Sen. Bernie Sanders has not suspended his presidential campaign. Yet, despite his usual determined defiance about such decisions, there are mounting signs that he may soon do so.
For one, the Sanders campaign currently has no active Facebook ads. A pause in digital advertising spend on Facebook has been a good indicator that candidates are dropping out of the 2020 race before. Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg made their Facebook ads inactive hours before they suspended their campaigns.
However, if the usually tenacious senator from Vermont remains in the race, it will be in part to keep his “political revolution” alive. According to people familiar with his thinking, Sanders will not only consider what’s best for his campaign, but also the progressive movement.
Many of Sanders’ aides and allies also expect him to press onward, despite getting trounced again in Tuesday’s primaries. They see a benefit in amassing as many delegates as possible in order to influence the party platform at the Democratic National Convention this summer — even if Sanders himself can’t win the nomination.
“I think there’s a very good chance that he will stay in,” said Larry Cohen, chair of Our Revolution, a group founded by Sanders in 2016. “The number of delegates you have, the number of people on the platform committee is absolutely critical.”
Trump Will Likely Win Anyway
The truth of the matter is, Sanders does not have to drop out, if he thinks, like many of us do, that Trump is going to win reelection anyway. Sanders, of course, has every right to stay in the race, even if that means hurting Joe Biden and dragging down the party with his campaign.
Sanders isn’t stupid, and he knows that his message is what animates at least half, if not more, of the Democratic Party’s voters: free, state-run child care, free higher education in public schools, guaranteed government jobs, and Medicare for All.
If his gamble, which isn’t risky, is that Trump is destined for reelection, why not do everything he can to accelerate the direction Democrats are moving in anyway?
However, still others (particularly moderate democrats) feel that by continuing to campaign, Sanders only reduces his influence at a critical juncture. His best bet to push the party left now is to end the race, endorse Biden and start focusing on the general election against President Donald Trump.
While he may think that by staying in the race he is empowering his ultra-left agenda, in reality, when he goes out week after week and gets badly beaten, he doesn’t make the progressive movement look strong. He makes it look anemic and ineffectual, and again the person who benefits most from that, is President Donald J. Trump.