Bernie Sanders has had a nice run, but Hillary Clinton keeps closing in on her win number

Since Hillary Clinton swept the Ides of March primaries on March 15, she has won only the state of Arizona on March 22. Bernie Sanders has had some rather impressive wins in state caucuses since then, and a win in the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday.

Screenshot from 2016-04-06 07:06:21

Nevertheless, because the Democratic Party uses a proportional award of delegates by the percentage of the vote, Clinton keeps closing in on her win number, while Sanders still has a long way to go to catch up. Jonathan Martin and Nate Cohn explain: “Mr. Sanders’ overall deficit — he trails Mrs. Clinton by about 230 delegates — is becoming so large that winning only modest victories puts the Democratic nomination farther out of his reach.”

After Wisconsin, NBC News’s First Read does the math and concludes that Sanders gained no ground:

[Sanders] outspent Clinton over the Wisconsin airwaves by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, beat her by 14 percentage points, 57%-43%, but only picked up a net gain of just 10 pledged delegates. And despite that gain, the percentage of overall remaining delegates that Clinton needs to clinch the nomination actually got smaller (from 34% to 33%), because there are fewer delegates left to win…. Clinton must win 33% of remaining delegates to hit the 2,383 magic number (was 34%). Sanders must win 67% of remaining delegates to hit the 2,383 magic number (was 66%).

Wisconsin was an open primary. Sanders does far better in contests open to independents than in closed ones. But the big upcoming contests in New York (April 19), and Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Connecticut (April 26) are closed primaries, which are confined to those registered as Democrats.

Clinton has won big in racially diverse urban electorates. Clinton wins in these upcoming contests would foreclose any path to the nomination for Sanders. Even a narrow loss, beating the 33% need to win number, would inexorably move Clinton closer to her win number. It is always about the delegate math.

Democratic primaries in May that are closed primaries include Kentucky and Oregon. New Mexico is also a closed primary in June.

Screenshot from 2016-04-06 13:21:01

42 responses to “Bernie Sanders has had a nice run, but Hillary Clinton keeps closing in on her win number

  1. For Sure Not Tom

    Well, Bernie just took Wyoming. Not the biggest state but yet another win and the sixth in a row.

    Queue the “liberal” media to begin telling us again how Sanders can’t win.

    Maybe so, but I hope the corrupt “liberal” media, the corrupt DNC and the corrupt DWS are paying attention.

    Expect us.

  2. Great discussion! It’s interesting to see the comments about two politicians who are very similar. The New York Times did a recent article on the Senate voting records of the two. Clinton served in the Senate from 2001 till 2009, so there is a wealth of data. The Times states that the two voted together 93% of the time. And some of the voter differences were technical, for example, Sanders voted against the 2007 immigration reform bill because he was concerned about guest worker fraud issues.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/28/upshot/the-senate-votes-that-divided-hillary-clinton-and-bernie-sanders.html?_r=0

    I went to the website Project Vote Smart to look at their legislative scorecards. I used the year 2005, about halfway through Clinton’s tenure.
    Here are the scores from that year, Clinton first, Sanders second
    National Abortion Rights Action League – 100, 100
    American Civil Liberties Union – 83, 100
    National Organization of Women – 100, 100
    Americans for Democratic Action – 100, 100
    League of Conservation Voters – 95, 94
    National Council La Raza – 100, 66
    Human Rights Campaign – 89, 100
    Gun Owners of America – 0, 50

    Whichever of the two candidates win, I’m totally convinced that the other candidate will endorse and campaign for the other.

    • Thanks, Jim, for that very good, accurate information about the two candidates voting records. I voted for Bernie but I am Ready for Hillary. I have always felt that if you put these two in a room for an hour they could come up with agreements on each if their policies that is consistent with birth of them. They are not separated so much by different views on issues as they are on hiw to achieve the end result.

      Today and several weeks ago Hillary, and Bill, have both said that they would take Bernie over any if the Republicans. And a few months ago and, more grudgingly, somewhat recently, Bernie has said that he would take Hillary over the Republicans. The whole situation with the recent blowup has been exclusively caused by a FALSE Washington Post article. I wonder if that was planted by a Republican operative to sow dissent in our ranks? Read Talking Points Memo for details.

