Sanders campaign adapts after Washington primary shift

ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign is hitting Washington state with an early volunteer push.

Washington is one of 10 states where the Democratic Party is switching to a primary-only system to pick its candidate ahead of the 2020 election.

Sanders easily won the 2016 Washington caucus, but the state’s shift to a primary presents a challenge for his campaign: converting the passionate caucus support he enjoyed in 2016 to broader turnout in 2020.

To do that, the campaign is fielding a significant direct-to-voters outreach effort in Washington earlier than any other candidate, including with a web app essentially allowing interested supporters to be instantly trained in how to canvass.

Altogether, it marks an early start in the state, where few other campaigns have launched direct-to-voters efforts ahead of the March 10 primary, according to state Democrats.