Senator Bernie Sanders has suspended his presidential campaign. He announced this decision on a Wednesday morning conference call with his staff. Sanders addressed supporters this morning at 11:45 am via a livestream.
Of the progressive ideas that he touted on the campaign trail he said "Today they are mainstream ideas and many of them are already being implemented in cities and states across the country. This is what we've accomplished together."
"I want to express to each of you my deep gratitude for helping create a... campaign that has made a profound impact," he said. He thanked volunteers across the country, and the "2 million Americans who have contributed financially" for showing that a corrupt campaign finance system can be fought. He thanked all those who had participated in campaign events, noting that together they "have taken this country forward" in the quest for justice.
Sanders reiterated the messages of his campaign, "If we don't believe that we are entitled to health care as a human right we will never achieve it." He called for "decent wages and working conditions or millions of us will continue to live in poverty."
"We are a grassroots, multiracial, multigenerational movement that believes change comes not from the top down but from the bottom up," he said, noting that it is not over.
He promised to work with Joe Biden, and would stay on the ballot in all remaining states, and would continue to gather delegates. More delegates at the convention will give Sanders more control over the conversation at that gathering. However, he stated that Biden would be the nominee, squelching rumours that he would aim to have a contested convention.
Sanders had been doing well, and came out of February's early primaries strong. It was Joe Biden's stunning victory in South Carolina that made Biden's chances at snagging the nomination look that much more solid. While the primary this week in Wisconsin was not postponed in light of the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible that further primaries will be delayed.
Sanders was the last far left progressive in the race, and it was his influence in 2016 that pushed the Democratic campaigns further to the left. Sanders was over 300 delegates behind Joe Biden in the contest. With Sanders out of the race, Joe Biden is now the most likely Democratic contender to the presidency.
The Democratic National Convention where a candidate is officially nominated was slated for July in Milwaukee, but has been pushed back to mid-August.