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The 2020 Democratic primary has largely come to a close, with former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the presumptive nominee. Still, student political groups on Harvard’s campus remain divided over whether to coalesce around Biden for the general election.
Three days after Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dropped out of the race for president, Harvard College Students for Bernie, a subgroup of the Harvard College Democrats, announced on Twitter it would not endorse Biden’s campaign.
“It must be shocking to people who outsource their thinking to the establishment, but Bernie supporters tend to have a mind of their own,” a tweet from Harvard for Bernie reads. “If Biden wants our vote, then he'll have to earn it."
The group’s action runs contrary to that of the candidate they formed to support — Sanders himself endorsed Biden on Monday. He said in a Thursday interview with the Associated Press that not voting for the former vice president would be “irresponsible” and help President Donald J. Trump win re-election.
Diego A. Garcia ’20 and Amelia M. Apgar ’20, co-founders of Harvard College Students for Biden, said they were “disappointed” to hear of Harvard for Bernie’s decision not to endorse Biden.
“[We] understand that the outcome of the primary is frustrating to the leadership of Harvard for Bernie. That said, we believe that anyone who sits this election out jeopardizes the millions of Americans who would be hurt by another four years of President Trump,” they wrote in an email.
Over the past several weeks, Harvard for Biden has hosted virtual phone banks, speaker forums, and social events, in addition to focusing more on social media, according to Garcia.
Garcia and Apgar said that the group had seen an “influx” of over sixty new members since Sanders suspended his campaign, and that they plan to emphasize some of Biden’s more liberal policies in the future, which they hoped would “pleasantly surprise” other progressives.
Harvard for Bernie’s position mirrors similar stances taken by other progressive groups, including the Democratic Socialists of America and many campus organizations across the country. In nearly identical tweets, those groups reaffirmed their refusal to endorsing Biden.
“Why is Elizabeth Warren dragging her feet to endorse? This will give us four more years of Trump,” a Tweet from Harvard for Bernie reads.
Harvard for Bernie did not respond to a request for comment.
—Staff writer Joshua C. Fang can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jshuaf.
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