Live

Watch CBSN Live

Bernie Sanders' massive effort falls flat

Tuesday was supposed to be a turning point for Bernie Sanders, the moment when the Vermont senator would prove that he had the wherewithal to win the Democratic nomination.

Bernie Sanders suffers huge setback

Instead, his campaign ended the night on the verge of losing every single contest to Hillary Clinton.

When Sanders took to the stage at a convention center in Phoenix, Arizona he did not even acknowledge the races that were happening in five states across the country - the majority of which he had predicted to do well in.

"I think we are going to do just fine on Tuesday," he told reporters late last week. "I feel that we have a lot of momentum in this campaign. I think that all people understand our message and that is that we have got to stand up and fight back against an economy that is resulting in a disappearing middle class, where almost all income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent."

The 74-year-old senator had barnstormed state after state in the lead up to Tuesday's primaries. On Monday alone the took on five rallies in four states -- Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri and Illinois -- and showed no signs of exhaustion. The goal of that swing, as explained by top campaign officials, was to pick up the most number of delegates possible in as many states as possible.

Clinton Interview: I have more votes than Trump

Yet on Tuesday night his speech did not at all highlight the sweat he had put into the trail or the results he was hoping for. Instead, he spoke directly to his Arizona supporters, who will vote next week, as if nothing else was happening that night.

Sanders did have many enthusiastic supporters on the trail over his last few days of campaigning - just not enough reliable ones.

Kent Moore, 51, made a Bernie Sanders sign, decorated with a bigger than life Bernie face on it, and came to the Raleigh, North Carolina event because his 20-yr old daughter had sold him on the idea that Sanders could win. As soon as Moore was convinced he was totally on board, cheering throughout the speech, touting Sanders' view on trade and claiming that he is the only candidate who could save capitalism.

Hillary Clinton rebounds from Michigan loss with multiple wins.

His daughter smiled as she watched him speak about Sanders' platform to reporters. Yet there were not enough Kents out there to overcome the Clinton juggernaut.

In every state that voted on Tuesday, Sanders did end up winning with younger voters. In North Carolina he won 73 percent of voters aged 18-29, but only 32 percent of voters aged 45-64. But it was that older block that block that made up 42 percent of the voters on Tuesday night.

Sanders' poor showing in Missouri was a big blow to his campaign, which very good about his prospects there. In the three days leading up to the primary, Sanders had three rallies in the state. During his last visit there he came with a special guest -- Danny Devito -- who called twirled on the stage and compared Sanders to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sanders then reminded the crowd that there was once "a candidate who was the anointed one, she was inevitable."

"Today she is not so inevitable," he said, a bit too optimistically.

Sanders' losses in Illinois and Ohio will also harm his prospects going forward. He will likely come close to splitting delegates with Clinton in both states, but she leaves tonight with big gains due to her 120-delegate pickup in Florida.

Sanders' campaign said they have no plans to change their calculus based on Tuesday night's results, and say that the calendar going forward looks good for their candidate.

Yet as one top Sanders campaign official put it before the results began to come in on Tuesday night: "Nothing proves you can win like winning itself."