The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Bernie Sanders’s fundraising drops off sharply in April

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders last week in Huntington, W.Va. (John Minchillo/AP)

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said he raised $25.8 million in April, well shy of his eye-popping totals of recent months.

The figure comes as Sanders’s chance of defeating Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination have dwindled, with his loss to her in the New York primary on April 19 widely viewed as a turning point in the race.

Sanders’s take, raised almost entirely online, fell about $20 million short of the $46 million he posted in March. His haul was still sizable by some measures: Clinton reported having raised about $27 million in March, not much more than Sanders’s take in April.

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But Sanders has emerged as the biggest-spending candidate in the race, and his April total is not enough to maintain his pace of spending on television ads and other facets of the race.

Last week, the campaign announced that it was shedding 225 staffers to “right-size” its personnel heading into the final nominating contests, including Indiana on Tuesday.

The lower haul also comes as Sanders is ramping up to compete against Clinton in California, where there are multiple media markets and the cost of television advertising is very expensive.

Sanders has said in recent days that he remains in the race with the intent of winning but that he is also maneuvering to make the Democratic platform as progressive as possible at the July convention in Philadelphia.

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During an appearance on "Face the Nation" on Sunday morning, Sanders said his path to the nomination is "difficult but not impossible."

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says he still sees a path to victory despite calls from front-runner Hillary Clinton to quit the race. (Video: Reuters)

Sanders said that by his campaign's calculations, he would have to win 65 percent of delegates in remaining contests and persuade superdelegates — who have overwhelmingly backed Clinton — to come his way.

Sanders said one target of opportunity for him is winning over superdelegates in states where he has won primaries or caucuses by large numbers. The superdelegates include elected Democratic officials and party insiders who have a say in the nomination and are not bound by how their states vote.

Sanders said his continued presence in the race is good for the Democratic Party.

“Of course the party needs to be unified, and it will be unified after the convention in July," he said.

During an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Clinton said she would actively court Sanders's supporters and welcomed his ideas on the party platform.

"I certainly look forward to working with Senator Sanders in the lead-up to the convention, in the lead-up to [writing] the platform," Clinton said. "I really welcome his ideas and his supporters' passion and commitment. The most important thing for us is to win in November."

Elise Viebeck contributed to this story.