Bernie Sanders on Wednesday suspended an anti-establishment presidential campaign that changed the course of Democratic politics and energized large groups of new voters, but fell short of amassing a broad enough coalition to capture the nomination.
The Vermont senator’s decision came after his campaign stalled following a string of losses to former Vice President Joe Biden in large, delegate-rich states that left him with little chance of becoming the nominee. Yet Sanders came closer than any self-proclaimed socialist in U.S. history.
He rebounded off his 2016 loss to Hillary Clinton to emerge for a few weeks as the front-runner in the current Democratic primary, before second thoughts about the wisdom of nominating him and voter anxiety over the rapidly escalating COVID-19 pandemic moved Democrats to rapidly consolidate behind Biden. By the time Sanders dropped out of the race, Biden was already proceeding as the presumptive nominee, vetting potential running mates.