It appears to be the end for the Bernie Sanders campaign.
While the Vermont Senator is not formally withdrawing from the race, his campaign’s recently announcement “reassessment” appears to signal a turn away from pursuing the party’s nomination – and towards securing a position of influence at the Democratic National Convention.
Following Tuesday’s primary votes in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut – four of which were swept by frontrunner Hillary Clinton – the Sanders campaign announced it was undertaking a “reassessment”.
Shortly thereafter Sanders adopted a far softer tone towards the presumptive Democratic nominee. Tacitly accepting Clinton’s virtually unsurmountable lead, Sanders pledged to unite behind the eventual nominee, saying he was committed to barring the Republicans from the White House.
“I will do everything in my power to make sure that no Republican gets into the White House in this election cycle,” he said.
With the electoral math making a Sanders win at the convention all but impossible, the candidate appears to be looking to influence within the Democratic Party rather its nod for president.
Further evidence of this came as the campaign began firing hundreds of field staffers on Wednesday, bringing the total number of staffers down to just over 300.
Michael Briggs, the campaign’s communications director, told Politico that the move was part of a pattern of “right-sizing the campaign as we move through the calendar”.
Including superdelegates, Clinton now holds a massive 778 delegate lead over Sanders, leaving the Vermont Senator with no plausible path the nomination.
Barring a massive shift in superdelegates, who are unbound to a candidate but have largely committed to support Clinton, Sanders would have to secure the support of the remaining 160 or so superdelegates as well as 76% of all remaining delegates allocated in state primaries.