Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has ended his bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in the 2020 election, thus leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive nominee.
The socialist senator from Vermont had previously risen to fame by challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the 2016 primaries. In both 2016 and 2020, he ran as an unapologetic “democratic socialist,” advocating for such policies as universal healthcare and the Green New Deal.
While he was one of only five candidates in the 2016 primaries, Sanders was up against 28 other candidates in 2020, which was by far the largest presidential primary field in American history. Building off his runner-up status from the last cycle, and with a strong grassroots base that made him by far the most well-funded candidate in terms of small dollar donations, he emerged as the frontrunner in the early primaries.
After narrowly winning the popular vote in the heavily-disputed Iowa caucuses, coming second in the delegate totals behind former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.), Sanders went on to win sizeable victores in New Hampshire and Nevada.
However, just as it appeared that he might conquer the heavily-divided field on Super Tuesday, Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) both suddenly dropped out right before Super Tuesday and endorsed Biden, in a move that many considered to be a deliberately coordinated act by the Democratic National Committee to unite the party behind Biden.
Biden won the South Carolina primary by a landslide due to his support among African-Americans, then swept the majority of Super Tuesday contests, surpassing Sanders and building a lead that the senator could never overcome. Biden had accumulated over 1,200 delegates, while Sanders had just over 900. A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to officially clinch the nomination.
Sanders announced his withdrawal yesterday in an online address from his home in Burlington, Vermont. Although he admitted that Biden would be the nominee, he vowed to remain on the ballot in every remaining states so that his campaign could continue to acquire more delegates, in order to wield more influence over the party platform at the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
Sanders’ withdrawal leaves Biden, the 77-year-old former vice president, as the presumptive nominee who will face off against President Donald Trump in November.