Yesterday, Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he would be suspending his presidential campaign leaving his supporters — many of them Latino — utterly devastated.
“I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour,” Sen. Sanders in a live-streamed speech, “While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not.”
It was his movement that inspired millions, including large Latino populations, mainly in California and Texas, that turned out for Super Tuesday. While some primary elections have been held throughout the country, others have been delayed due to the coronavirus crisis, which in turn affected Sen. Sanders’s campaign.
“We’re the first presidential campaign to overwhelmingly dominate the Latino vote, while at the same time not having a Latino vote department,” senior adviser Chuck Rocha told NBC News. “Coronavirus stopped us in our tracks,” Rocha added.
Rocha said that the Sanders campaign proved “you can engage Latinos and turn out Latinos.” That was reflected in the mass turnout of Latino voters.
That proved to be the case in early March as the Washington Post exit polls show reported, “Sanders carried the Latino vote overwhelmingly: he had 49 percent of Latino support in California…and 39 percent in Texas, where he lost narrowly to Biden. By comparison, Biden won 19 percent of Latino voters in California and 26 percent in Texas.”
“Without Latino voters, Sanders would have really had a terrible night,” Matt Barreto, a professor at UCLA and co-founder of the research firm Latino Decisions, told Vox. “Biden had a good night already, but Sanders was able to hold his own with a really big win in California and breaking even in Texas. All of that strength for him was Latinos and young voters who came out.”
Today I am suspending my campaign. But while the campaign ends, the struggle for justice continues on. https://t.co/MYc7kt2b16
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 8, 2020
So now that Sanders is out, how do Latinos move forward? We must continue to fight for Latinos, get politically involved, and, most importantly, vote in November. That is the message from Mijente — the political, digital, and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx organizing and movement building.
“We need to organize for a historic mobilization of voters in November,” Mijente said in a press release. “To do that, we must learn from the lessons of the campaign and very intentionally address the ways in which it fell short while campaigning in this new all-virtual landscape.
The Sanders campaign gave us a presidential-level operation to flex our power and demand better, but it’s up to us now to build the national political vehicle to continue mobilizing against Trump. He has always been our target, and our commitment to get him out is all the stronger.”