The 2016 presidential race is heating up as Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders face off against lone GOP candidate and potential nominee Donald Trump. Trump’s sweeping victory in Indiana’s primary Tuesday prompted Republican senator Ted Cruz (Texas) and Ohio governor John Kasich to drop out of the race.
Senator Sanders also snagged a win in the Hoosier state, but unfortunately the victory didn’t do much to boost his numbers. He has no intention of following in the footsteps of Cruz and Kasich and exiting the race, however. Clinton has no plans of forcibly pushing him out either, CNN.com reports.
Senator Clinton currently holds 92 percent of the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination and has secured another 37 pledged delegates in Indiana. This means Sanders needs to obtain “65 percent of all remaining pledged delegates for a pledged majority and 82 percent of all delegates including remaining superdelegates — to pull past Clinton overall,” NPR states.
Even though the former Secretary of State has a large lead over Sanders, the Vermont senator still hopes he can snag the democratic nomination.
“We think we have a path toward victory — admittedly it is a narrow path,” Sanders said.
The 74-year-old Brooklyn native is also making efforts to convince superdelegates that he is the better candidate to take on Trump, the Inquisitr reports.
“I think we have got to make the case that the superdelegates, who in many cases were on board [with] Hillary Clinton even before I got in the race, that they should take a hard look at which candidate is stronger against Donald Trump,” explained Sanders. “And I think we can make that case.”
NPR’s Steve Inskeep interviewed Sanders, inquiring if he was “threatening revolution” by choosing to remain in the presidential race, thus “alienating some Democrats from voting for Hillary Clinton eventually.” Sanders asserted that he has every intention of fighting until the last primary in Washington, D.C. to generate political discussions and encourage more people to get involved in the political process.
“I think we are perpetuating the political revolution by significantly increasing the level of political activity that we’re seeing in this country,” he told Inskeep on Morning Edition. “Millions of people are now coming into the political process as the result of what our campaign is about. I think it is good for the Unites States of America, good for the Democratic Party, to have a vigorous debate, to engage people in the political process.”
While Sanders is contemplating his next move in the presidential race, former first lady Clinton is hoping for a one-on-one face-off between her and Trump, taking on the GOP front-runner by herself. Per CNN.com, Democrats close to Clinton and President Barack Obama say they will not pressure Sanders to exit the race. They’re afraid such a move would cause division among Democrats, making it harder to unite the party later on in the year.
The news organization also reports that Clinton will continue rallying around Sanders and his supporters, treating the Vermont senator’s campaign with respect. She hopes showing her support will increase the likelihood of Sanders’ supporters backing her against Trump.
“I’m not calling myself that [the presumptive nominee],” Clinton told Anderson Cooper on Wednesday. “I know there are some contests ahead and I respect senator Sanders and whatever choices he’s making. And I have a lot of empathy about this, Anderson. You know, I ran to the very end in 2008.”
Obama’s staff also concedes that there’s no rush to push Sanders out.
“The key here is unifying the party,” said one Democrat familiar with the White House’s thinking. “So with that in mind, we are being careful to let the process play through and provide the space for there to be a unifying moment for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.”