The rather thorough clobbering Bernie Sanders received in South Carolina on Saturday may well be the beginning of the end of the Vermont senator’s inspiring rise from long-shot presidential candidate to “guy Hillary Clinton is legit afraid of stealing the Democratic nomination.”

The grim news from South Carolina made for some awkward timing as Sanders’ campaign officially opened up its first office in the Triangle over the weekend. Hillary’s spot is in Raleigh, but Bernie’s posting up in downtown Durham, at 207 N. Church Street. On Sunday night, about a hundred supporters turned up to sign up for phone banking and other duties, and to eat chocolate chunk cookies, which were bountiful and delicious.


Aisha Dew, the statewide director for the Sanders campaign, addressed the crowd.

“We need this space packed for the next seventeen days,” Dew said, noting that Sanders volunteers would be coming up from South Carolina to canvass the state in the coming days. The office will be open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. through the primary on March 15.

Dew said that the Asheville office would be opening Monday, and Wilmington later in the week. The Charlotte and Winston-Salem offices are already up and going.

The most recent N.C. poll has Sanders down ten points from Clinton in the state. The momentum has clearly shifted away from Sanders since even then—you could feel it in the room on Sunday—which makes for long odds. But who knows? Events transpire. Voters change their minds. For Sanders, though, that will have to occur pretty quickly here in North Carolina.