      In the end regardless of who wins the nomination we MUST come together and support the nominee and all the candidates down ballot.

    • It would not be unusual for two Democrats (or a Democrat and an independent who supports Democrats) in the Senate or House to vote the same 93% of the time. Why is that? Because there other choice is to vote with Republicans which would make their re-election kind of tough. It does not logically follow that those two individuals are alike and would be interchangeable as the POTUS.

      The most important vote of the 21st century was the vote to invade Iraq and Hillary favored that while Bernie did not. That single vote underscores the differences in these two candidates where voting to rename a post office, for example, does not. In fact, it has become almost impossible to imagine the US today without that unjustified invasion. The loss of life, the wounded survivors, the displaced, the destruction of Iraq are horrific beyond comprehension. Add to that the opportunity cost of squandering billions of dollars which could have funded populist reforms right here at home. Yes, my friends, there are VOTES and there are VOTES. Hillary’s colossal failure to use good judgement on this historic vote is quite baffling since she of all people would have understood that the Iraq invasion was hatched in a think tank, the Project for the New American Century, back in the 1990s when Bill Clinton was president. He dismissed Wolfowitz et al more than once.

      Comparing Hillary to Bernie just doesn’t work. There is a clear choice here, a very clear choice. No one should muddy the waters.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        American’s don’t see war the way the rest of the world does, Liza.

        Bush/Cheney did a good job of making sure there would be no Walter Cronkite-Vietnam style war coverage.

        Geography does most of the work. We do our killing elsewhere. We don’t feel the horror.

        This is why your (and my) argument that the Iraq vote disqualifies HRC. Her supporters do not understand war. They don’t have feelings for the civilians killed, the US soldiers killed, the mental scars on both sides and the wounded whose lives are forever changed.

        They’ll scream at me for that, call me names, say they give to vets or something, but if they really did believe war is wrong, and war for profit is evil, they wouldn’t support a war hawk like HRC.

        And to admit that we were wrong in Iraq is to admit that we were not a liberating army, we were invaders, our soldiers murderers, and no one wants to say that out loud.

        HRC would never support a war for oil, would she? Nah.

        • All of this.

          Bernie Sanders is so clearly a better, safer choice. I trust Bernie to choose diplomacy over war whenever that is possible and that is absolutely the most important choice that a president makes.

      • If the Iraq war vote is your main issue, then it makes sense for you to support Bernie Sanders.
        Hillary has repeatedly stated that her vote was a mistake. She was joined in voting yes by senators like Tom Harkin, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Tom Daschle and Harry Reid. I doubt if many readers of this site would call Tom Harkin a sellout.
        There are clear differences between our two candidates. Bernie Sanders has represented a small, liberal state in the House and Senate for his entire political career. Like our Tucson Congressman Raul Grijalva, he has the great fortune to be able to vote in a progressive manner almost all the time, except for gun control, where the hunters of Vermont call the shots.
        Hillary Clinton spent much of her political time in Arkansas, much poorer and more diverse than Vermont. She then spent 8 years in the White House, trying to push forward issues like the SHIP health plan to cover low income children. Next, she represented the state of New York, which happens to include the many businesses on Wall Street. So, I would posit that she has a different life experience in politics than Bernie Sanders.
        I think both are good, solid liberals and either would make a fine President. I am waiting for the end of the primaries and will then donate and volunteer for the winning candidate.

        • War is most definitely an issue worth considering when choosing who gets your vote. However, Hillary’s vote to invade Iraq is not the only reason that I support Bernie Sanders.

          Not to put too fine a point on it, but supporting CHIP is one of Hillary’s better moments in a career that isn’t exactly riddled with them. I would hardly call her a liberal. In fact, I don’t know what she is because her position is subject to change depending on whatever is politically expedient for her at the moment. Bernie has stayed on message for his entire career as a mayor and a legislator. Maybe he lived in a liberal town in a liberal district because he is, in fact, a liberal.

