Speed Reads

2020 Campaign

Could the coronavirus allow Sanders to rally? Some advisers think it's unlikely.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reportedly often agonizes over big decisions, and one Democrat who has known the senator for years told Politico he's likely "in his rumination phase" which will soon result in a decision about the future of his presidential candidacy.

Sanders has reportedly been encouraged by a small group of his top aides and allies — including his campaign manager Faiz Shakir and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) — to consider dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary, as it looks more likely his competitor, former Vice President Joe Biden, will emerge as the nominee. Those who support suspending the campaign reportedly believe if he exits on good terms with Biden, he'll have more leverage agenda-wise over the long haul.

But others reportedly think he has a chance to mount a comeback, especially as the country reels from the novel coronavirus pandemic. That's contrary to popular wisdom, which points to the pandemic putting the primary on the back burner, freezing it in place and allowing Biden to maintain his commanding lead. But, per Politico and The Washington Post, the fact that moderates and conservatives are considering ideas like free coronavirus treatment gives some Sanders supporters hope that his Medicare-for-all proposal will come back into the spotlight. The Post also notes the virus has delayed many primaries, temporarily sparing him more defeats, and perhaps buying some time to rally.

At the end of the day, though, the polls suggest that's likely wishful thinking — Biden's lead still looks quite comfortable, and one source told the Post that Sanders himself has warmed to the idea of bowing out. Read more at The Washington Post and Politico.