As we all know, Tuesday essentially marks the end of the Democratic presidential primary (though D.C. votes on June 14th) as far as voting goes. Unless you’re someone who’s counting the convention as a “vote,” which it technically is — but more on that later.
To say the battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders became fairly heated would be an understatement. It wasn’t anything like the sideshow we witnessed on the Republican side, but things did get rather testy at times between the two candidates. That’s to be expected when you’re campaigning against one another for over a year.
While many Clinton supporters have been pointing out the fact that this race has really been over for weeks, many Sanders supporters have been very optimistic about his chances to come back and eventually become the Democratic nominee. Unfortunately for Sanders and those backing him, the math is simply not in his favor.
In fact, let me put together a hypothetical situation based on current pledged delegate counts (not superdelegates) and see how things could shake out if everything went exactly how I’m about to describe it.
Alright, let’s get started.
Currently, Clinton’s lead over Sanders is roughly 315 pledged delegates (she won all 7 from the Virgin Island caucus and the Puerto Rico delegate split should be about 39-21 once everything is settled) with six states going to the polls Tuesday (California, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota and North Dakota).
So, let’s say Sanders wins Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota all by 30 points, 65-35. That would mean, of the 59 delegates between those three states, he would get 38 while Clinton would receive 21.
If that happened, Clinton’s lead would shrink from 315 to 298.
Then let’s say Sanders goes on to win New Mexico by 20 points, 60-40. He would then take 20 of the state’s 34 delegates, while Clinton was awarded 14.
At that point, Clinton’s lead would fall to 292.
But then there’s New Jersey, where Clinton is expected to win by around 15 points. Let’s low ball it some and say she only wins by 10 points, 55-45. Of the 126 delegates in the state, she would get 69 while Sanders would get 57.
With that win, Clinton’s lead would then go up from 292 to 304.
Now that leaves us the big prize, California and its massive haul of 475 delegates.
Let’s say Sanders wins California by 10 points, 55-45 (though he’s actually being projected to lose by around 9). If he managed to win California by 10 points, he would get 261 delegates, while Clinton would walk away with 214.
So, where does that leave everything?
Well, if Sanders happens to win Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota by 30 points; then wins New Mexico by 20; while only losing New Jersey by 10; but wins California by 10 — Clinton would still lead by 257 pledged delegates.
But you know what, let’s get a little crazy, shall we? Let’s say the world is blown away as Sanders wins California by 40 points, 70-30 – a MASSIVE blowout victory. He would be awarded 333 delegates, while Clinton would only get 142.
If that happened, Clinton’s pledged delegate lead would crumble to — 113 delegates.
Fun Fact: In 2008, Obama ultimately beat Clinton by 127 pledged delegates.
So, to summarize: On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders could win Montana, South Dakota and Montana by 30 points each; win New Mexico by 20 points; only lose New Jersey by 10 points; and win California by 40 — and he would still trail Clinton by about 113 delegates, which is more or less the same lead Obama had when Clinton conceded defeat in 2008.
Though we can’t forget about D.C. and its 20 delegates, a place Clinton is expected to win in a landslide. So with that victory she might equal the lead Obama had eight years ago.
By the way, Sanders is not going to win Montana, South Dakota and Montana by an average of 30 points; it’s unlikely he’s going to win New Mexico by 20 points (if at all); he’s likely going to lose New Jersey by a little more than 10 points; and there’s not a chance in hell he’s winning California by 40 points.
The reality: Bernie Sanders is, in all likelihood, going to leave Tuesday trailing by over 200 delegates and over 2 million overall votes.
Now, for those of you out there saying, “It’s not over till it’s over because the superdelegates still get to vote at the convention,” if you honestly believe that the superdelegates are going to overturn the will of the voters by switching to the candidate who’s likely going to be down over 200 delegates and over 2 million votes because of head-to-head polling results, that’s optimism bordering on absolute delusion. Not only that, but to believe that is comically hypocritical considering Sanders himself, and many of his supporters (probably all those who are betting on this superdelegate nonsense), have said that superdelegates should side with the candidate the voters chose — which would overwhelmingly be Hillary Clinton. There’s no rational or logical way anyone can argue that Sanders should be chosen at the convention over Clinton. And if you’re someone who’s actually trying to convince yourself that it’s going to happen over these next few weeks, you’re setting yourself up for a huge disappointment.
I’m sorry Sanders faithful, the journey has been amazing and his campaign has accomplished more than almost anyone could have ever dreamed. He inspired millions of people to rally around him with passion and energy that’s almost unprecedented.
But after Tuesday — we need to move forward with the will of the voters.