Sanders Wants To Move Progressive Ideas Forward With Biden, but CNN Analyst Finds His Supporters Won’t Back Biden Unless He Adopts Some Sanders Policies

Sanders Wants To Move Progressive Ideas Forward With Biden, but CNN Analyst Finds His Supporters Won’t Back Biden Unless He Adopts Some Sanders Policies


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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He may have backed out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but Sen Bernie Sanders wants to remain active in the campaign, particularly to convince the presumptive nominee, Joe Biden, to adopt more of Sanders’s progressive political positions.

Sanders announced that he was dropping out of the race Wednesday, amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, and following a number of primary results which firmly established Biden with a clear command of the race.

“Today I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward. On a practical note, let me also say this, 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 Wednesday. “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. Then together standing united we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history. And we will fight to elect strong progressives at every level of government from Congress to the school board.”

This is Sanders’s second failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Although the Vermont senator failed to generate enough electoral support to capture the nomination, he nevertheless has attracted a sizeable and devoted following.

Those devoted supporters won’t necessarily swing towards Biden without Biden explicitly adopting some Sanders policy proposals, according to CNN Political Director David Chalian.

“That’s why you saw, in the last several weeks, much of this work has been going on behind the scenes, both on the Sanders side and the Biden side but you saw in advance of the last debate when the two of them were at CNN studios in Washington, Joe Biden had already adopted some of Elizabeth Warren’s positions, had taken a liking to some of what Bernie Sanders had put forth during the campaign, not the most iconic Sanders proposal of Medicare-for-all, Biden will not embrace that, but a lot of the economic proposals and student debt proposals, these are things that are on the table for Joe Biden to start thinking about,” Chalian said. “So it will be in the policies that will help bring along a lot of the folks in the Sanders movement to the Biden equation. And of course, it will also be Donald Trump as a common enemy that the Biden campaign is hoping does a lot of the work as well.”

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