Mar 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bernie Sanders deactivates 2020 campaign Facebook ads

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.

Go deeper

Bernie Sanders to "assess his campaign" after latest round of primary losses

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Bernie Sanders will move to "assess his campaign" after Joe Biden's sweep of the Florida, Illinois and Arizona primaries, his campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said in a statement Wednesday.

The big picture: Sanders trails Biden by almost 300 delegates, making it statistically improbable that he can catch up in the primary race, according to the New York Times.

What to watch in tonight's debate: A new Joe Biden

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden at the Democratic debate at Gaillard Center, Charleston, South Carolina, Feb. 25. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Viewers tuning in to tonight’s Democratic debate will meet a new Joe Biden — one who’s adopted two new progressive policies from Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and who’s eager to pull their supporters away from the movement they’ve built into his own coalition.

Why it matters: This could very well be the last primary debate of the 2020 cycle, and Biden knows he has to start the work of winning over Sanders’ supporters before Sanders drops out.

CORRECTION: Bernie Sanders has not decided to suspend campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders has not suspended his presidential campaign. This story corrects an earlier version that stated he had.

Sanders has deactivated his Facebook ads.

Keep ReadingArrowUpdated Mar 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy