Bernie Sanders 'bows out' of presidential race

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Senator Bernie Sanders has withdrawn from the democratic presidential campaign, making way for former Vice-President Joe Biden to become the official nominee.

Mr Sanders told supporters in a live stream that the decision to end his campaign was "very difficult and painful", and acknowledged some of his supporters would have wished him to fight until the last state contest.

“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 said.

Sanders, 78, told supporters on Wednesday he saw no feasible path to get enough votes to win the nomination.

An early front-runner, the Vermont senator came close to winning the race this time around. After his surprisingly large victory in the Nevada caucuses, he seemed to have the organisation, money and momentum to allow him to progress.

He won endorsements from a number of celebrities, including Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Mark Ruffalo and Dick Van Dyke.

Among the most left-leaning candidates during this year's election cycle, the self-described "Democratic socialist" campaigned on policies including healthcare for all, free public college, raising taxes on the wealthy and increasing the minimum wage.

In both elections,Sander was popular among young voters who embraced his calls for a political "revolution".

Mr Biden made a comeback by winning a number of big states, including Texas and North Carolina, in early March, and later by racking up votes in Florida, Arizona and Illinois.

Mr Sanders failed to win key African-American voters across the southern states, who largely went for Biden.

In recent weeks, Mr Sanders had been hosting campaign events through online live streams due to health concerns from the Covid-19 outbreak.

Though Sanders said that Biden would be the party’s next nominee – and that he would actively support the former vice-president – he said his name would remain on the ballot and he would continue to amass delegates in an effort to “exert significant influence” over the Democratic platform.

For weeks, Mr Sanders ignored calls for him to leave the race despite drastically falling behind his rival as the pandemic forced the candidates to retreat from the campaign trail and governors to delay several key primary elections.

Sanders called Biden a “very decent man” and said he would work together with the former vice-president to ensure Trump is defeated in November.

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