With less than a month until the highly-anticipated June 7 primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday replaced his California campaign director, Michael Ceraso, with his former Iowa State director, Robert Becker.
According to Politico, Sanders’ national spokesman, Michael Briggs described Becker as “one of the most seasoned and savvy people working on our campaign or any campaign.”
Ceraso had previously served as Sanders’ campaign’s deputy director in New Hampshire. When asked by the San Francisco Chronicle to provide a reason for his exit at such a critical juncture in the campaign process, Briggs said “I can’t help you on that.”
However, it appears the reason could have to do with television advertising in the Golden State. Ceraso had reportedly pushed for more advertising in field organization and digital platforms, which may have had more of an impact in other states.
With 475 delegates at stake and Hillary Clinton’s massive superdelegate and sizable pledged delegates lead over Sanders, he needs all the help he can get.
According to an April Field Poll, Sanders is trailing Clinton by 6 points among likely California voters. He and has yet to invest in TV ads, but has indicated he “may end up doing” TV. He told the Sacramento Bee on Monday: “[Y]ou know, we’re in reasonably good financial shape, but TV is so expensive here in California, you could just spend millions of dollars in a few days.”
Sanders has been spending much time in California lately, having garnered over 15,000 fans for a rally in Sacramento on Monday and a brief meet-and-greet with hundreds of his supporters in Oakland on Tuesday outside his campaign offices on Colorado Avenue.
In the meantime, he has also stuck to his guns about predicting a contested convention in July, where some Sanders supporters are promising to “occupy” the Philadelphia-based Democratic National Convention.
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