Sen. Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday, clearing Joe Biden’s path to the Democratic nomination and a showdown with President Donald Trump in November.
Sanders made the announcement in a call with his campaign staff, his campaign said.
Mr. Sanders’s exit from the race establishes former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the presumptive nominee to challenge President Trump, and leaves the progressive movement without a prominent voice in the 2020 race.
In a race reshaped, and eclipsed, by the escalating coronavirus crisis, Mr. Sanders faced no realistic path to the nomination after a series of lopsided losses to Mr. Biden, beginning in South Carolina in late February and culminating with a string of losses last month in crucial states like Michigan and Florida.
With the public health emergency preventing both candidates from holding in-person campaign events, Mr. Sanders spent the last several weeks on the sidelines, delivering addresses via live stream and making occasional television appearances, while facing calls from fellow Democrats to exit the race and help unify the party behind Mr. Biden. Though Mr. Biden had been careful not to pressure Mr. Sanders, he had begun to move ahead as if the race were over, taking steps, for example, to begin his search for a running mate.