Senator Bernie Sanders Drops Out of Presidential Race


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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivers a campaign at the Hotel Vermont on March 11, 2020

Raquel Perry, Reporter/Marketing Manager

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont suspended his presidential bid on Wednesday, automatically making Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee to challenge President Donald Trump in November.

Sanders ran on the hope for a political “revolution” and advocated his single-payer “Medicare for All” plan on the campaign trail. He also promised to cancel student debt and pass free universal child care. Sanders had been running on high after securing a trio of primary victories in early voting states. The senator won the popular vote in Iowa, finished first in New Hampshire, and came out nearly 20 percentage points ahead of his next closest competitor in Nevada.

But the dynamics of the race then changed drastically after former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dropped out and endorsed Biden for the Democratic Party’s nomination. A few weeks ago, Sanders fell short in the Florida, Arizona, and Illinois primaries. Biden emerged as the Democratic front-runner after his make-or-break win in South Carolina in late February. Sanders found himself too far behind Biden to have any realistic hope of catching up in the delegate count.

“The path toward victory is virtually impossible,” Sanders told supporters Wednesday. “If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue the campaign, but it’s just not there.”

Sanders congratulated Biden on Wednesday but did not explicitly endorse him. He called his former rival “a very decent man who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward.” Sanders promised that if Biden won the Democratic nomination, he would support him in the general election against President Donald Trump.

Biden, who has been backed by much of the party’s former nominees, spoke about Sanders’ drop out at a virtual fundraiser on Wednesday. “He didn’t just run a political campaign. He created a movement,” Biden said. “That’s a good thing for our nation and our future. His campaign has ended, but I know his leadership will continue.”

This marks the end for Bernie Sanders as a presidential candidate in 2020, but it may not yet be the end of his movement.

“As you all know, we have never been just a campaign. We are a grassroots, multi-racial, multi-generational movement which has always believed that real change never comes from the top on down, but always from the bottom on up,” Sanders said in a virtual address to supporters. “While this campaign is coming to an end, this movement is not.”