After suffering a series of losses at the ballot box to former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign Wednesday, The New York Times reported. Sanders' exit from the 2020 race ends the Vermont senator's second attempt to capture the presidency with a campaign focused Medicare for All, paid family, medical, and sick leave, as well as free child care and universal pre-K. Sanders' exit also leaves Biden as the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee.
"I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth, and that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden and the path toward victory is virtually impossible," Bernie told his campaign supporters in a livestream address Wednesday. "So, while we are winning the ideological battle and while we are winning the support of so many young people and so many working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful."
Despite early primary wins in Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire, Sanders appeared unable to maintain the momentum of those wins, suffering a long series of losses to Biden from Maine to Texas. At the time of his withdrawal from the race, Sanders was reported to have 914 democratic delegates to Biden's 1,217.
Among Sanders' better known policies were plans to establish Medicare for All, a single-payer, national health insurance program that provided everyone with health care coverage. The progressive candidate had also vowed to guarantee every child in America free, high-quality child care from infancy through age 3 and a free pre-kindergarten education after that. Sanders' 2020 platform also included a promise to see all workers provided with paid family, medical, and sick leave, an issue that has been pushed to the forefront in recent weeks as the country battles the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to supporters Wednesday, Sanders said he was aware there were some who felt he should continue his campaign until the last ballot had been cast at the Democratic National Convention this summer. "I understand that position," Sanders said. "But as I see the crisis gripping the nation exacerbated by a president unwilling or unable to provide any kind of credible leadership and the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I cannot in good conscious 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."
In suspending his presidential campaign, Sanders congratulated Biden, whom he called "a very decent man" and vowed to work with to defeat President Donald Trump. Although Sanders announced an end to his presidential campaign Wednesday, he vowed the fight for progressive policies like Medicare for All and universal child care would continue. "While this campaign is coming to an end," he said, "our movement is not."