Sorry Bernie People: Delegate Math Is Undeniable
Hillary Clinton won Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio in the third Super Tuesday of this Democratic primary. Let’s take a look at how unrelenting the delegate math is in the Democratic primary.
There are 4763 total delegates in the Democratic Primary. Of those delegates, 4051 are allocated by the popular vote percentage won in each state primary, and 712 are super delegates whom can vote any way they want. A total of 2382 delegates is necessary to win the primary.
Of the delegates allocated by vote percentage, Hillary has won 1119 of them with 8,647,414 votes. Bernie has won 813 delegates with 6,109,798. That is a 2,537,619 vote advantage in the popular resulting in a delegate advantage of 306.
To get to 2382 delegates allocated by the popular vote, Sanders needs to win 1569 of the remaining 2119 remaining delegates (74%). Hillary needs to win 1263 of the remaining 2119 delegates (60%). She’s won 1119 of the 1932 delegates awarded thus far (58%).
If she maintains her current pace, Hillary would win 1121 delegates putting her at 2240 delegates, 142 short of the necessary 2382. This is where the super delegates come into play.
Of the 712 super delegates, 467 have already declared for Hillary Clinton while 26 have declared for Bernie Sanders. Including them brings Clinton’s current delegate count to 1606 and Bernie’s to 851 when including delegates allocated to both candidates from Democrats abroad, America Samoa and Northern Marianas.
Including these pledged delegates would mean Hillary only needs 776 of the remaining 2119 delegates allocated by the popular vote (37%). Bernie’s math really does not change all that much as he would need to win 1531 of the remaining 2119 delegates (72%).
Bernie needs to start winning 70% of the population to gain adequate momentum to convince super delegates to vote for him to change their mind. Otherwise, the logic is that these super delegates will change their mind because of momentum that still leaves him short of Hillary in allocated delegates and the popular vote.
The contests with the largest amount of delegates left should give us an idea of just how improbable that 70% number is. To give you an idea of how large the 70% number is, in Bernie’s “blowout” win in his home state of New Hampshire, he garnered 61% of the delegates. Bernie won 67% of the delegates in Kansas which has been his biggest win.
Washington state is an open primary worth 101 delegates. Given his success with crossover voters, this is tailor made for Bernie. Can he get 70% of the Washington state populace? The polling is unreliable at this point in time.
New York is a closed primary worth 247 delegates, and the latest poll from Siena shows Hillary up 21 points in New York. Can Sanders gain 41 points in one of Clinton’s home states to win 70% of the populace without the benefit of crossover and independent voters?
Pennsylvania is a closed primary with 189 delegates. Can Bernie gain 43 points to win 70% of the populace without the benefit of crossover and independent voters?
California is a semi-closed primary worth 475 delegates. The polling out of California is from January, and it shows Hillary up 13 points. Can Bernie gain 33 points to win 70% of the populace?
New Jersey is a closed primary worth 126 delegates. Can Bernie gain 51 points to gain 70% of the populace without the benefit of crossover and independent voters?
This primary is no longer about Hillary Clinton and whether she’ll get 37% of the remaining delegates. It’s now about the Bernie Sanders campaign, its loyal followers and their willingness to accept delegate math.