          And, going back to Hillary’s CHIP moment, it’s worth noting that this what the Clintons were able to accomplish after making universal healthcare the cornerstone of Bill’s 1992 campaign. With Hillary in charge, the result can be considered nothing more than an epic failure. I believe that was the last attempt at being liberal in both of Clinton’s terms (except for CHIP). Hillary, of course, wasn’t the president, just a major supporter of his policies which she considers to be “experience.”

          I think she’s a bad candidate, and I deeply resent that the Democratic party expected all Democrats to just fall in line and support their pick. This should have been a competitive race and that is exactly why Bernie decided to run, to give people a choice. And his success, starting from ground zero to where he is now, proves that people wanted a choice.

  3. Cheri, you said, “In fact, there are quite a few very informative, sourced articles here that you might want to read….” Thank you for the advice but I can assure you that I am well read and decided quite some time ago that Bernie is a better choice than Hillary Clinton.

    In addition to her dismal record and talking out of both sides of her mouth, she is now in full attack mode and has unleashed her inner pit bull. But this is what the Clintons do when they are cornered or challenged. They just get ugly and make the election about attacking the opposition and getting their smears repeated over and over by their hired hands and supporters and corporate media. MSM loves this, of course, because otherwise they would have to report on real issues, something they are incapable of doing.

    Trust me, your articles or hit pieces from such informed sources that disparage Bernie can be matched 10 to 1 at the very least by links to unflattering articles about Hillary from informed sources. So, its mostly pointless.

    But, I will say this. With the DNC making this colossal error, ramming their pick down our throats, they may have set up a situation where a GOP candidate really could win. Blame the DNC, not the voters, if the GOP figures out a path to victory and prevails.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      I understand the desire to elect Hillary, flaws and all. The first woman in the White House running things! Long overdue, and shameful that we’re so far behind the rest of the world.

      What I don’t understand is the hate for Bernie from people who claim to be progressive Democrats.

      The guy is FDR in a bad suit!

      Here’s the bottom line. AZ is a Red State. I voted for Bernie in the primary, and I’ll write him in for the general, but it won’t matter.

      AZ will go Red and it’s winner take all.

      So I’m using my vote, which is my voice in politics, to tell the DNC and DWS to go pound sand.

    • The hate for Bernie is in total alignment with Hillary’s campaign strategy (using the term loosely). In the Clinton’s political world, your supporters have to hate your opponent and spread the smears on your behalf. Remember the PUMAs?

      Bernie didn’t want to run a negative campaign, he wanted this primary season to be about real issues, about people’s lives, the future of the country and the planet and so forth. But Hillary doesn’t do that. She doesn’t want folks to look too closely or they will see someone who has been around politics for a very long time and has very little to show for it that is good and much that isn’t so good. What she does have is a lot of corporate and wealthy supporters who want to tip the scales and make sure she is the nominee. And, of course, the DNC leadership bows and scrapes before the Clintons. All of the establishment has lined up behind Clinton for obvious reasons. Bernie was never supposed to do as well as he has and now he is a pain in their a$$es and they want to squash him like a bug in the only way they know how – smears, lies, and attacks.

      This is pure Hillary, pure Clinton. I wouldn’t vote for that woman to catch dogs.

  4. Just one question to all of you that think Bernie is fabulous….what will you do if he’s not the nominee? Stay home? Because then we get a President Trump….and any good things that we have achieved over the years, go away. You will literally have other people’s live’s and livlihoods, in your hands.
    What will you do?

    • For Sure Not Tom

      You do know that there are other options besides staying home.

      For you folks that think HRC is fabulous, maybe get new material.

    • Wouldn’t that mean the Hillary supporters also have people’s lives in their hands? They’re not powerless to avoid the result you fear, right? Knowing that many supporters would stay home, they could hold their noses and support Sanders over Clinton to be the nominee.

  5. what should be hillary clinton’s punishment for voting for the iraq war for political gain and the death of over 4000 americans and untold numbers of iraq’s it is now up to the voters of new york.

