Bernie Sanders announced Wednesday that he was suspending his presidential campaign.
He made the announcement on an all-staff conference call and then informed the press.
He livestreamed a message to supporters shortly before noon.
‘The future of this country is with our ideas,’ Sanders said then.
He explained that he would stay on the ballot in the states that have yet to hold primaries in order to accumulate delegates so progressives like him would have some sway at this summer’s Democratic National Convention.
Sanders said that Joe Biden ‘would be the nominee.’ And that after the convention they would take on President Trump together.
Out: Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, saw his fortunes rise and then fall over the course of the Democratic primaries, which kicked off in early February.
The race had been over for the Vermont senator since he lost Michigan to Biden in mid-March.
‘I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth,’ Sanders said Wednesday. He pointed out that he was about 300 delegates behind the former vice president. ‘The path toward victory is virtually impossible.’
‘I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful,’ Sanders continued. ‘So today I am announcing the suspension of my campaign.’
Sanders called it a ‘very difficult and painful decision.’
And he said he knew some of his most fervent supporters would not support him throwing in the towel.
‘I know there may be some in our movement who may not agree with this decision,’ Sanders said.
But the coronavirus pandemic, he added, played into his decision – as he needed to do ‘an enormous amount of work’ as part of his day job, that of a U.S. senator.
Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, saw his fortunes rise and then fall over the course of the Democratic primaries, which kicked off in early February.
Sanders had a strong performance in the first three races.
In Iowa, he tied Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, though the bigger story out of the Hawkeye State was an app malfunction that led to widespread reporting delays of the caucus results.
Sanders, Buttigieg and the rest of the 2020 contenders had moved on to New Hampshire by the time the results were finally reported.
In the Granite State, Sanders again benefitted from his next-door-neighbor status, winning the state, but only by 1.3 points over Buttigieg. Sen. Amy Klobuchar came in third.
It was in Nevada where Sanders cemented his frontrunner status.
He received 46.8 per cent of the vote in the caucus state, showing strength with Democratic Latino voters.
But Joe Biden finished in the top two for the first time – telling his supporters this was enough momentum for him to stay in the race.
South Carolina changed everything for both Biden and Sanders.
In the Palmetto State, Biden won with the help of the important endorsement of Rep. Jim Clyburn, Congress’ most powerful black lawmaker. And Biden beat Sanders by a commanding 28.5 points.
From there, Biden had all the momentum in the race – quickly snapping up endorsements from Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke, who had dropped out of the race previously.
On Super Tuesday, which took place three days later, Biden snapped up 11 of the 14 states that voted.
Sanders’ biggest prize, California, wasn’t called until the narrative was already set: Biden was again the frontrunner.
A week later, when Michigan voted as part of Super Tuesday II, Sanders lost his last, best chance of eating into Biden’s delegate lead.
Neither Biden nor Sanders have been able to actively campaign since the Super Tuesday races due to the coronavirus crisis.
Sanders was first to utilize livestream campaigning – holding coronavirus-themed events, usually with a musical guest also performing, which was typical for his campaign.
Biden was slower to adapt, but now has a television and livestream set up in his recreation room at his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
On Tuesday, Wisconsin Republicans made voters in that state vote amid the pandemic.