrow" path to victory.

Sanders, a progressive independent senator from Vermont, discussed his campaign, the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic and his life in quarantine in an interview with The Nation published on Tuesday. The Democratic presidential hopeful said that he is in constant conversation with his supporters about how his campaign should proceed.

"Our campaign is different from other campaigns in the sense that, as we've said during the campaign, it is not just about me. Obviously, I make the final decision about where we go. But I don't make it alone," Sanders said.

Bernie Sanders
In this screengrab taken from a berniesanders.com webcast, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders talks about his plan to deal with the coronavirus pandemic on March 17 in Washington, D.C. berniesanders.com/Getty

The senator from Vermont explained that he is "reasonably good at arithmetic" and understood that he'd have an uphill battle to secure the Democratic Party's nomination at this point. However, he pointed out that the race remains in limbo, as many states have postponed their primaries while he and Biden are forced to campaign via video streams from quarantine.

"As of today, we are in the race. But that's what I mean by 'assessing.' We are listening to our people and, you know, we've got to make the best decision that we can," Sanders said. "That's all. It's an awkward position, and that's why I use the word 'assessing.'"

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin moved forward with its primary election on Tuesday after a partisan battle between the state's Democratic governor and the Republican-controlled legislature. While Governor Tony Evers tried to postpone the election and/or expand the ability of residents to vote by mail, GOP lawmakers in the state pushed for the election to move forward as planned. After a series of court battles, the vote by mail option was not expanded and the election was not postponed.

"It's outrageous that the Republican legislative leaders and the conservative majority on the Supreme Court in Wisconsin are willing to risk the health and safety of many thousands of Wisconsin voters tomorrow for their own political gain," Sanders tweeted on Monday.

"Let's be clear: holding this election amid the coronavirus outbreak is dangerous, disregards the guidance of public health experts, and may very well prove deadly. For that reason, our campaign will not be engaged in any traditional GOTV [get out the vote] efforts," he added.

Biden took a more neutral stance during a virtual press briefing last Thursday. "There's a lot of things that can be done; that's for the Wisconsin courts and folks to decide," he said

A survey conducted by the Marquette Law School at the end of March showed Biden beating Sanders by double digits in the Wisconsin primary. Similarly, most national polls show Biden as the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination, while the former vice president has already garnered just over 300 more pledged delegates than Sanders in the primaries and caucuses held until now.

Morning Consult's most recent polling data, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point, shows Biden with support from 61 percent of Democratic voters nationwide. Sanders is backed by only 36 percent.