Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sanders Wins Big, But Nothing Changes

Democratic voters in three western states gave Bernie Sanders huge wins the last week, but the headlines and lead paragraphs of the coverage remain: “Sanders wins, Clinton leads.” And, there is no expectation the picture will change.

Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead is so significant, counting super delegates, that Sanders would have to win two-thirds of the remaining delegates to stop her. And unfortunately for him, the race is heading to big states with large minority and unionized Democratic Party constituencies better for Clinton, tougher for Sanders.

Bernie Sanders
Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli
His win in mostly White, mostly small caucus states of Alaska (82%), Hawaii (70%) and Washington (73%), while impressive, are not significant enough to shift the calculation that Clinton is still the presumptive nominee. Sanders, in fact, has hit five in a row, counting Idaho and Utah a week earlier. All five were caucus states with very few voters participating (26,000 people voted in Washington, 33,000 in Hawaii and 530 in Alaska). In fact, Clinton leads with 2 million more voters than Sanders.

Clinton has 1,712 delegates, 72 percent of the goal of 2,383. She only needs 671 more, or 33 percent of the 2,049 delegates still available. Sanders, on the other hand, needs 1,379 delegates, or 67 percent of the remaining delegates – short of complete Clinton collapse in the upcoming expensive state primaries, a very unlikely scenario.

The next contests will be in a primary in Wisconsin April 5, the Wyoming caucus April 7 and the New York primary April 19. Sanders did not win Massachusetts, Ohio or Indiana. He will need extraordinary wins in the final northeast primaries and then super delegates to shift position. Good luck.

Read The Buzz: Clinton extends lead, Trump faces resistance – KOA interview with April Zesbaugh and Steffan Tubbs

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