Green Party presidential candidate: Staying in the race could move Democrats further left

Presumptive Green Party presidential nominee Howie Hawkins said Tuesday that while the party isn’t likely to win in November, wider support for it could highlight progressive causes within the Democratic Party.

“The risk of a Trump presidency is sinking fast,” Hawkins said on Hill.TV’s “Rising.”

“His polls are sinking; I’m not so worried about Trump now.”

Hawkins won 5 percent of the vote in a 2010 bid against New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York bans underage marriages, raises age of consent to 18 Former speed skater launches bid for Stefanik seat Don't let the rule of law become a victim of COVID-19 MORE (D). He said that after that, the party was able to secure progressive policy stances from the Cuomo administration. 

Hawkins added that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense: Senate panel adds B to Biden's defense budget | House passes bill to streamline visa process for Afghans who helped US | Pentagon confirms 7 Colombians arrested in Haiti leader's killing had US training On The Money: Senate braces for nasty debt ceiling fight | Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan deal | Housing prices hit new high in June Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks MORE "is a war hawk, he is a fiscal hawk, he is not for the people.” 

“This is an opportunity for people to vote for what they want. We may not win the presidency but a big vote can give us leverage going forward,” he said.

Hawkins said the Green Party hopes to court some of the supporters of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersProtect women's right to choose how and when they work Senate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight Schumer leaves door open for second vote on bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (I-Vt.), who ended his Democratic primary campaign earlier this year. Sanders has endorsed Biden and has joined other progressives in trying to influence the former vice president's campaign. 

“When you vote for Biden they don’t know you’re a Sanders progressive,” Hawkins said. “You voted for Biden and what he stands for… If that’s what you want to vote for, fine, but it’s not what you were voting for when you were voting for Bernie Sanders.”

In 2016, then-Green Party nominee Jill Stein secured 1.7 percent of the popular vote and no Electoral College delegates.