Senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential race today, cementing the path to a showdown between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in November.
“I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth, and that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden,” said Sanders during an uncomfortable call with campaign staff.
“The path toward victory is virtually impossible,” he continued, “so while we are winning the ideological battle and while we are winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful. And so today I am announcing the suspension of my campaign.”
Unfortunately for Sanders, his campaign relied on small donations from individuals who are now scrambling to collect unemployment benefits. His decision, which he described as “difficult and painful,” is a major blow to progressives who were hoping 2020 would be the year they rose to the top.
“If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue the campaign. But it’s just not there,” said Sanders. To those who are frustrated by his decision, he added: “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.”
Sanders’s announcement comes weeks after the coronavirus pandemic delayed the Party’s nominating convention and halted all campaign events. The senator’s final talks, held virtually, focused on COVID-19 and how his socialist policies could have mitigated the damage.
“The current, horrific crisis were are now in has exposed for all to see how absurd our current, employer-based health insurance system is,” said Sanders. “The current economic downturn we are experiencing has not only led to a massive loss of jobs but has also resulted in millions of Americans losing their health insurance.”
Moving forward, Sanders has pledged to ‘work with Mr. Biden to move the Party’s progressive ideas forward.’ But he’s keeping his name on the ballot in the rest of this year’s primaries in hopes the results will enable him to exert some influence at this summer’s convention.
Joe Biden, who spoke with Sanders on Wednesday, described the senator as a “powerful voice for a fairer and more just America” who would continue to play a role in the election. Biden has already appealed to Sanders’s support base, knowing full well he must earn their support if he has any chance of defeating President Trump.
“And to [Sanders’s] supporters I make the same commitment: I see you, I hear you, and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country,” said Biden. “I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You are needed.”