Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, and senior adviser, Jeff Weaver, have likewise declined to answer questions from POLITICO about what his path looks like. While it’s not yet mathematically impossible for him to win, Sanders would need to amass more than 60 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination — a mark he’s only hit in two states this year, Nevada and his home state of Vermont…

Another possible reason for not explaining his long-shot course to victory: it depends on something his staff and allies have for the most part only whispered about — an epic Biden collapse. But his remarks also suggest that Sanders could decide to remain in the race even absent a path in hopes of tugging Biden to the left, a task many progressives see as even more critical amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic meltdown.

“He knows he has a mathematical path if he starts to win these primaries, and they’re primaries he’s won before in 2016,” said Larry Cohen, chairman of the Sanders-founded group Our Revolution, who has known Sanders for nearly 30 years. “But he always knows that he is the leader of the progressive Democrats and there’s millions of them left to vote and delegate count matters in terms of leverage.”