Sanders is building a real campaign organization

Updated 12:47 PM EDT, Fri September 4, 2015
bernie sander on debates and super pac_00013811.jpg
bernie sander on debates and super pac_00013811.jpg
Now playing
01:52
Bernie Sanders: 'People need to be organized'
bernie sanders still feels the bern origwx allee_00011828.jpg
bernie sanders still feels the bern origwx allee_00011828.jpg
Now playing
01:56
Bernie Sanders still feels the bern
bernie sanders democrats trump bannon bts_00000924.jpg
bernie sanders democrats trump bannon bts_00000924.jpg
Now playing
01:18
Sanders: Democrats will work with Trump if ...
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses a rally against the Iran nuclear deal on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol September 9, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses a rally against the Iran nuclear deal on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol September 9, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Now playing
02:40
Can Trump be trusted with nuclear weapons?
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 07:  Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) greets supporters at an election-night rally on June 7, 2016 in Santa Monica, ia. Hillary Clinton held an early lead in today's California primary.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Scott Olson/Getty Images
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 07: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) greets supporters at an election-night rally on June 7, 2016 in Santa Monica, ia. Hillary Clinton held an early lead in today's California primary. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:20
Five moments from Bernie Sanders' improbable run
security scan
PHOTO: DHS
security scan
Now playing
03:04
Fear, anger over potential 'Muslim registry'
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:05
Bernie Sanders says he will work with Donald Trump
Student slams Clinton
PHOTO: Youtube/David K
Student slams Clinton
Now playing
01:15
Student bashes Clinton ... at Clinton event
dnc convention roll call brother larry sanders sot _00012118.jpg
dnc convention roll call brother larry sanders sot _00012118.jpg
Now playing
01:23
Bernie Sanders gets emotional at DNC roll call
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to reporters in Oakland, California. May 30, 2016.
PHOTO: CNN
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to reporters in Oakland, California. May 30, 2016.
Now playing
01:36
Secret Service rush stage at Bernie Sanders rally
Bernie Sanders takes the stage at the DNC Convention
PHOTO: CNN
Bernie Sanders takes the stage at the DNC Convention
Now playing
01:00
Bernie Sanders takes the DNC stage, crowd goes crazy
Bernie Sanders speaks to members of the press before being introduced at the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California on May 30, 2016.
PHOTO: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images
Bernie Sanders speaks to members of the press before being introduced at the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California on May 30, 2016.
Now playing
02:56
It's 'Bernie or bust' for some Sanders supporters
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign rally with democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at University of New Hampshire on September 28, 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire.
PHOTO: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign rally with democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at University of New Hampshire on September 28, 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire.
Now playing
02:51
Sanders walks fine line on Clinton hacked audio tape
Bernie sot 3
PHOTO: CNN
Bernie sot 3
Now playing
02:23
Sanders' new message to his supporters
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
03:20
Who voted for Sanders and can Trump win them over?
FAIRFIELD, CA - JUNE 03: Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks during a campaign rally at Cloverdale Municipal Airport on June 3, 2016 in Cloverdale, California. Five States including California will hold the final Super Tuesday primaries next week. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Ramin Talaie/Getty Images
FAIRFIELD, CA - JUNE 03: Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks during a campaign rally at Cloverdale Municipal Airport on June 3, 2016 in Cloverdale, California. Five States including California will hold the final Super Tuesday primaries next week. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:07
What the end of the Sanders primary campaign looks like

Story highlights

The Sanders campaign is hiring in Iowa

The Vermont senator says organization is now the key

(CNN) —  

With just a few days of summer Senate recess left, Bernie Sanders is spending some time campaigning in the Hawkeye State.

CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux caught up with Sanders following his headquarters opening in Ottumwa, Iowa. In an office filled with “Bernie” t-shirts, posters, yard signs, and some “Cats for Bernie” pins, he acknowledged that his support during what’s been dubbed the “summer of discontent” has outpaced his political infrastructure.

“So what we are doing now is hiring on people. We have now dozens of people on the ground here in Iowa. Great crowds are wonderful, but that does not necessarily translate into votes. People need to be organized and know how to come out and participate in the caucuses,” Sanders said.

Sanders said his campaign is not only hiring in Iowa, but also in New Hampshire and elsewhere, creating an organization structure to handle volunteers.

“We’re doing it all over this country. Creating a political infrastructure with organizers, with volunteers, to make sure that supporters come out and vote. And that’s how I think we’re going to win this thing. We will be outspent – let me just say this – I know we will be outspent by our opponents. We don’t have a Super PAC. We’re dependent on small, individual contributors. But I think the grassroots movement that you saw out there – that’s what’s going to win it for us.”

RELATED: Biden talks up Sanders at fundraiser

Building a campaign organization is an issue the Trump campaign has had in Iowa, too.

“It’s a very good problem to have,” Trump State Director Chuck Laudner told CNN earlier this month.

Both campaigns are now tasked with building organizations to turn the rapid influx of summer interest into caucus-goers who will support their respective candidates on Feb. 1, 2016.

For the Trump campaign, that means educating potential caucus-goers on the process and using a word-of-mouth networking model to mobilize support on caucus night. For Team Sanders, traditional grassroots methods are being employed: putting volunteers to work canvassing in neighborhoods; knocking on doors; taking down names; and making phone calls.

OPINION: Sanders’ prize: The ‘post-Obama’ voters?

Throughout Sanders’ stops in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, the crowds, the excitement, and the “Yes we cans” during his speeches were reminiscent of 2008. But Sanders said although then-Senator Barack Obama ran “one of the great campaigns in American history,” he made a mistake.

“Here’s one area where Barack Obama and I disagree. Here’s what I understand – is that given the powers that be in Washington, Wall Street, corporate America, the big money interests – change does not take place no matter who gets elected president unless there is a strong grassroots movement,” Sanders said.

“Brilliant campaign. But after he got elected he had the illusion – the mistake – of believing that he could sit down with Republicans and just work out some good compromises. That was never going to happen. The only way that we change life for the middle class in this country is when millions of people become actively involved in the political process. No president can do it alone.”

A sentiment he echoed on the stump, asking supporters to help him create that grassroots movement.

“Welcome to the political revolution,” Sanders said.

OPINION: The Bernie Sanders surge

CNN’s David Wright contributed to this report