Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has suspended his 2020 presidential campaign, the Democratic candidate announced on Wednesday, after a lackluster primary showing and the Covid-19 pandemic ruled out any hope of victory.
Sanders announced he was dropping out of the race in an email to supporters, vowing that while “the campaign ends, the struggle continues.” His departure leaves former vice president Joe Biden as the sole Democratic candidate going into a nominating convention that has already been postponed until August due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wisconsin’s disastrous primary on Tuesday may have contributed to the senator’s decision to drop out, as voters braved the coronavirus and dozens of shuttered polling places to queue for hours in the hope of making their voices heard. Sanders had called for switching to mail-in ballots, a measure that was blocked at the last minute by the state supreme court.
Lagging behind his centrist rival by 303 delegates as of Wednesday, Sanders faced near-insurmountable odds of reaching the ‘magic number’ of 1,991 necessary to secure the party nomination.
Sanders took to Periscope to address his supporters after announcing his departure from the race, declaring that “our movement has won the ideological struggle” because progressive ideas like Medicare for All had gained wider acceptance.
The decision to drop out “has been very difficult and painful,” Sanders said.
“While we are winning the ideological battle…I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful,” Sanders acknowledged, congratulating Biden — “a very decent man, who I will work with to move our ideas forward” — on gaining the nomination.
However, Sanders revealed he would remain on the ballot in the primary states that have yet to vote, in an effort to exert pressure on the party’s platform for 2020. “Please stay in this fight…the struggle continues,” he implored his supporters.
Centrist Democrats had been calling on Sanders to drop out for weeks, insisting Biden’s victory was a foregone conclusion, even as their candidate’s TV appearances became markedly erratic and some questioned his fitness for office.
President Donald Trump weighed in on Sanders’ exit on Twitter, thanking Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren for diverting a hefty chunk of votes away from the candidate on Super Tuesday. The president remarked that the Democratic National Committee — which notoriously interfered in the 2016 race to tilt it in Hillary Clinton’s favor — had once again snatched victory from the Vermont senator’s hands.
Bernie Sanders is OUT! Thank you to Elizabeth Warren. If not for her, Bernie would have won almost every state on Super Tuesday! This ended just like the Democrats & the DNC wanted, same as the Crooked Hillary fiasco. The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2020
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Cornelius Rupert T.
Cornelius Rupert T.