Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the Democratic primary race on Wednesday, April 8 paving the way for Joe Biden to be declared the party’s nominee to challenge Donald Trump in November poll.
Sanders’ announcement comes at a time when there have been growing calls to postpone the primaries as the nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
What’s more, the Vermont senator’s announcement comes after Biden trounced him in three primaries.
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During Wednesday’s press conference, the 78-year-old senator from Vermont admitted there was no clear path for victory for him.
“I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere in the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour.”
Biden beat Sanders in Florida, Illinois and Arizona last month and holds a large delegate lead, 1,217 to Sanders’ 914.
A candidate needs to attain a threshold of 1,991 delegates to be nominated at July’s Democratic National Convention.
Sanders’ campaign had gathered steam but the momentum fell when he suffered a heart attack on the campaign trail in October.
However, Sanders stayed in the race and became the frontrunner after a series of razor-thin victories in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.
But fortunes dropped further for the self-styled democratic socialist outsider when the Democratic Party rapidly ganged up against him leading to a boost to Biden’s wobbling campaign.
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Biden, 77, wooed Sanders’ supporters during a live streamed speech last month after thumping the Vermont senator in the last round of primaries, forecasting the fate of his upstart campaign.
“Senator Sanders and I may disagree on tactics, but we share a common vision for the need to provide affordable health care for all Americans, reduce income inequality that has risen so drastically, to tackling the existential threat of our time, climate change,” he said.
On Wednesday, Sanders declared he would throw his weight behind Biden who he described “as a wonderful human being.”
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Biden in a statement part hailed Sanders for putting the “needs of the nation and the need to defeat Trump above everything else”
“We will address the existential crisis of climate change. We will confront income inequality in our nation. We will make sure healthcare is affordable and accessible to every American. We will make education at our public colleges and universities free. We will ease the burden of student debt. And, most important of all, we will defeat Donald Trump,” said Biden.
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