Bernie Sanders, who said support for abortion is 'essential' for Democrats, drops out of Democratic Primary race

Sen. Bernie Sanders
Democratic party White House hopeful Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addresses supporters at a rally in Columbia, South Carolina, on February 28, 2020. Sanders is battling moderate rivals including former vice president Joe Biden and rising challenger Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, to see who faces President Donald Trump in November's election. |

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has suspended his campaign, effectively paving the way for former Vice President Joe Biden to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

Sanders announced the decision in a conference call with his staff on Wednesday morning, reported CNBC, putting an end to the Democratic Socialist’s highly watched campaign.

“Today I am suspending my campaign,” said Sanders on his official Twitter handle. “But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on.”

While he believed he and his supporters were “winning the ideological battle,” Sanders said he lacked a “feasible” chance of success, so he made the “difficult and painful decision” to end the campaign.

“I congratulate Joe Biden,” he said, calling his primary opponent “a very decent man” who he plans to work with to help defeat Republican President Donald Trump.

During the first state competitions of primary season, Sanders finished strong in Iowa and New Hampshire; he also won multiple states on Super Tuesday, including delegate-rich California.

Sanders weathered controversy in some circles, when he declared at a town hall event that being supportive of abortion rights was "essential" for any Democratic Party member. 

Princeton University professor Robert P. George denounced Sanders' comments, noting that the candidate was “officially excommunicating pro-life Democrats.”

“So: if you're pro-life you are unacceptable, unwanted, an intruder. Time to go elsewhere,” said George, who still commended Sanders for showing “superiority to his competitors in terms of honesty and forthrightness.”

However, the Biden campaign dominated on Super Tuesday, winning nine states on that day and several states in later competitions.

Biden's wins included a symbolic victory in Michigan, where Sanders had previously been strong in the 2016 primary election season.

Regarding his victories in states like Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, some experts concluded that Biden thrived through a coalition of senior citizens, African-Americans, and party moderates.

Last month, it was reported by multiple news outlets that the Sanders campaign had suspended their Facebook ads, an action that indicated that the senator was planning to end his campaign.

“Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg made their Facebook ads inactive hours before they suspended their campaigns,”Axios reported at the time.

Around the same time, Sanders' Campaign Manager, Faiz Shakir, said in a statement to media that Sanders was going to speak with campaign supporters about the future of his run.

“Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign,” Shakir said, NBC News reported.

“In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.” 

With Sanders out of the race, Biden remains the only candidate in the once crowded Democratic Primary field, having outlasted several members of Congress and a few businessmen.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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