Here's Why Bernie Should Drop Out. (And Why He Shouldn't.)

04/25/2016 05:33 pm ET Updated Apr 26, 2017
SHEBOYGAN, WI - APRIL 1: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign event at the
SHEBOYGAN, WI - APRIL 1: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign event at the Sheboygan South High School Acuity field house in Sheboygan, WI on Friday April 01, 2016. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Love him or hate him, Bernie undeniably shook up the presidential race, giving frontrunner Hillary Clinton a real run for her money and pushing her to become, some say, more liberal on issues like the minimum wage and campaign finance.

Right now, though, it looks like he probably won't win the Democratic nomination for president.

Should he drop out of the race and throw his support (and considerable fanbase) behind Hillary? Or should he stick it out, continuing to draw attention to the issues he cares about and prove to voters that he doesn't shirk on his values?

Should you stay or should you go, Bern?

Why should Bernie drop out?

He probably can't win. (Because math.)

After Hillary's big win in the New York primaries, Bernie's shot at the presidency is looking pretty dismal.

Hillary has 81% of the delegates she needs to secure the nomination (including superdelates, or delegates who can choose who they vote for, who pledged to support her). Bernie only has 50% of the delegates he needs.

Even without superdelegates, which aren't a 100% sure thing until they actually vote, she still has a whopping lead.

Long story short, based on the numbers, Bernie's not likely to win.

If he wants to win, he might need to turn to superdelegates.

During the primaries, presidential hopefuls don't necessarily win based on the popular vote -- they win based on delegates. Most delegates vote based on the winner of the popular vote in their designated state.

But since the 1980s, the Democrats have also had something called superdelegates, who can vote for whichever candidate they want without considering the popular vote.

Though more superdelegates have pledged their votes to Hillary, Bernie wants to make them change their minds and vote for him instead.

That's all well and good, except for one thing: Bernie has also said that the superdelegates should vote based on the popular vote. Which would go to Hillary.

So he's going to have to contradict himself here if he's trying to turn superdelegates who've already pledged to Hillary (who's winning the popular vote).

It's a waste of money.

Running for president ain't cheap.

So far, Bernie has raised -- drumroll, please -- $182,786,161 and spent $165,344,465 on the campaign trail. And he's still raking in donations from his supporters. But if he probably isn't going to win, is it fair for him to keep taking that money?

He could jeopardize Clinton's chances in the general election.

In trying to beat Clinton, Sanders has portrayed her as untrustworthy.

This has led many of his supporters to say #NeverHillary, refusing to vote for her in the general election if she becomes the nominee. Some even say they'd rather vote for Trump.

The rising animosity could seriously hurt Clinton's chances at the White House and pave the way for a Republican candidate -- say, Trump -- to take the presidency. If he dropped out now and threw his support behind Hillary, he could help give her a better standing with his fans and up the chances of a Democrat getting into the Oval Office.

Why should Bernie stay in the race?

He could continue to make a point.

Sanders might not want to back down without a fight to the end. Even after Sanders' defeat in New York, his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, insisted that Bernie will stick it out.

In doing so, Sanders will make a point about how voters shouldn't settle for politics as usual. If he refuses to fall back so the establishment can win, he's setting an example for his supporters, showing them that they should stick to their guns.

He could keep shaping the conversation.

Thanks to Sanders, Americans are talking about some pretty radical ideas: tuition-free college, a single-payer healthcare system, breaking up the big banks. And a lot of Americans liked what they heard.

Would Sanders actually be able to enact these changes if he became president? Debatable. But by making voters aware of alternatives, he gives them a better chance to envision the changes they want to see in America.

He could push Clinton to be a better candidate.

Sanders has held Clinton accountable for her shifting views, her wealthy donors and her establishment roots. Could this push her to become more transparent?

Also, by bringing out support for his leftist policies, he's awoken a political tidal wave of young voters who are now voicing their opinions. This has pushed Clinton to the left, and she herself has focused on her progressive tendencies to match the needs of the Democrats she wants to vote for her.

Sanders is helping Clinton understand the desires of the American people. This knowledge could be important if she becomes president.

He can keep his fans energized and involved in politics.

Millennials who otherwise might not have been interested in politics have been galvanized by Sanders' message of "Revolution." He has more young voters than both Clinton and Trump combined.

On average, young people are less likely to vote than older citizens. Sanders has inspired passion in this hard-to-capture group, and has already helped get more Millennials involved in politics. Should he keep up the good work?

He could actually win.

The chances are slim, but Sanders could still end up as the Democratic nominee for president.

If Sanders wins 73% of the remaining delegates (including superdelegates), he could secure the 2,383 needed to win the nomination. It's a long shot, but it is possible.

Also, don't forget that Hillary Clinton is still being investigated by the FBI about that insecure email server she used during her time as the Secretary of State. If the FBI finds her guilty of wrongdoing and calls for an indictment, the superdelegates will vote for Sanders and he'll secure the nomination. If he backs out now, things could get chaotic if Clinton is charged with a crime.

Whatever Bernie decides to do, there's no denying that he made a huge impact on American politics during his run for the Democratic nomination. He mobilized voters and pushed liberal policies. So whether Bernie drops out or stays in, he's already kind of won. We already #FeeltheBern.

This article was written by Alison Maney and originally appeared on Kicker. Kicker explains the most important, compelling things going on in the world and empowers you to get in the know, make up your own mind, and take action. For more, check out the Kicker site, like their Facebook page, or subscribe to their email newsletter.