Biden ‘confident’ he’s the Democratic nominee, despite Sanders claiming he still has 'path'

Sen. Bernie Sanders argues that there’s still “a narrow path” for him to win the Democratic presidential nomination – but front-runner Joe Biden disagrees, saying he feels “confident” he will be the party’s nominee.

Starting with his landslide victory in South Carolina one month ago, Biden has crushed populist senator from Vermont and built up a large lead in the crucial race for convention delegates, making him the all-but-certain Democratic nominee.

Biden also enjoys a massive wave of support from former 2020 rivals and leading Democratic members of Congress, governors, unions and other groups, as much of the party consolidated behind the former vice president’s White House bid.

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Sanders, however, said Monday in an appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" that “we’re about 300 delegates behind. Biden has 1,200. We have 900. There is a path.”

The progressive champion who’s making his second straight White House run then acknowledged, “It is admittedly a narrow path.”

“There are a lot of people who are supporting me," he then said. " We have a strong grassroots movement, who believe that we have got to stay in order to continue the fight to make the world know that we need 'Medicare-for-all,' that we need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, that we need paid family and medical leave.”

Meanwhile, in an interview Tuesday night with MSNBC, Biden emphasized that even with Sanders staying in the race he felt “confident about being the nominee. I don’t see much that’s going to make it — be able to change that.”

And Biden's campaign - in a fundraising email Wednesday to supporters - described their candidate as the "crystal clear frontrunner."

The former vice president needs the backing of Sanders and his legions of younger voters and progressives to fully unite the party as he prepares to challenge President Trump in the general election. He acknowledged Tuesday that “Bernie has a lot of very, very strong and ardent followers and I think that it’s a hard decision. I’m not going to tell him whether he has to stay in or get out. That’s his decision.”

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Back in 2016, after a divisive primary battle, Sanders eventually endorsed nominee Hillary Clinton. But some of his supporters ended up sitting out the general election, backing the Libertarian or Green Party nominees, or voting for Trump, which helped the GOP nominee capture the White House.

Asked if his campaign’s been in contact with their counterparts at the Sanders campaign, Biden said, “We’ve been talking to Bernie’s people. I have respect for him, and I think there ought to be a way we could accommodate his concerns on other matters, in terms of everything from people being engaged in his organization — I think there’s a lot of things that can be done. But that’s a decision for Bernie to make.”

The coronavirus outbreak, meanwhile, has frozen the Democratic primary calendar, forcing states to delay their primaries until late May or June and preventing Biden from officially clinching the nomination until then.