Pelosi says Sanders should stay in 2020 race: ‘I'm a grassroots person’

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday – unprompted – encouraged Sen. Bernie Sanders to stay in the 2020 presidential race despite his recent string of losses to former Vice President Joe Biden.

“In case you were going to ask, no, I don't think Bernie Sanders should get out of the race," Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference at the Capitol.

"I'm a grassroots person," Pelosi said, citing her former chairmanship of the California Democratic Party. "I know the enthusiasm of supporters for candidates and they want to see it play out for the ideas, the causes that the candidate advances, with the opportunity for people to show their support."

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Sanders, I-Vt., lost the delegate prize of Michigan on Tuesday, a state he won in 2016 against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Despite a strong start in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, Sanders' campaign has taken a downward turn and talk of a potential exit is growing.

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Sanders on Wednesday pledged to stay in the race, while signaling terms he expects from Biden in exchange for a possible exit — such as embracing the self-described democratic socialist's progressive agenda and a commitment to the younger voters who’ve fueled both of Sanders' presidential campaigns.

Sanders and Biden will face each other in a debate Sunday.

"I congratulate both of the candidates as they go into the debate on Sunday [and] wish them both well," Pelosi said.

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Biden had a terrible start to his campaign, but staged a big comeback in South Carolina and went on to win 10 of the 14 states on Super Tuesday. His winning streak continued this week with victories in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho.

The road ahead looks rocky for Sanders. The large states of Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Arizona all hold primaries next Tuesday, followed a week later by Georgia. Sanders lost all five of these states in the 2016 Democratic race to eventual nominee Clinton.

Biden currently has 864 delegates, compared with Sanders' 710 delegates. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has two. A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to become the Democratic presidential nominee.

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.