Bernie Sanders ends White House bid, leaving Joe Biden as likely nominee

Senator Bernie Sanders has ended his 2020 White House campaign.
Senator Bernie Sanders has ended his 2020 White House campaign. © Gretchen Ertl, REUTERS

Senator Bernie Sanders ended his presidential bid on Wednesday, his campaign said in a statement, paving the way for former vice president Joe Biden to challenge President Donald Trump as the Democratic nominee.

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Sanders saw his once strong lead in the Democratic primary evaporate as the party’s establishment lined swiftly up behind his rival.

His withdrawal makes Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee to challenge President Donald Trump in November.

“The path toward victory is virtually impossible,” Sanders told supporters as he congratulated Biden.

The former vice president is "a very decent man whom I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward”, the senator added.

Sanders initially exceeded sky-high expectations about his ability to recreate the magic of his 2016 presidential bid, and even overcame a heart attack last October on the campaign trail.

But he found himself unable to convert unwavering support from progressives into a viable path to the nomination amid “electability” fears fueled by questions about whether his democratic socialist ideology would be palatable to general election voters.

The 78-year-old senator began his latest White House bid facing questions about whether he could win back the supporters who chose him four years ago as an insurgent alternative to the party establishment’s choice, Hillary Clinton.

Despite winning 22 states in 2016, there were no guarantees he’d be a major presidential contender this cycle, especially as the race’s oldest candidate.

Sanders, though, used strong polling and solid fundraising — collected almost entirely from small donations made online — to more than quiet early doubters.

Like the first time, he attracted widespread support from young voters and was able to make new inroads within the Hispanic community, even as his appeal with African Americans remained small. 

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

 

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