Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Tuesday that he would forgo another presidential bid of his own and instead endorse President Biden’s reelection.
The leading progressive, who was Mr. Biden’s chief rival in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, told The Associated Press that he would “do everything I can to see the president is reelected.”
“The last thing this country needs is a Donald Trump or some other right-wing demagogue who is going to try to undermine American democracy or take away a woman’s right to choose, or not address the crisis of gun violence, or racism, sexism or homophobia,” Sanders said in an interview. “So, I’m in to do what I can to make sure that the president is reelected.”
Bernie Sanders discourages any other progressives from running
President Biden on Tuesday announced his decision to seek a second term, even as polls suggest that voters in both parties don’t want him to run again.
A CBS News poll found that nearly half of Democrats didn’t want Mr. Biden to run, overwhelmingly citing his age as the reason. But most Democrats say they will consider backing Mr. Biden, whether or not they think he should run.
For much of the year, Sanders had left open the possibility of running again himself. However, on Tuesday, CBS News reports he said that he would not run and he discouraged any another high-profile progressive candidates from doing so either.
“People will do what they want to do,” Sanders said of other potential primary challenges. “I think Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee. And my job, and I think the progressive movement’s job, is to make certain that he stands up and fights for the working class of this country and does not take anything for granted.”
Sanders’ decision also signals that, at 81 years old, he will never again seek the presidency.
According to TIME, when Sanders first ran for president in 2016, he was criticized for not knowing how to connect with Black voters, and struggled to overcome the advantage the DNC-backed Clinton had along with name recognition.
In South Carolina, he lost to Clinton by 47 points. An exit poll showed he won only 14% of the Black vote in the state, a result that slowed the momentum he had coming out of Iowa and New Hampshire. He eventually admitted that his campaign had been “too White.”
The Brookings Institute argues “rather than casting votes in favor of the senator, voters could have been looking for a Clinton alternative and Sanders was their only option. Whether it was Clinton fatigue, Mrs. Clinton’s policy positions and decisions as the former Secretary of State, allegations made about her tenure as Secretary of State, sexism, or some other reason, some Democratic voters may have wanted to protest her candidacy and they landed on Bernie Sanders.”
Poll suggests Americans preferred Biden over Sanders by over 20 points
In a Nov. 2022 You Gov poll, Biden led as both a candidate Democrats want to run in the primary (44%) and the candidate they would choose as their nominee (26%). Among other candidates many Democrats want to see in their primary field, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg lead the way, each getting support from 31%.
Around one in four want each of 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton (26%), Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke (24%), Senator Elizabeth Warren (24%), Senator Bernie Sanders (23%), and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (23%) to run. Each of the other potential primary candidates asked about were chosen by 21% or fewer Democrats.