For Bernie Sanders, this might be the worst moment of his presidential run yet.
With the primary results still trickling in, Sanders is currently losing four out of the six states that voted on Tuesday, including Michigan, the biggest prize that he won in 2016.
Joe Biden now looks set to extend his lead in the delegate count ahead of Sunday’s debate in Phoenix and the primaries in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio next Tuesday.
Seemingly acknowledging that he was on course to win the nomination, Biden thanked Sanders supporters for their “tireless energy and their passion.”
“We need you. We want you. And there’s a place in our campaign for each of you,” he said of his rivals at a Philadelphia rally on Tuesday. The Sanders campaign has yet to comment on Tuesday’s results.
Social media, meanwhile, have been awash with triumphant anti-Sanders messages, which propelled the hashtag #ByeByeBernie to the top of Twitter trends.
It's amazing to see all the people in the #ByeByeBernie hashtag bragging about having successfully ensured that the Democrats doing the exact same thing that has lost to Republican incumbents for decades; if beating Trump is the priority, they picked the worst possible strategy.— Roland Jones (@RolandKJones) March 11, 2020
Ppl tweeting #ByeByeBernie are awful. Imagine feeling proud of blunting progress & telling young folks we have no future; that we're stuck w/ our student loans; can't have healthcare; can't have a habitable planet to live on. What an honorable cause - let's see how that works out— Mulanananan (@indiecitizn) March 11, 2020
Seeing #ByeByeBernie trending is so disheartening. Being involved in politics in any capacity is stressful, but watching a once-in-a-lifetime candidate be attacked, mocked and told to drop out for wanting such basic things (M4A, living wage, GND, etc.) is beyond unthinkable.— Emily (@defineifndef) March 11, 2020
The Bye Bye Bernie slogan first emerged in 1994, when gun rights activists launched an eponymous campaign against Sanders, then a representative, in Vermont. He recalled in a memoir how the National Rifle Association distributed 20,000 “Bye Bye Bernie” bumper stickers leading up to the election to Congress, in which he supported a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons.