Sanders vows to stay in 2020 race as Biden closes in on Democratic nomination

More than half of the pledged delegates have not yet been allotted, meaning that Biden cannot mathematically win the nomination until at least April 28

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to remain in the 2020 Democratic presidential race, despite another bruising night for his campaign on Tuesday.

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"What became even more apparent yesterday is that while we are currently losing the delegate count, we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas, which will determine the future of our country," Sanders said during a Wednesday press conference in Burlington, Vermont.

Joe Biden dealt a crushing blow to Sanders' campaign on Tuesday night when he won four of the six primary states, including the biggest delegate prize of the night, Michigan.

Sanders’ loss in Michigan, a once reliably blue state that flipped to President Trump four years ago, is particularly stunning. In 2016, a surprise upset against Hillary Clinton in the state revived his anti-establishment campaign.

The self-avowed democratic socialist, who two weeks ago emerged as an unlikely frontrunner in the Democratic Party, vowed to participate in the one-on-one debate with Biden in Phoenix on Sunday night -- and hinted at how he plans to attack the former vice president's voting record. Sanders listed a number of issues that he thinks Biden is weak on, including health care, climate change and student debt.

BIDEN, SANDERS TO DEBATE WITHOUT LIVE AUDIENCE AS CORONAVIRUS SPREADS

Sanders will likely face escalating pressure to exit the primary and unify the party after his path to the nomination considerably narrowed on Tuesday. But he concluded the presser, which lasted less than 20 minutes, by targeting President Trump, whom he previously called a "sexist, racist and homophobe."

"Donald Trump must be defeated," he said. "And I will do everything in my power to make that happen. On Sunday night, in the first one-on-one debate in this campaign, the American people will have the opportunity to see which candidate is best positioned to accomplish that goal."

To clinch the nomination, candidates need to secure 1,991 delegates of the 3,979 pledged delegates at the convention in Milwaukee this summer. Delegates are awarded based on caucuses and primaries throughout the nominating contest. Biden, fresh off the heels of a surprise run of victories on Super Tuesday, when he won 10 states, entered Tuesday with a slim delegate lead over the Vermont senator.

More than half of the pledged delegates have not yet been allotted, meaning that Biden cannot mathematically win the nomination until at least April 28.

According to the Associated Press's delegate tracker, Biden currently has 823 delegates. Sanders trails with 663.

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