Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders on Monday officially supported the candidacy of his rival in the fight for the presidential nomination, former vice president Joe Biden. This move could rally the Democratic Party ahead of the election.
Sanders, who paused his campaign last week, spoke with Biden at an online event, calling coronavirus a reason to rally.
This contrasts sharply with the 2016 campaign, when Sanders spoke out in support of his rival, Hillary Clinton, only on the eve of the National Congress of the Democratic Party, following which she was officially nominated for the presidency.
Even before the pandemic began, Biden managed to get ahead of Sanders by the number of delegates who would support him at the congress, in connection with which the senator announced last week that he sees no way to get a nomination.
Despite this, it was unclear how soon Sanders, particularly popular with young liberal voters, would support Biden, whose electorate consists mainly of more moderate older voters.
“Your support means a lot,” Biden told Sanders during a joint speech broadcast on Biden’s campaign headquarters. He called Sanders “the most influential voice in the fight for an honest and more just America.”
Even before Sanders made a statement, Biden’s campaign headquarters began to appeal to progressive groups in an attempt to smooth out the long-standing tensions between progressive and moderate camps within the party.
Trump, in his comments on social networks, is trying to set Sanders’ supporters against Biden, claiming that the senator has been supplanted by the democratic establishment.
Against the background of measures of social distance, Biden’s election campaign almost completely switched to the online format.
Sanders’ support will give him the necessary boost of energy and attention at a time when the campaign was pushed into the background due to a pandemic.