It will be a sad day for thousands of supporters when news hits that Bernie Sanders is dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but will that moment ever come to pass? After all, Bernie has painted his work as not a campaign, but a political revolution — a qualification that the term “dropping out” seems antithetical to.
On Wednesday, Politico reported that staffers were being laid off in the states where primaries had already taken place, a shuttering down that may reflect a lack of confidence that Sanders will need them in a general election. Still, that’s not to say Bernie has gone bankrupt. In addition to the revelation about the staffers, the news site also reported that Sanders had at least $17 million in campaign coffers at the beginning of this month.
Yet even many of his supporters have more or less admitted Bernie’s defeat. A CNN editorial argued that while Sanders was no longer a viable candidate, he was unlikely to step out of the race. From the beginning, he has made clear that his final goal is to push the Democratic party closer to the left, something he’s done quite effectively, argued columnist Dean Obeidallah.
“Sanders winning the Democratic nomination and even the White House is truly not the prize that Sanders, or many of his supporters, are seeking. He wants to transform the system. This is a man who vowed when he launched his campaign that ‘we’re going to build a movement of millions of Americans who are prepared to stand up and fight back.’ And he has done just that.He has even moved Clinton to not just discuss the issues he has championed but also embrace his positions on issues like raising the national minimum wage to $15 to opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership.”
But even if Bernie doesn’t drop out, the competition is over. With more than a 300 pledged-delegate lead now, Hillary Clinton has already emerged as the victor. While Sanders is likely to soldier on to the end, it’s become illogical to believe that Bernie can somehow still pull ahead after the New England Super Tuesday races.
Moreover, Hillary has been ahead of Sanders in nearly every recent state’s polling, and the final results have proved to reflect, and sometimes even exceed, those numbers. Nearly a month ago, political pollster Nate Silver classified it as “really hard” for Bernie to get the 988 more delegates he needed at the time to secure the nomination. Even in the Sanders-optimistic outcome Silver concocted, Bernie still couldn’t get the required number.
Looking over that table a month later, it’s clear that that divide has grown even deeper, especially taking into account that Nate conceded Sanders wins in New York and Pennsylvania and cut Clinton’s margins back substantially in places like Maryland.
Not even just political analysts are calling the campaign doomed. College Humor released a video earlier this week mocking Bernie supporters for their continued denial of his inevitable loss. Many Sanders voters, including his campaign manager, have continued to insist that he should not drop out because of extra delegates picked up from county caucus conventions and future states where he could start winning.
Do you think Bernie Sanders will be dropping out or remaining in the race until the Democratic convention?
[Image via Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images]