Bernie Sanders may not have dropped out of the race for the presidential nomination, but it appears to be the beginning of the end for his presidential campaign.
After losing four out of five states to Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton in the Northeastern primaries, the independent Vermont senator has begun streamlining his operations by announcing plans to lay off “hundreds” of campaign staffers from field offices across the country.
“We want to win as many delegates as we can, so we do not need workers now in states around the country,” Sanders told The New York Times. “We don’t need people right now in Connecticut. That election is over. We don’t need them in Maryland. So what we are going to do is allocate our resources to the 14 contests that remain, and that means that we are going to be cutting back on staff.”
The White House hopeful, whose earlier statement suggested his campaign will shift focus from winning the nomination to shaping the party platform at this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, didn’t specify exactly how many staffers will be let go, but he did say “it will be hundreds.”
“We have had a very large staff, which was designed to deal with 50 states in this country; 40 of the states are now behind us,” the senator added. “So we have had a great staff, great people.”
It is only understandable that Sanders campaign is finally scaling back, because the delegate math is not in his favor. As the Politico reports, it is unclear how much money his campaign, which entered the month with $17 million after spending $46 million in March, currently has on hand.
As for the delegate scoreboard, it shows Clinton with 2,151 delegates while Sanders stands at 1,338. Of all the delegates still up for grabs (roughly 1,500), Clinton only needs 15 percent while the senator needs 70 percent to reach the required 2,383 delegates.
“The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be,” he said in a separate statement. “That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.”
While he is not throwing in the towel and still has plans to compete in every remaining nomination contest, it appears he is no longer trying to convince his supporters that he still has a realistic path to winning the nomination. The Sanders campaign, which brought millennials to the polling station, seems to be returning to its initial purpose of transitioning the Democratic Party to the left.
However, for now, the presidential hopeful is going to concentrate on winning the California primary.
“California will have the most staff,” Sanders said. “Symbolically and in terms of delegates, if we can win the largest state in this country, that will send a real message to the American people and to the delegates that this is a campaign that is moving in the direction it should.”
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Mike Segar