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Sanders lays off staffers, insists he can still win

Sanders campaign running out of options 03:20

Bernie Sanders' campaign is laying off hundreds of field staffers but the Vermont Senator is doubling down on his commitment to "transform" the country and the Democratic party, regardless of whether he somehow secures the nomination.

"We are in this campaign to win. But if we do not win we intend to win every delegate that we can so that when we go to Philadelphia in July, we are going to have the votes to put together the strongest progressive agenda that any political party has ever seen," Sanders said with an indignant voice to a crowd of 6,500 people at Purdue University.

Michael Briggs, a Sanders spokesman, said that the layoffs are being made with the idea that the staffers would be brought back in. They have been talking about these layoffs for a while.

When asked if these layoffs were a posture of weakness Briggs explained that they are a "posture of reality."

"If we become the nominee then it is going to require a bigger campaign again. But at this point to get through the remaining 10 states we don't need that we decided," Briggs explained.

At this point, the campaign would not detail how many staffers it has in total or how many are working on their efforts in California. The campaign did just open an office in L.A. and they plan to open office in Oakland this weekend.

Yet as the campaign looks to the upcoming nominating contests the odds of Sanders securing the nomination continues to diminish.

On Tuesday, Sanders picked up 129 delegates to Clinton's 194 - putting him behind by more than 800 pledged delegates. After the results came in the Sanders campaign put out a statement highlighting their ambition to fight for a "progressive party platform." The statement was devoid of the phrase that the campaign has used in the past: "a path to victory."

Instead, it listed off a number of issues that are part of that platform including: a $15 min wage, ending "disastrous" trade policies, making colleges tuition-free, passing a carbon tax, breaking up Wall Street institutions, passing a carbon tax, instating a medicare-for-all system, and ending fracking.

The statement and Sanders' speech on Tuesday night - which was devoid of his familiar Clinton hits - alludes to the fact that the Sanders campaign is officially acquiescing to a new mission of shaping the Democratic party platform, not winning the Democratic nomination.

Still, pointing out that "unusual things happen in politics," Sanders is hoping for lightening to strike.

He explained that it remains possible for him to win enough delegates and super delegates to win the nomination. Including her current advantage among super delegates, Clinton now has 90 percent of the delegates needed to clench the nomination.

Sanders remains publicly confident that the super delegates could switch allegiances. On Wednesday, he laid out his primary rational for this belief: he does better in one-on-one match-ups with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and he performs well among independent voters who can get out to the polls in the general election.

"What I hope delegates understand is that the national election is an open process. Guess what? Independents vote in that process," Sanders said. "And it turns out that we are overwhelmingly winning the independent vote."

When talking about the forces working against him, Sanders did make a rare mention of Bill Clinton.

"We are taking on the most powerful political organization in the country. A political organization that had elected Bill Clinton president on two occasions and ran a very strong campaign for Hillary Clinton in 2008," Sanders said.

"Other than that, our task was a pretty easy task."

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