Bernie Sanders has suspended his Democratic presidential campaign — all but handing the nomination to former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to a brief campaign statement, He announced the decision during an all-staff conference call Wednesday.
He will address supporters shortly before noon during a livestream.
The Vermont senator has suffered a string of major primary defeats in his second straight presidential bid, but until now had refused to back out of the race, instead pressing Biden to embrace progressive policy positions.
But Biden has amassed a near-insurmountable delegate lead, following decisive victories on Super Tuesday as well as subsequent contests — before coronavirus measures forced most primaries on the calendar to be delayed.
Sanders’ lingering presence in the race had agitated Biden allies, concerned he would continue to make it difficult for Biden to fully focus on a general election battle against President Trump.
Biden, however, was already moving ahead, planning to consider running mates and even downplaying the possibility of any future debates with Sanders as part of the primary process.
The most recent primary was held Tuesday in Wisconsin, though most others are postponed. Results in that race are not expected for another week, though Biden was thought to have the clear advantage there.