Senator Bernie Sanders is reportedly considering whether or not to end his presidential bid after he lost three primary elections on Tuesday.
USA Today reports the Sanders team is “reassessing, but not suspending” his campaign after losing primaries In Illinois, Arizona, and Florida to former Vice President Joe Biden. Voters in all three states overwhelmingly backed Biden, who won all counties in Florida and almost all counties in Illinois.
According to the report, shortly after the final votes were announced Axios reported Sanders was ending his presidential campaign. Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir released a statement on Wednesday morning denying this report and said the team was deciding whether they still had a possibility to win the nomination.
“The next primary contest is at least three weeks away,” Shakir said. “Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign.”
Sanders communications director Mike Casca similarly and very bluntly said: “the tweet about an Axios ‘report’ is wrong.”
“He’s not suspending,” Casca continued per USA Today. “Nothing has changed since this morning’s statement.”
The report also notes Sanders’ general decline from being the frontrunner just one month ago to now falling further and further behind Biden. In that time, several other Democratic presidential candidates have dropped and since endorsed Biden:
Last month, Sanders was seen as the frontrunner, leading in national polling and delegates. However, Biden’s campaign was reenergized following his blowout win in South Carolina on Feb. 29. Since then, Biden has bested Sanders in many key primary states this month and has jumped to the lead in delegates.
Biden stole the race on Super Tuesday, where he swept the South and beat Sanders in states that the former vice president didn’t even campaign in. The wins shocked pundits as Biden was down in much of state polling ahead of those elections. Ahead of Super Tuesday, Biden was endorsed by former Democratic opponents Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Axios reports Sanders has ended his campaign ads on Facebook:
Why it matters: 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.
The state of play: Sanders and his wife Jane are traveling back to Vermont today to “assess the path forward for our campaign,” per a note from his campaign manager Faiz Shakir.
Shakir wrote that “last night did not go the way we wanted,” after they lost all three states that voted: Arizona, Illinois and Florida.
Joe Biden has now accumulated what clearly looks like an insurmountable delegate lead over Sanders, leaving him little room and time to make up for that deficit.
Coronavirus has profoundly changed the primary race, as candidates on both sides of the aisle are forced to cancel campaign rallies
The DNC will have gotten their fondest wish and defeated Bernie Sanders, far ahead of schedule. Now they are doing everything possible to be nice to him in order to keep his supporters. Bernie has given up, just like he did last time. He will be dropping out soon! MAGA/KAG
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020