Bernie Sanders, Fearing Weak Democratic Turnout, Plans Midterms Blitz
Sen. Bernie Sanders has warned that he faces a tough electoral environment in this year’s midterms, and that his campaign against Hillary Clinton in the presidential contest has cost it precious resources it now depends on to defeat GOP foes. | Getty
When Bernie Sanders announced that he was closing his presidential campaign, he left open the possibility of a last-ditch bid for the White House in 2020.
The prospect of such an effort — even if it doesn’t come to fruition — has left Sanders’ allies wondering just how effective its last-ditch efforts will be in the presidential election next year.
But as the Vermont senator enters the midterm cycle with a more confident posture than in previous campaigns, he isn’t letting the absence of a presidential announcement affect his confidence. “This is not a wasted effort,” said Sanders spokesman Mike Casca.
The reason? “It’s a year away,” he said.
“In terms of resources, we are far ahead of the race,” said Sanders’s campaign chairman, Jeff Weaver, pointing to the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent by his team in the past five months. The bulk of that money has come from grassroots donors, with large sums from billionaires and corporations, “a very small amount from the Super PACs, and then some independent expenditures,” he said, referring to the small contributions that are not coordinated by a campaign and are often made to Democrats up for reelection.
Since Sanders announced his campaign in late January, his campaign has lost its two big money donors, the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, and then last month, it lost its biggest donor, billionaire Paul Singer, and its largest individual donor, New York City developer S. Peter Belsky, the president of the Belsky Group. Weaver has said this is a