Bernie Sanders has ended his presidential ambition amidst calls by his supporters to continue with his campaign. The two time presidential hopeful announced on Wednesday that he is calling it a quit.
“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, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible.
“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,” Sanders announced in a lifestream.
Sanders showed a promising campaign in the early stage of the Democratic rallies in the first three states in February. But Biden bounced back and took the lead as many prominent figures in the polity endorsed his campaign.
It was the second outing of Sanders for the U.S. presidential election, after losing to Hilary Clinton in 2016. His supporters had wanted him on the ballot this time but the odds appeared much against him forcing him to throw in the towel untimely.
His departure was rued by progressives who see his ideas as ideal to the many challenges facing the American people, he commanded the Democratic debates in issues like healthcare, climate change and equal wealth distribution from the onset. Sanders proposed answers that enticed many who saw him as a credible candidate to replace Donald Trump at the White House.
“Few would deny that over the past five years, our movement has won the ideological struggle. It was not long ago that people considered these ideas radical and fringe. Today, they are mainstream ideas. Many of them are already being implemented in cities and states across the country,” Sanders said on Wednesday.
Sanders’ idea of a $15 minimum wage is being adopted by many states, but his resignation has put former vice president Joe Biden on the spotlight for the Democratic presidential ticket, and also broadened his work to win voters, especially young people who have supported Sanders ideologies.
Biden has had difficulty preaching ideas relating to young people which exposes him to the challenge of mobilizing a broad base for voters that will accommodate young people. But on the hand, he (Biden) has the support of many voters who rejected Sanders’ policy agenda as too far to the left and prohibitively expensive.
The 2016 presidential election seemed to have exposed some poor decisions in the choice of candidacy that the Democrats need to beat Trump, and many believe that Biden will stand a better chance than Sanders in the race to the White House.
However, Sanders said he is leaving his name on the ballot in states that will still have primaries to try to gather delegates. The idea is to use his delegates as leverage to influence key decisions within the Democratic Party and get Biden to buy some of his policy agenda.
There is expected agreement between Biden and Sanders’ campaign on policy matters as Sanders is pushing Biden to accept some of them, especially the “Medicare for all.” The two parties appear poised to reach a consensus as Biden is willing to make some sacrifices in order to win people from Sanders’ camp.
“I will be reaching out to you. You will hear from me,” Biden wrote after Sanders announced he is quitting. “And to your 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.”
The 2016 election had taken a different dimension when Sanders was asked if he would ask his supporters to support Hilary Clinton, he said “it’s their choice to make.”
The left appear to have learnt a hard lesson from the internal division that contributed to their loss. There has been a significant difference between the 2016 presidential race and now. Sanders stayed on in the race back in 2016 even when it’s clear he was losing out, and his campaign failed to reach any agreement with Clinton. There was an obvious animosity between the two candidates that Clinton alleged that Sanders was sabotaging the Democratic presidential bid.
There seems to be a common goal this time – getting Trump out of the White House. Sources said that Sanders has been in communication with former president Barack Obama who has urged him to stay united with Biden and kick Trump out.
“If we come together, we will defeat Donald Trump. And when we do that, we will not only do the hard work of rebuilding this nation – we will transform it,” Biden wrote on Thursday.
Though Sanders has brought credible changes to the Democratic Party, introducing interesting policy agendas that appeal to many people, he was still seen by many within the party as a political outlier whose charm has failed to win voters among many young people and the black community.
His health became another factor that may have contributed to the drop in support for him. Sanders had a heart attack back in October 2019, a situation that undoubtedly instilled doubt in the minds of many who would have supported him.
Sanders believes there are so many indications within and outside the party showing that he is losing his popularity as he is considered far too left. His loss in South Carolina to Biden confirmed his fears and sealed his decision to quit.
Trump’s interest in Democrats’ primaries appears to indicate that he is wary of Biden.
“Bernie Sanders is OUT!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “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 Hilary fiasco. The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, Trade.”
Trump’s paranoia about the possibility of Biden emerging the opposition candidate is believed to have made him push for Ukraine to investigate Biden, an action that led to his impeachment back in October 2019.
In a political tussle heavily marred by coronavirus pandemic, Trump appears not to have much advantage over Biden. And Sanders believes teaming up with Biden will deliver the needed result for the Democrats.
“What I said from the first day that I announced my intention to run for president: I will do everything that I can to make sure that Donald Trump is not reelected,” Sanders said as he endorsed Biden.