Thursday, May 12, 2016

The End is Near for the Sanders Campaign

"All aboard the Hill train, Bern..."
Despite his recent wins in Indiana and West Virginia, the ominous stories are starting to pile up for Bernie Sanders. Specifically, it's becoming clearer by the day to all parties involved that California will be the end of the road whether he manages to squeak out a win or not.
As Bernie Sanders looks toward California to make a defiant final stand, he is bumping up against a dilemma that his campaign has not had to confront in some time.

He is running short on cash. 
In no state is money more crucial for a candidate than in California. Its sheer size, in both geography and population, makes running here a ridiculously expensive endeavor. Its media markets are some of the most costly in the world, and candidates who try to sidestep big ad buys typically fail to convey their message to key segments of the electorate.
And this certainly can't be good either:
Bernie Sanders’ campaign parted ways with its California state director Michael Ceraso on Wednesday morning, 27 days before the primary in the state that Sanders has repeatedly said is crucial to his effort to capture the Democratic nomination.

The surprise move came after a period when Ceraso advocated for a California strategy that involved more investment on field and digital organizing than on television advertising — a staple of Sanders’ campaign elsewhere so far — he told POLITICO.
It appears that the campaign won't be able to spend anywhere near what is required in California, but that's not the only state where lack of funds appears to be a problem.
Throughout his campaign, California has been Bernie Sanders' promised land — a progressive state rich in delegates and a reliable source of hope, just over the horizon.

"We think we have a path toward victory, and that path absolutely must go through California," Sanders told the Los Angeles Times in March.

But now, with California's June 7 primary finally coming into view, Sanders may be heading into the Golden State hobbled.

Sanders officials say they "probably" won't spend more on television advertising in the notoriously expensive state, which some California political experts say is virtually a declaration of surrender.

In another sign of trouble, a senior aide says the campaign is likely to stop producing new TV spots all together. That, after the campaign has cut more than 264 different TV ads.

In Kentucky, which votes Tuesday, Sanders' campaign is reusing two old ads and letting himself be outspent by Clinton's campaign $178,000 to $93,000, according to ad tracking data from NBC News partner SMG Delta.
Question: Is Kentucky the first and only competitive state where the Clinton campaign is outspending them on the air? Whether it is or not, it must mean that victory there is a possibility. And if Oregon also goes Hillary's way...and it appears it Tuesday could be a nice shot of momentum for the frontrunner in the final stretch.

But wherever the chips fall in the next few contests, some post-California plans are already being drawn up and they sound pretty level-headed so far (the assumption of victory in California excluded):
A group of Bernie Sanders staffers and volunteers is circulating a draft proposal calling on the senator to get out of the presidential race after the final burst of Democratic primaries on June 7, and concentrate on building a national progressive organization to stop Donald Trump.

Operating under the assumption that Sanders will win the California primary but still fall far short of amassing enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination, the document calls for the Vermont senator to exit the race and launch an independent political group far larger than any other recent post-campaign political operations, such as those started by Howard Dean or Barack Obama.

The working title for the roughly 1,600-word document: “After Winning on June 7th Bernie Sanders Should Suspend his Campaign and Launch an Independent Organization to Defeat Donald Trump."

The group of over a dozen Sanders backers crafting the proposal — a collection of volunteers and current and former Sanders staff members, all veterans of other high-profile campaigns, including Barack Obama’s, who insist on anonymity — believes that leaving an imprint on the party platform is an overrated goal. They suggest that the Vermont senator should exit the race if it’s clear he cannot win — a call similar to the one made by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, his lone Senate endorser — rather than spend the five weeks before the convention in limbo.

That approach would allow Clinton to confront Trump more directly, and earlier than expected: Even Priorities USA Action, the main pro-Clinton super PAC, has signaled that it wishes to go on the offensive sooner than originally planned by revealing this week that it will move up the start time of its ads from June 8.
This is encouraging for sure, and I hope these uniting voices are heard loudly and clearly in the weeks to come. 

And let's also quickly recall that the White House (the loudest uniting voice of them all) knows full well how this will end and isn't waiting around anymore:

In my opinion, a graceful exit by Bernie in early to mid-June would be best for his country, his (new) party, his own career and the legacy he will leave behind. But the final decision on the resolution of his amazingly successful campaign rests with Senator Sanders alone.

I trust that he will make the right decision...because the alternative is not an option.


  1. Bernie is busy being a jerk, to the end he'll be a jerk. He wants attention. I hope it's true and that his chumps are wising up.

    I wonder how many millions he has to pay back. I think he's holding onto it to keep the lights on, with the vain hope that he can transfer it to his own presidential race.

    of all the people who might have presented rational far left positions and made her lefty positions look moderate, we got stuck with the lazy and self-serving narcissist.

    I know Hillary doesn't want us saying things like that, she is always high road and she sees no benefit to giving him any attention, but it is what it is.

    The most progressive candidate ever, who is also female and thus whose presidency will serve to raise up women everywhere, would obviously face a 'great male hope,' of course, so I guess bernie is as good as any other man, vainly trying to stop us.

  2. You'd think he'd have to come around to that conclusion eventually himself: What would be the point of causing trouble at the convention? By that time Obama, Biden, and Warren will be in full gear working to win. He would just seem like a childish trouble-maker.