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Bernie Sanders said at a press conference Wednesday that he will not suspend his presidential campaign after a second consecutive week of bruising primary losses to Joe Biden, telling reporters that he looks forward to Sunday's one-on-one debate.

Why it matters: Sanders' path to the nomination narrowed significantly after Biden built up his delegate lead in most of the states that voted Tuesday — including the key prize of Michigan, where Sanders' surprise win over Hillary Clinton in 2016 gave him a needed boost of momentum.

What he's saying: "What became even more apparent yesterday is that while we are currently losing the delegate count — approximately 800 delegates for Joe Biden and 660 for us — we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas which will determine the future of our country," Sanders said.

  • "Poll after poll, including exit polls, show that a strong majority of the American people support our progressive agenda."
  • "We are winning the generational debate. While Joe Biden continues to do very well with older Americans, especially those people over 65, our campaign continues to win the vast majority of the votes of younger people."

Between the lines: Sanders could have gone scorched earth on Biden — and he still could at Sunday's debate — but instead he took a more measured tone as part of a clear strategy to pressure Biden to adopt more progressive policies and language.

  • Sanders said Sunday's debate will show voters which candidate is best positioned to beat Trump — but we’ve seen throughout this cycle how debates don’t really change the standings of the race, and it's especially unlikely to happen this late in the primary.
  • It's more likely that Sanders will use the debate as a last push to define the policy parameters of the race.

The big picture: Sanders is facing calls to drop out from some prominent members of the Democratic Party who believe it's time to pivot to defeating President Trump in the general election.

  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Tuesday that the Democratic National Committee should "step in" and cancel the debate now that Biden is the "prohibitive favorite" to win the nomination.
  • James Carville said on MSNBC: "Let's shut this puppy down. ... This thing is decided."
  • David Axelrod on CNN: "You’re gonna see enormous pressure from all elements of the party to yield to the results that we now can see."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
36 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Exxon says it's well-positioned amid investor pressure

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

ExxonMobil said Wednesday that its oil-and-gas development plans will create good returns even at modest oil prices as the company looks to win back investor confidence after several rocky years.

Driving the news: The company, just ahead of an investor presentation this morning, said its investments are designed to generate returns of over 30% and touted its spending reductions.

52 mins ago - Technology

Google says goodbye to individual user tracking

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Google made clear Wednesday that after it finished phasing out third-party cookies over the next year or so, it won't introduce other forms of identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web.

Why it matters: The move comes amid increased scrutiny over the way tech giants use consumer data to reinforce their dominance, particularly around personalized advertising.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.