BURLINGTON, Vt. — Senator Bernie Sanders will appear at a 1 p.m. news conference on Wednesday to provide an update on the future of his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, a day after a series of crushing losses to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. that significantly narrowed his path to victory.
Mr. Sanders spent the morning at home with his wife, Jane, on Wednesday, while aides and advisers debated the way forward in his increasingly long-shot campaign. He canceled a scheduled conference call with surrogates, saying in an email to them that it would be rescheduled “so that we can better provide you with the most updated plans for upcoming states,’’ according to a copy obtained by The New York Times.
Top aides gathered Wednesday morning in the lobby of Burlington’s Hotel Vermont, surrounded by luggage tagged with Mr. Sanders’s name on it as they prepared for an early-afternoon flight to Teterboro, N.J., for the Vermont senator’s scheduled appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night television show. Sanders’s advance team arranged a conference room at the hotel with a retinue of American flags. Sanders aides from around the country were gathering at the hotel, greeting each other, but provided no further information about the 1 p.m. appearance or what might be next for the campaign.
After getting pummeled in the Super Tuesday nominating contests last week, Mr. Sanders incurred a similar drubbing on Tuesday night, including in Michigan, where he had deployed resources and time in a final attempt to regain momentum. Mr. Sanders watched the results at his home with his wife while his aides gathered elsewhere, and later he opted not to make any public remarks.
Mr. Sanders had planned to hold a Friday rally in downstate Illinois, an event that aides now say will not happen because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. On Tuesday, he canceled a planned primary night rally in Cleveland. It’s not likely Mr. Sanders will be able to hold his signature rallies — which provide the evidence, as he says regularly, that his is the campaign of energy and enthusiasm — in the immediate future.
Instead the Sanders campaign is planning virtual campaign events such as tele-town halls and live-streamed events. But it’s not clear how Mr. Sanders will demonstrate the energy he boasts about from behind a computer screen or over a telephone line.
On Tuesday night, his most prominent surrogate, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, told viewers on her Instagram live stream that the election results were a setback for the progressive movement.
Aides say Mr. Sanders had plans to participate in the debate on Sunday in Phoenix, which would be his first and possibly last opportunity face Mr. Biden one on one. Some inside the campaign have said their last chance to compete with Mr. Biden may be if the national public gets to see the former vice president up close, pointing to his fourth-place finish Iowa as evidence of what happens when voters get to know him.
Mr. Sanders has some $9 million worth of ads booked through March 17, including a $2 million buy this week.