Mar 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bernie Sanders deactivates 2020 campaign Facebook ads

Bernie Sanders
Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Editor's note: An earlier story inaccurately reported that Sanders was suspending his campaign. The correct story is below. Axios deeply regrets the error.

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign currently has no active Facebook ads, the morning after another disappointing finish in a series of primary contests.

Why it matters: A pause in digital advertising spend on Facebook has been a good indicator that candidates are dropping out of the 2020 race before. Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg made their Facebook ads inactive hours before they suspended their campaigns.

The state of play: Sanders and his wife Jane are traveling back to Vermont today to “assess the path forward for our campaign," per a note from his campaign manager Faiz Shakir.

  • Shakir wrote that "last night did not go the way we wanted," after they lost all three states that voted: Arizona, Illinois and Florida.
  • Joe Biden has now accumulated what clearly looks like an insurmountable delegate lead over Sanders, leaving him little room and time to make up for that deficit.
  • Coronavirus has profoundly changed the primary race, as candidates on both sides of the aisle are forced to cancel campaign rallies — a natural setting for Sanders that he's now being denied.

What to watch: How Sanders, his team, and supporters move to rally behind Biden and whether Biden moves left on progressive policy in an effort to win over their voters.

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