Reeling from their losses in Tuesday’s Democratic and Republican primaries, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas abruptly reordered their campaigns on Wednesday, aiming to preserve some small hope that the race might yet turn in their favor.
Mr. Cruz named a running mate, Carly Fiorina, to help bring down Donald J. Trump, the Republican favorite, and both spoke of Mr. Trump in the language of relentless opposition, casting him as a sinister figure who must not be allowed to become president.
On the Democratic side, Mr. Sanders said he would scale back his upstart bid for the White House and lay off hundreds of campaign workers, a measure seemingly intended to extend the life of his candidacy but not to prepare for a general election.
In an interview, Mr. Sanders acknowledged in the strongest terms yet that Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead might have closed off his path to the nomination, and he was less combative toward his party’s front-runner in his moment of apparent defeat, taking a tone of cold realism, if not quite resignation.
Stymied in his efforts this week to challenge Mrs. Clinton’s dominance in the urban Northeast, Mr. Sanders said he would now refocus his efforts chiefly on the June 7 primary in California, a state laden with both delegates and political symbolism. By winning there, he said, he hoped to strengthen his hand ahead of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, where he would push his core priorities into the party platform.
“If we can win the largest state in this country, that will send a real message to the American people,” Mr. Sanders said, “and to the delegates that this is a campaign that is moving in the direction it should.”
The Sanders campaign said late Wednesday that it would continue to maintain a staff of more than 300 as the race moved toward California. The campaign had roughly 1,000 workers during the initial nominating contests.
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