Mopping up the JV race..

You can see the results here. Basically Clinton had a very narrow win in Kentucky (28-27 split in pledged delegates) and Sanders had about a 10 point win in Oregon, which could be about a 6-9 delegate advantage for him. So the race has gone from a Clinton lead of 280-300 to 272-295. In other words, not much has changed.

That has been the usual pattern. Unfortunately, the spin will be about the same:

Ugh. More primaries today. Do they matter?

Not for the nomination. Clinton has won — her big victories in the mid-Atlantic states ended any chance that Sanders can catch up on pledged delegates or popular vote, and he’s not going to convince superdelegates to overturn the will of the voters. Again, the math: Clinton leads by 280 pledged delegates, with 897 left. To overtake, Sanders would need to win the remaining contests by a 280/897 margin, or 31 percent. This is not going to happen.

This is very much true even if he wins both primaries tonight. KY and OR are both very favorable states for Sanders, basically because they’re very white. Alan Abramowitz predicts Sanders +6 in OR, +1 in KY; Benchmark Politics predicts narrow Clinton win in KY, narrow Sanders win in OR. Suppose Abramowitz is right. