Delegates and Spending Douse The Bern
Hillary Clinton’s win in her home state of New York over Bernie Sanders means the path to the nomination for Senator Sanders is all but blocked. The math is unforgiving, but the finances are what is devastating.
There are 4763 total delegates in the Democratic primary. 4051 are pledged delegates and 712 are superdelegates. 2383 delegates are needed to win the Democratic nomination.
There have been 2579 pledged delegates allocated thus far. Hillary has won 1428 (55%) and Bernie has won 1151. There are 1472 pledged delegates left. In order to get to 2382, Bernie Sanders would need to win 1232 of those 1472 delegates (84%). Bernie is popular, but he’s not going to win 5 out of every 6 voters from here on out.
Hillary would need to win 955 out of 1472 pledged delegates (65%) of the pledged delegates. This is a little more realistic, but highly unlikely as well. Are we headed for an ugly convention battle? We aren’t because of super delegates.
Currently, Hillary has 502 super delegates who have pledged to support her while Bernie has 38. Including these with their pledged delegate totals puts Hillary at 1930 delegates and Bernie at 1189. This means Bernie has to win 1193 of 1472 (81%) of the remaining pledged delegates. By comparison, Hillary has to win 452 of the remaining 1472 delegates (31%). This will most certainly happen.
Without counting caucuses, Hillary has amassed 10,404,655 votes where Bernie has accumulated 7,710,382. More than the math, is the cost of the campaign which makes things even more difficult. Yvette Grimes notes:
Here’s why Hillary doesn’t hold large rallies. They’re God-awful expensive. Say you want to hold a rally in a park for 27,000 people (actually Bernie had about 11,000, but lied with the higher number) you can’t just say meet me at the park. You have to pay for a permit, arrange and pay for porta potties, and pay for almost all the security. The city/town pays for their regular patrols, the person holding the rally has to arrange for and pay security in advance. These are almost always off-duty cops who can wear their uniform. They make about $100-$200/hour. For a crowd of about 27,000 that’s at a minimum of $100,000 per hour. And the candidate has to pay for clean-up afterwards. A huge rally can cost the candidate a million in campaign donations. For what? He has a photo-op of him in front of a lot of people.
What does Hillary have? Photo-ops of her sitting with some guys and winning at Dominos; eating an ice cream concoction named after her; dancing the Meringue in Harlem with a small crowd going wild and dancing with her; visiting and talking with children; and meeting and listening to people having problems. Oh, and the best one of all looking at and coveting that piece of cheesecake as one of her campaign aides digs into a slice of strawberry cheesecake. Total cost for Hillary maybe $10,000.
She goes on to talk about his spending. What is important to understand is not only the amount, but the rate.
Bernie is burning through his cash. Hillary spent a few million in advertising. Bernie spent more in New York than Clinton, Trump, Cruz, and Kasich combined. And don’t forget the $1.6 million for the one-day vacation in the Vatican that backfired.
That Vatican trip paid for by his campaign is not an allowable campaign expense. The FEC will disallow it and he’ll be on the hook for it.
Bernie has about $4 million in the bank. Hillary has about $33 million.
In three separate notices, the FEC informed Bernie that he has about $28 million in illegal funds (over limit and foreign donations) to be returned, as well as that mysterious $10 million donation.
His campaign debt I estimate at $20 plus million.
Finally, Grimes points out that, in spite of popular belief, Sanders needs Clinton more than the other way around:
If he’s thinking of getting out of the campaign his first call will be to the Clinton campaign to talk about her helping retire his campaign debt by holding rallies with him. She’ll agree only if he works to unite the party and campaigns for her. Then AFTER November, if he meets the requirements of the agreement, she’ll help raise money to retire the debt. If he’s indecisive and speaks off message, then no deal, and he’s saddled with millions of dollars in debt with a 2018 Senate re-election bid looming. And this time no deals with the Vermont Democratic Party. They are going to run a Democratic Primary for a Democratic candidate. He won’t be able to convince contractors to work for him (ad reps, designers, get out the vote-callers) if he’s still stiffing companies from his 2016 campaign.
Sanders is in financial trouble. He knows it and Hillary knows it. He’d better start playing nice.