Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign on April 8, causing the University of Nebraska-Lincoln body to feel a variety of emotions.
Some students are surprised and heartbroken, while others feel neutral about the announcement. The Daily Nebraskan attempted to collect as many reactions as possible by asking peers, reaching out to recognized student organizations and requesting comment via social media.
Peter Coyne, senior political science and German double major, president of UNL Young Democrats
“The Exec Board had a policy of not showing open support for any candidate going against another Democrat in the primaries. I can tell you, however, that many of our members were disappointed to see Bernie drop out. Many of our members had planned on voting for him in the presidential preference primary in May. Overall, I’d say people are disappointed and shocked. On another note, however, his campaign was nearly finished. His delegate count was far behind Biden’s, and the map of states that were left in the primary were not friendly to Bernie. Mathematically and politically, it was unlikely for Bernie to make a comeback.”
Ellen Keast, sophomore political science and history double major, president of UNL College Republicans
Keast forwarded the national organization’s quote, saying UNL College Republicans supported it and didn’t have anything to add.
“Bernie Sanders may be out of the race, but he’s not forgotten. His far-left socialist agenda and ugly brand of identity politics now form the core of the Democratic Party platform that Joe Biden will carry into the fall election. Especially now, in the midst of a public health crisis, this is no time for experimenting with our way of life. The challenges we face may seem daunting, but confronting these challenges with boldness and courage as President Trump has done has made America stronger.”
Mason Haas, junior construction management major
“I’m disappointed that Bernie’s movement, which clearly still had life after 2016, ended sooner than I anticipated. I wish the Democratic establishment would have let all the candidates play it out until the convention, where anything could happen. All that being said, Trump versus (sic) Biden should be a fun ride.”
Maddie O’Connor, sophomore pre-nursing major
“I am completely heartbroken. I feel like our country is doomed, and he was the only candidate truly for the people with no motive to fill his pockets. I am crushed that I will be forced to vote for Joe Biden and feeling very hopeless moving forward. I feel like Bernie was our last chance, and I am devastated.”
Peyton Walker, junior supply chain management major
“Honestly, I am not surprised by Sanders's withdrawal from the race. I think it was to be expected. I'll be voting for President Trump regardless, so his decision did not impact me much at all.”
Spencer Nussrallah, senior economics major
“Right now is a turbulent time for Americans. Having the primaries right now is just another source of that chaos … Now should be a time of bringing Americans together instead of leading to unnecessary political infighting. Bernie stepping out of the race provides an opportunity for Americans to rally as one and focus on the general election.”
Taylor Stumpff, sophomore psychology and communication double major
“I was quite sad he dropped out, but I wasn’t really surprised he did. He hadn’t been winning the states he needed to, so it would be quite hard for him to continue on. I’m not a fan of Joe Biden, who will mostly likely be the Democratic nominee, so it leaves me quite disheartened moving forward. I don’t have anyone left I like or I think would be a good president. I think Bernie was one of the only candidates that stayed solid in what he believed and wasn’t easily swayed, which was refreshing.”
Megan Elbel, junior psychology major
“I'm disappointed that Sanders has dropped out. Not in Sanders himself, but in the voters for backing Biden despite his voting history … In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, we need to push even harder for universal healthcare, a radical climate change policy and expanded access to higher education. Despite my disappointment, I will be voting for Biden in November. I know that many Sanders supporters are frustrated and considering voting independently. That is exactly how Trump got elected in 2016 … The best thing we can do for our country is rally behind the only remaining candidate who opposes Trump: Joe Biden.”
Justin Myers, junior economics major
“Bernie was on the way out without any sort of new spark to his campaign. He needed to be able to fire up the grassroots to have any shot of overtaking Biden, and that just wasn’t going to happen, especially in a media environment where all the oxygen is taken by COVID-19. He’ll be remembered as changing the Democratic Party to the left, but I think this is his final exit from the national electoral stage.”