Bernie Sanders has suspended his Democratic presidential nomination campaign. Tradefair brings you the latest from US politics...
If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue to campaign, but it's just not there."
- Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders has suspended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, meaning former vice-president Joe Biden will be the party's candidate to take on Donald Trump in the US presidential election in November 2020.
Sanders announced the decision, which he described as "difficult and painful", in a live stream to his supporters. He said he could no longer see a "feasible path" to winning the nomination.
Biden, who served as vice-president under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, responded by paying tribute to Sanders and sending a message to the Vermont senator's supporters, saying: "I know that I need to earn your votes."
Victory 'virtually impossible'
Sanders began the message to his supporters by saying: "I wish I had better news, but I think you know the truth."
After the various state primaries and caucuses that have taken place so far, Sanders is now some 300 delegates behind Biden, making it unlikely that he will be able to win the total number of delegates required to secure the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention later this year.
The 78-year-old said the path towards victory is now "virtually impossible", and while his campaign and its supporters are "winning the ideological battle", he had concluded that his bid to secure the presidential nomination wouldn't be successful.
"If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue to campaign, but it's just not there," he added.
Sanders acknowledged that some of his supporters will disagree with the decision to suspend his campaign, but insisted that it was necessary, given the threat the US currently faces from the coronavirus pandemic.
"As I see the crisis gripping the nation, exacerbated by a president unwilling or unable to provide any kind of credible leadership, and the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win, and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour," he said.
The suspension of Sanders' campaign gives Biden a clear path to the Democratic presidential nomination, sealing a comeback for the former vice-president.
Sanders established himself as the early frontrunner at the start of the 2020 primary election season, securing wins in New Hampshire and Nevada.
However, the tide began to turn when Biden won big states including Texas and North Carolina, before steadily increasing his delegate count in Florida, Arizona and Illinois. Biden's position was also strengthened by the support of former Democratic presidential candidates including Pete Buttigieg, Michael Bloomberg and Amy Klobuchar.
In response to the suspension of Sanders' campaign, Biden released a statement saying the Vermont senator had "done something rare in politics".
"He hasn't just run a political campaign; he's created a movement," Biden said.
The presidential hopeful also sent a message to Sanders' supporters, saying: "I see you, I hear you, and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country. I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You're needed.
"Together we will defeat Donald Trump."
The path to the election
The unfolding coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly have a major impact on the build-up to the presidential election in November, particularly in terms of the economy and public perceptions of how the Trump administration is handling the crisis.
A new CNN poll conducted by SSRS showed that about half of Americans report financial hardship as a result of the outbreak, while six out of ten respondents said the economy is in poor shape.
However, just over two-thirds (67%) of people said they expect the economy to be in a good position in a year's time.
Just under half (48%) of those surveyed approved of Trump's management of the economy, down from 54% in March.
As far as the stock market is concerned, there have been brighter signs over the past week, not only on Wall Street but around the world.
Having plummeted by nearly 34% between February 19 and March 23, the S&P 500 has since regained nearly 23%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 3.4% yesterday, while the Nasdaq Composite rose by nearly 2.6%.
Trump has repeatedly expressed his eagerness to ease the lockdown measures necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak and reopen the American economy, tweeting yesterday that this would happen "sooner rather than later".
He said the economy would then boom, "perhaps like never before".
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