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Bernie Sanders Will Lay Off 'Hundreds' of Campaign Staff

The cuts come one day after the Democratic presidential hopeful lost four out of five primaries to Hillary Clinton, deeply damaging his chances of winning the nomination.

by Olivia Becker
Apr 27 2016, 9:23pm

Photo by David Maxwell/EPA

Bernie Sanders's campaign will lay off "hundreds" of campaign staffers immediately, he told the New York Times on Wednesday, one day after the Democratic presidential hopeful lost four out of five primary state battles to Hillary Clinton and his chances of winning the nomination slipped further away.

"We want to win as many delegates as we can, so we do not need workers now in states around country," Sanders told the New York Times. "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."

Sanders' chief spokesperson, Michael Briggs, told Politico that the cuts were merely an acknowledgement of a shifting campaign. "This is a process that we've done before of right-sizing the campaign as we move through the calendar," he said.

The campaign will redirect most of its national operations toward California, the Times reported, the most delegate-rich state in the country. California holds its primary on June 7 and carries 546 delegates.

Related: Hillary Clinton Wins Four More States, Putting Major Dent in Sanders' Campaign

The Sanders campaign did not say exactly how many staffers they will let go.

The cuts to Sanders' campaign come after the Vermont senator suffered repeated losses to Clinton in multiple northeastern primaries on Tuesday. Sanders now has 333 fewer delegates than Clinton, not including superdelegates, greatly decreasing his chance of reaching the 2,383 he would need to win the nomination. Most of the 712 Democratic superdelegates have pledged their support to Clinton as well.

As primary voting got underway on Tuesday, Sanders's top strategist, Tad Devine, told the Times that the campaign will "reassess" their prospects after the primary and decide how to continue, though he stressed that the senator would compete in all of the remaining primaries.

Clinton won New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut on Tuesday, while Sanders picked up his sole victory in Rhode Island.

Despite the low odds of Sanders winning the Democratic nomination, he has repeatedly vowed to stay in the race and said he has no plans of dropping out anytime soon. During a campaign rally in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Wednesday, he acknowledged that "we are behind today. But you know what? Unusual things happen in politics."

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He added that he was "in this campaign to win and become the Democratic nominee."

Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @oliviaLbecker