Longtime LGBTQ ally Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, all but assuring that former Vice President Joe Biden will win the primary.
Sanders made the announcement on a campaign call with his staff earlier today, according to his campaign.
Despite several strong showings in early primary states like Nevada and New Hampshire, Sanders lost to Biden in South Carolina’s primary in late February.
Several other major candidates – including former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) – dropped out of the race just before the Super Tuesday primaries and endorsed Biden, and the Sanders campaign fell behind in the delegate count.
Biden was the frontrunner by the time Michigan held its primary. Sanders lost that state – a state his campaign considered crucial to its chances of winning the nomination.
When Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) dropped out without endorsing another candidate, Sanders was the sole representative of the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party. That status wasn’t enough to pull ahead of Biden, who has secured 1218 delegates so far, well ahead of Sanders’s 918.
Recent polling, according to RealClearPolitics, showed that Biden had the support of 59% of Democrats while 34% supported Sanders.
After Warren’s campaign lost steam, LGBTQ people favored Sanders in the primary. Super Tuesday exit polls found that 42% of LGBTQ people in states that were polled voted for Sanders, a double-digit lead over Warren.
CNN called the Sanders campaign “the most successful grassroots donor effort in American political history” and says that the funds were repurposed for public health efforts in the midst of the global pandemic.
Sanders ended up winning the most delegates in California, Colorado, Nevada, North Dakota, the Northern Mariana Islands, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. He tied with Buttigieg in New Hampshire.
Most states scheduled to hold primaries in late March and April have already rescheduled them for later.