Earlier this week, Bernie Sanders formally ended his second bid for presidency. “I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth, and that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible,” Sanders said during a livestream announcement. Though he did not endorse Biden, he did congratulate him on being the Democratic nominee and called him a “decent man” who he plans to work with to “move our progressive ideas forward.”
Let us go forward together. The struggle continues.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 8, 2020
But, are young voters willing to support Biden?
With a loyal base of supporters, the question now is whether Sanders’ young devotees will be willing to vote for Joe Biden in November. According to Her Campus’s 2020 pre-election survey released in February, Sanders was the top candidate for college women heading into the primary election—28% planned to vote for Sanders, while 9% said they would vote for Biden.
With young Democrats weighing a new choice for the general election, we took to Instagram to hear directly from our community. We asked our followers if they are planning to vote for Joe Biden now that Bernie Sanders has suspended his campaign, and out of more than 700 responses, 74% said yes they will vote for Biden, while 26% indicated they will not.
Sanders will stay on the ballot during the primaries.
In Sanders’ resignation, he said he would remain on the ballot in states that still have primaries. “I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates, while Vice President Biden will be the nominee,” Sanders said in his speech. “We must continue working to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic Convention, where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions.”
What exactly does this mean for Biden’s nomination? It seems he will have more work to do to win over young and liberal voters, many of whom say they are unconvinced by his platform and record, or feel forced to vote for him as the only viable option against Trump. Eight youth-led progressive groups signed an open letter to Biden published Wednesday, reminding him that he needs “to have more young people enthusiastically supporting and campaigning with [him] to defeat Trump,” while they outlined ways he could bridge the generational divide on each policy.
Already on Thursday Biden rolled out a new policy proposal to forgive student debt for low-income and middle-class families. Biden also called for Democratic unity in a tweet, saying, “If we come together, we will defeat Donald Trump.”
If we come together, we will defeat Donald Trump. And when we do that, we will not only do the hard work of rebuilding this nation — we will transform it.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 9, 2020