Politics

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Bernie Sanders to suspend his candidacy for President of the United States

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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 78, announced Wednesday that he will be ending his candidacy for President of the US, clearing the way for former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, to be the presumptive Democratic nominee in this year’s presidential race against Donald Trump. In a live-streamed speech from his home in Burlington, Sanders cast his decision to suspend his campaign in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic and Biden’s success in recent weeks.  “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,” Mr. Sanders said. ~

Bernie Sanders’ departure from the race for President is a sharp turnaround for a candidate who less than two months ago held a definitive lead in the Democratic race. Going into the 4th primary of South Carolina on February 29th, the self-acclaimed Democratic Socialist led the Democratic field in national polling at 26.8% and in delegates with 45 (RealClearPolitics). Furthermore, Sanders’ delegate count was three times that of Joe Biden’s, and momentum for the former Vice President – the candidate many believed to be the most electable – seemed to be fading. With this in mind, South Carolina became a must-win for Biden’s campaign, and the Democratic establishment seemed to feel that way as well. Winning the primary with a definitive 48.4% of the electorate, Biden’s campaign surged days before Super Tuesday – where he racked up 624 of the 1,357 delegates up for grabs and took nearly an 80 delegate lead over Sanders. Since Super Tuesday, Biden has racked a 300+ delegate lead over Sanders, taking victories in Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, Idaho, Washington, and presumably Wisconsin – though Wisconsin remains a no decision as of Thursday. ~

Although Sanders acknowledged Wednesday that he viewed Biden as the party’s nominee for President, he claimed that his campaign planned to keep his name on the ballot in states that have yet to vote – a move that could allow him to gather more delegates, and according to New York Times, “could give him leverage to influence the Democratic platform and continue carrying his message.” ~

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