Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) drops out of the 2020 presidential race, ceding the Democratic nomination to Joe Biden and a general election showdown with President Trump.
“Today I am suspending my campaign,” Sanders wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning. “But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on.”
Sanders made the announcement first in a conference call with his campaign staff, his campaign said.
“The path toward victory is virtually impossible,” Sanders said in a livestream to supporters. “I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful. I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign I cannot win and which would interfere the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour.”
He congratulated Biden as a “very decent man” and said that he will will work him, but declined to fully endorse him. However, Sanders said he will continue to remain on the ballot and collect delegates in the remaining primaries, so the progressives side of the Democratic party would have some sway to influence the party on his political agenda at the Democratic National Convention, now being held in August.
“While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not,” Sanders said. “Together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history.”
Shortly after the announcement from Sanders, Biden issued a statement, praising the Vermont Sanders for doing “something rare in politics” by creating a powerful movement that he said is a “good thing for our nation and our future.”
“I see you, I hear you, and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country. I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You’re needed,” Biden wrote. “Together we will defeat Donald Trump.”
President Trump tweeted shortly after news broke out, blaming Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for staying in the race and splitting the progressive votes on Super Tuesday.
“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!,” Trump wrote.
After early strong performance in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada Democratic primary in February, it appeared that Sanders would take away with the nomination. That was until the end of February when Biden coming from behind and delivered a blowout victory in South Carolina. Since then, the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist would go on to lose a string of states to Biden. The winning spree from Biden in March included states that Sanders once won in 2016, his strong support from African Americans voters in the South, and older voters and white moderate voters in states Biden had never visited on the campaign trail.
The coronavirus pandemic began to disrupt the nation in mid-march, which led to a halt of the Democratic race that once dominated headlines for months. The 2020 race become an afterthought as the whole country is now focused solely on the pandemic.
The suspension marks Sanders’s second failed attempt at the Democratic nomination after he came up short against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.