Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) announced on Wednesday that he is dropping out of the presidential race.
Sanders said in a speech from his hometown of Burlington that while his campaign had won the “ideological” battle, “the path toward victory [in the primary] is virtually impossible.”
“In state after state…we received a significant majority of the votes” from people under the age of 50, Sanders said. “The future of this country is with our ideas.”
Sanders added, “I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates. While Vice President Biden will be the nominee, we must continue working to assemble as many delegates as possible…to exert significant influence over the party platform.”
Sanders has remained in the primary despite multiple sweeping victories by rival Joe Biden. The Vermont senator has won 883 delegates in state primaries to Biden’s 1,196. Biden gained support from moderate and African American voters to pull ahead of Sanders, while Sanders has relied on younger voters as well as broad support among Latinos.
In recent weeks, Biden has made overtures to Sanders’s voters as the former vice president came closer to an insurmountable delegate lead.
“I hear you. I know what is at stake. And I know what we have to do,” Biden said after winning March 17 primaries in Arizona, Illinois, and Florida. “Our goal as a campaign, and my goal as a candidate for president, is to unify our party — and to unify our nation.”
Sanders’s announcement comes after multiple states postponed primaries to June and mandated voting by mail, due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.