  6. Anybody who believes the DNC will be able to defy momentum is living and traveling with extreme blindness.

    Any effort by the DNC to do so will be met with extreme pushback. They will not like the result.

  7. This post makes little sense, IMO. Sanders’ strategy for some time has been to win the majority of the pledged delegates, and put pressure on the supers to reconsider their non-binding commitments. To do that, he need to win 57% of the remaining pledged delegates, which is precisely what he did last night.

    Obviously, he can’t win each primary by 2 to 1, so overcoming Clinton’s super delegate advantage by pledged delegates alone was not in the picture. But, if you’re going to insist on doing the “math” this way, then be honest. What you’re doing is signing on to a system where the super delegates control the outcome and folks like you put pressure on the candidate in Sanders’ position from the get go. After all, based on your numbers, Sanders was under pressure to win 55+% of the pledged delegates to win before any votes were cast in Iowa, so if he won every contest with 53% of the vote, eventually the scolds, yourself seemingly included, would be writing posts like this one here.

    • AZ BlueMeanie

      As you can see from the NYT delegate tally above, Clinton currently leads by 252 pledged delegates. That puts her 252 pledged delegates closer to the win number than Sanders, heading into favorable terrain primaries for Clinton.

      In 2008, Obama finished with 1766.5 pledged delegates, and 463 super delegates. Clinton finished with 1639.5 pledged delegates and 257 super delegates. Obama’s lead was 333 delegates (127 pledged delegate lead, 206 super delegate lead). 2218 delegates were needed to win, so it was the super delegates who put Obama over the top. Clinton conceded and graciously gave a floor speech at the convention asking her delegates to support the nominee. Has everyone forgotten this recent history?

      I get the sense that Sanders supporters are building the meme that “the super delegates stole it from us.” First, the numbers do not bear this out at this point, and second, everyone running in this Democratic primary knew what the rules were going in and agreed to the rules. Even if super delegates do provide the margin of victory, as they did for Obama in 2008, so what? Complaining about super delegates is, in fact, “sour grapes.”

      Unlike everyone else who posts on this blog, I have not sided with either candidate. I have tried to present an objective overview of the race from the data and the experts. I will work for the eventual Democratic Party nominee.

      I have been around politicians since I was a kid. Unlike many Democrats, I do not fall in love with a candidate. They all have feet of clay and immense egos, and in the end they will always break your heart. You can’t survive in this business if you fall in love with candidates.

      • You’re still not making sense, and nothing you said in your comment resuscitates the flaws in the logic of your post. In 2008, the supers started out in Clinton’s column, but largely were not counted in the horse race math. Then, they moved, just liked they could this time around. In the reporting of the race, nobody ever suggested that Obama should drop out because he couldn’t overcome Clinton’s lead in super delegates by achieving an even bigger edge in pledged delegates, which is what you’re saying in your post.

        If you need more help understanding this, consider the following: Sanders wins 62% of the remaining primary votes and pledged delegates. According to your logic, he’d fall short, even though he’d be 150 pledged delegates or so in front. Don’t you think the supers would flip at that point to avoid a revolt. If so, why do you contend Sanders must win 67% of the remaining delegates? You’re just wrong here.

        • AZ BlueMeanie

          This is wishful thinking or fancy. I’ve been through numerous campaigns and what you are suggesting will not happen. If it does, I owe you a beer at your favorite watering hole.

          • The issue I raised was not about what was going to happen. If you read my posts, I’ve conceded the likelihood of Clinton winning.

            The point I was making was about your logic as to how well Sanders had to do in the remaining primaries. Yes, he has to do really well, better than he likely will. But you’ve dramatically overstated the hurdle he needs to clear.

          • AZ BlueMeanie

            Actually, Bob, I simply quote Jonathan Martin and Nate Cohn who explain: “Mr. Sanders’ overall deficit — he trails Mrs. Clinton by about 230 delegates — is becoming so large that winning only modest victories puts the Democratic nomination farther out of his reach.” And also Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann from NBC’s First Read who did the math: “Clinton must win 33% of remaining delegates to hit the 2,383 magic number (was 34%). Sanders must win 67% of remaining delegates to hit the 2,383 magic number (was 66%).” I haven’t overstated anything. We will know by the end of the month.

