Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has suspended his run for the 2020 presidential nomination, his team announced on Wednesday. His dropping out leaves Joe Biden as the only candidate left in the Democratic race. “The campaign ends, the struggle continues,” Sanders’ team wrote in an announcement, according to The Daily Beast.
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Many are surprised about the timing of this decision, just one day after the Wisconsin primary that put lives at risk as voters stood in line for hours on end and had to wear masks and gloves. Sanders’ campaign lasted 15 months and was meant to be his comeback run after losing the 2016 election. According to BuzzFeed News, the Sanders campaign was still hiring new staffers as of Tuesday.
Senator Sanders was known for his grassroots fundraising network and progressive campaign base, which garnered him major support in his 2020 run. He ran on a platform of majorly progressive policies, including healthcare for all, tuition-free college, and a wealth tax for the richest people in the United States. While many say his base may have pushed away more centrist Democrats, it’s clear that the popularity of his policies also forced many candidates to adjust their stances to be closer to Sanders’.
In early October, Sanders suffered a heart attack during a campaign stop in Nevada. The 78-year-old seemed to garner no negative side effects from the medical scare, but it did seem to be a turning point in the race, with many high profile name (such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rushing to his side and others pointing to his health as a concern.
Regardless of what it was that caused the end of Sanders’ campaign, seeing someone with policies that could truly help a large population of people who are often overlooked is extremely disappointing. He has supported the LGBTQ+ community since before other politicians even considered us as viable people or voters, and it’s heartbreaking to see him go.