FILE PHOTO: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders announces that he will be continuing his campaign for U.S. president at least through his March 15 debate with former Vice President Joe Biden as he holds a news conference in Burlington, Vermont, U.S. March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Senator Bernie Sanders announced his exit from the presidential race Wednesday, April 8, giving former Vice President Joe Biden an open door to the Democratic nomination this November.

In a live stream to his supporters and constituents on Wednesday, Sanders announced the suspension of his presidential bid. “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,” he stated.

Sanders acknowledged that former VP Joe Biden would likely be the Democratic nominee on the 2020 ballot, but stated he would remain on the ballot for states that still have primaries to continue collecting delegates, in order to  “exert significant influence over the party platform.”

Immediately following the announcement, seven progressive groups comprised of youth activists sent Biden a list of demands, both policy and non-policy related, to earn their support and guarantee the turn out of young voters. The letter was sent by the Alliance for Youth Action, Justice Democrats, March for Our Lives Action Fund, NextGen America, Student Action, Sunrise Movement, and United We Dream Action.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Biden Poised for Democratic Nomination as Sanders Bows Out – Bloomberg – April 8, 2020 Biden will now have to find a way to take on Trump in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, which has made in-person campaigning impossible and has grabbed the public’s attention away from the 2020 race. While Sanders explicitly conceded the presidential nomination to Biden, he also said he would remain on ballots and continue to collect delegates so that he could push the Democrats closer to his vision.

Sanders raises eyebrows with move to amass delegates for convention ‘influence,’ lack of Biden backing – Fox News – April 8, 2020
His decision to openly rally supporters to help him win delegates to ensure influence at the convention — and the absence of any official endorsement of the now-presumptive nominee — even as he suspended his campaign did not go unnoticed. President Trump, for one, gleefully pointed out the disconnect. “Wow, Bernie is unwilling to give up his delegates, and wants more of them! What’s that all about?” he tweeted.

‘Huge disappointment’ on the left as Sanders exits race – The Hill – April 8, 2020
Some on the left hold bitter feelings against the mainstream Democrats who rallied to defeat Sanders. There is also deep frustration with the media’s treatment of him.  But in the end, Sanders could not compete in a one-on-one against Biden, who proved to be a more popular candidate than Hillary Clinton, whom Sanders challenged in 2016.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

David Mack on Twitter, 4/8/20 – Less than an hour after Bernie Sanders said he was ending his campaign, dozens of staffers who worked for Clinton 4 years ago received a link to a Zoom video call scheduled for 4 p.m: “Invitation: Bye, bye Bernard (HFA celebration toast)”

Sean Hannity on Twitter, 4/8/20 – OUCH! President Trump Thanks Elizabeth Warren for Ruining Bernie Sanders’ 2020 Campaign

Tulsi Gabbard on Twitter, 4/8/20 – My friend Bernie Sanders has committed his life to the fight for justice, healthcare, and equality for all Americans. I’m confident he will continue that fight. My aloha and thanks go out to @BernieSanders, @janeosanders, @ninaturner & #NotMeUS movement for their dedication!

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