          • Understood, but are you a journalist or a parrot? Their logic on the 33% thing is woefully off base. If Sanders were to get to a lead in pledged delegates, and Hillary must do 43% or more to prevent that, the supers would flip in a hurry.

          • AZ BlueMeanie

            So instead of arguing with me about it, shouldn’t you be contacting the actual “journalists” who wrote the pieces to argue with them about their logic? Their numbers have been widely cited in the mainstream media this week. They are not citing me, or your math, for which you have no source citations.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Chuck Todd!!!! Gosh!

            Well, why didn’t you say that before!

            Chuck Todd! Gee willikers!

            🙂

            Hillary is leading in delegates.
            Bernie is leading a revolution.

  8. Just got this email from Bernie: “Hillary Clinton herself just unleashed the first part of the new “disqualify him, defeat him and then they can unify the party later” strategy we told you about. Look at this new headline: Washington Post: “Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president””.

    She also says he’s not a Democrat. And then there’s this other nonsense today coming from the Hillary loving corporate media about Bernie not really knowing how to break up the big banks as stated in his NYDN interview. As if the executive branch of government has only one person.

    A truly wretched, horrible person. This campaign has got to get to her level, to her comfort zone. It’s got to be about smears, attacks, lies, then rinse and repeat and do it again. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, if she were a good candidate she wouldn’t have to do this. But she isn’t so she does.

    If elected, she will be one of the worst presidents in history, that is my prediction. Will she be better than whoever is the GOP opponent? Make a case for that, anyone?

    • Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat, that’s not nonsense. As far as I know, he has never been a Democrat. He won his first race, for Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, by taking on the Democrats.
      In Congress, he has caucused with Democrats as a matter of convenience.
      This is one of the reasons why he is so far down in terms of the super delegates. Unlike Hillary (and Bill) Clinton, who have helped fellow Democrats for 40 years by attending their fundraising events, Bernie Sanders has never helped Democrats.
      Now some might think this is a good thing. But it somewhat flies in the face of our human nature, which is to be social creatures and to affiliate with like minded folks.
      I like Bernie, always have. I used to look forward to his hour radio shows on Air America with Thom Hartmann. He has been a solid voice in Congress.
      But he is not a Democrat.

  9. Just got this email from Bernie: “Hillary Clinton herself just unleashed the first part of the new “disqualify him, defeat him and then they can unify the party later” strategy we told you about. Look at this new headline: Washington Post: “Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president””.

    She also says he’s not a Democrat. And then there’s this other nonsense today coming from the Hillary loving corporate media about Bernie not really knowing how to break up the big banks as stated in his NYDN interview. As if the executive branch of government has only one person.

    A truly wretched, horrible person. This campaign has got to get to her level, to her comfort zone. It’s got to be about smears, attacks, lies, then rinse and repeat and do it again. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, if she were a good candidate she wouldn’t have to do this. But she isn’t so she does.

    If elected, she will be one of the worst presidents in history, that is my prediction. Will she be better than whoever is the GOP opponent? Make a case for that, anyone?

  10. Well, if you assume all those superdelegates really are going to vote for the DNC favorite, then it’s a lost cause for the better candidate, Bernie Sanders. The despicable DNC will have their nominee that they have shoved down the throats of their would be supporters. They will also have an immensely diminished number of people who want to be Democrats or who will support Democrats until the party is reformed. They could start those reforms by getting rid of the superdelegates.

  11. For Sure Not Tom

    Hillary is leading in delegates.

    Bernie is leading a revolution.

  12. Marshall Gentry

    Another stupid post by a Hillary supporter trying to paint a rosey picture for Clinton. All her strong support was in the south. Of course she’s ahead at this point. All major networks include “superdelegates” in their math and they don’t count. They have only voted once in history and that was only to confirm a candidate already selected by the primaries. Do your research.