Bernie Sanders is suspending his second campaign for President as of this past Wednesday. The democratic-socialist Senator from Vermont made this decision after concluding there was not a feasible path to victory for his campaign, and an unwillingness to put people at risk given the current crisis presented by COVID-19.
The campaign termination was announced shortly before a live-streamed speech. In it, Sanders stated “I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour,” before offering his supporters that “while this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not.”
Sanders, who was at one point the front runner of the Democratic Primary race following victories in three out of four of the early voting states, faced multiple defeats once the pool of candidates had reduced down to just himself and former Vice President Joe Biden. Despite securing leads in youth voters, their turnout wasn’t enough to ultimately hold up to Biden’s stronghold in older demographics and moderate voters.
Sanders idealized path to victory was reliant on a “transformation of the electorate,” extending the voter base of those feeling disenfranchised with establishment Democrats. He admits that this surge, defined largely by increases in youth voters, didn’t ultimately transpire.
Shortly after Sanders announcement Wednesday, Biden extended his admiration towards the campaign while simultaneously expressing his desire to draw Bernie’s base into his own. Despite significant idealogical difference, the two camps have been in discussion on how to move Biden’s campaign further left.
While suspending his official campaign, Sanders will continue to stay on primary ballots in an attempt to amass delegates before the Democratic National Convention to maintain some influence on the platform.