Democratic primary race: turnouts, end game and Trump

The Democratic Primary race is all but over. Yes, Sanders will almost certainly win a few more states but the reality is that he is 300+ pledged delegates behind and he would have to win something on the order of 58 percent of the popular vote in each of the remaining states (including the big states) in order to catch up:

I’m intrigued by the parallels to the 2008 campaign perhaps because it’s where FiveThirtyEight cut its teeth. I spent a lot of time in the spring of 2008 arguing that Obama’s lead in elected delegates would be hard for Clinton to overcome. But Clinton’s lead over Sanders is much larger than Obama’s was over Clinton at a comparable stage of the race. At the end of February 2008, after a favorable run of states for Obama, he led Clinton by approximately 100 elected delegates. Clinton’s lead is much larger this year.1 Clinton entered Tuesday’s contests ahead of Sanders by approximately 220 elected delegates. But she’ll net approximately 70 delegates from Florida, 20 from Ohio, 15 from North Carolina and a handful from Illinois and Missouri. That will expand her advantage to something like 325 elected delegates.

Sanders will need to win about 58 percent of the remaining 2,000 or so elected delegates to tie Clinton. Since the Democrats allot delegates proportionally, that means he’d need to win about 58 percent of the vote in the average remaining state to Clinton’s 42 percent, meaning he’d need to beat Clinton by around 16 points the rest of the way.

Oh, you’ll read many ill-informed memes from panicking Sanders supporters. But the above is simple arithmetic and not opinion.

So Clinton can pivot to the general election. Though President Obama has NOT endorsed Secretary Clinton, he is making the point that we ought to face reality that she will be the nominee (and the one that I want).

But that being said, Senator Sanders still has a role to play. For one, his campaign DID do well and he HAS energized people. So, I’ll make the following conjecture/suggestion:

Donald Trump is the likely Republican nominee. And despite his popularity among a certain segment of the population, his unfavorable ratings are quite high.


And this would set up a huge contrast in personalities. Trump is the “reality show” figure; his appeal is basically his personality and his “I am not beholden to anyone, be it big money or social justice warriors” demeanor.

Hillary Clinton is the calculating policy wonk. Here she is discussing the “vouchers for religious schools” issue:

So, there is a good chance that actual policy and positions will matter not at all! This might give Hillary Clinton room to run further to the left than, say, Barack Obama did in 2008. THAT might generate Democratic enthusiasm for her.

And yes, Republican turn-out has been higher this primary season than Democratic turn out, but there is no correlation between primary turn out and general election results.


March 18, 2016 - Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , , ,

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