Daily we are barraged by mass media accounts as to the impossibility of Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. For just one example, consider CNN's "badgering" Sanders to drop out of the race following his upset victory in the Indiana primary. See HERE and HERE. Or just read, watch, or listen to any mainstream media about the Democratic race.
2,382 delegates are needed to win. Where the race actually stands as of May 6, 2016 is Clinton 1,703 delegates to Sanders 1,415, a net lead for Clinton of 288. See HERE. 933 pledged delegates remain to be selected. 475 of these are from California alone. See HERE for details. To win with pledged delegates alone, Clinton needs 2382 - 1703 = 679. Sanders needs 2382 - 1415 = 967.
For the remaining primaries. Sanders will win Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, West Virginia and Oregon by wide margins. He will lose New Jersey and the District of Columbia (DC) by a wide margin. It seems reasonable to assume that Sanders will win the states listed above by an average margin of 60 percent to 40 percent. As Democratic primaries award delegates roughly proportionally to the vote, this gives Sanders 132 delegates to 88 for Clinton. That is a net gain of 44 delegates for Sanders.
On the other hand, Clinton will win New Jersey, with 126 pledged delegates, likely by about 55 to 45 percent. That gives her 69 delegates to Sanders's 57, a net pickup of 12 delegates for Clinton. DC, with 20 pledged delegates, will strongly favor Clinton--75 percent to 25 is possible. This results in a 15 to 5 delegate split, a net pickup for Clinton of 10 delegates. Combining all of these pickups together we have 44 gained by Sanders to 22 gained by Clinton. Ultimately, Sanders net pickup is 44-22 = 22 gained for Sanders. Sanders will then be 266 delegates behind Clinton.
Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico also will be voting. Between them they have 74 delegates--60 for Puerto Rico alone. There does not appear to be any polling for these areas. I'll assume 53 to 47 percent advantage Clinton. This gives 39 delegates Clinton to 35 for Sanders--a net gain of 4 for Clinton. This places Sanders 270 delegates behind Clinton. These numbers will likely be more favorable for Sanders due to a probable 75 to 25 percent blowout win for Sanders in Oregon, however, I will be conservative in my math. So Sanders will find himself at most 270 delegates behind Clinton, not considering California.
California will award 475 pledged delegates in its June 7th primary. Clearly, Sanders MUST win California, and win it decisively. Everything that follows hinges on this outcome. How will Sanders fare? Consider that in the first three months of this year over 850,000 Californians have registered, or changed their registration status. More than 41 percent of this figure is accounted for by voters 18 to 30 years of age. This age cohort favors Sanders by at least a 70 to 30 percent margin. See HERE for details. This information strongly suggests a massive turnout for Sanders.
Consider that if Sanders were to win California by a 60 to 40 percent margin, this would result in his winning 285 delegates, versus 190 for Clinton--a net pickup of 95 delegates for Sanders. This would shrink Clinton's delegate lead to 175 at most, and possibly, because of Oregon, closer to 150. Sanders would end the primary season with 1,894 delegates to Clinton's 2065.
Clearly, Sanders is not going to win a majority of pledged delegates. Can Clinton? Only if she wins at least 73% of all remaining pledged delegates. That simply WILL NOT HAPPEN. Therefore, neither Clinton, nor Sanders will win a majority of pledged delegates.
Super delegates wield an additional 715 votes. Therefore, super delegates will determine the Democratic nomination.
This is where things get interesting. Changes made to Democratic Party rules arising from the McGovern-Fraiser Commission report, were intended, in part, to ensure that the party would not select a non-viable candidate as its nominee. With the later creation of the super delegate system, it is primarily through the mechanism of these super delegates that the party is able to intervene to prevent such an electoral outcome this year.
Let me restate: the primary purpose of the super delegates is to ensure that the Party does not nominate a candidate who is likely to lose, over one who is likely to win. Normally, both candidates are roughly equally electable, so the one with the most pledged delegates is "pushed" over the top by a majority of super delegates. This is NOT this case this year, however.
All polling data consistently shows Sanders beating Trump by large margins, whereas Clinton either loses to Trump or wins by small margins. See HERE and also HERE, for supporting information. This strongly suggests that Clinton would lose to Trump in the general election.
Clinton has an almost infinite array of negative "baggage" associated with herself. From the Clinton Foundation's spending only about 10 percent of the millions it takes in from special interests for charity, to her ongoing e-mail server scandal, to her Goldman Sachs transcripts; the list of potential scandals is nearly infinite. We can be 205 percent certain that Trump will hit her relentlessly and viciously with all of these and more. Her already sky-high negative net approval rating will collapse to sub-basement levels. Clinton will lose disastrously to Trump.
Sanders, conversely, is that rarest of creatures--a truly open and honest politician. Trump's ability to "tar and feather" him will be minimal to nonexistent. Call him a "socialist"? Sanders will simply thank Trump and go on to explain what democratic socialism means for contemporary America.
With Sanders, what you see is what you get. Sanders, as all polling shows, will decisively trounce "the Donald."
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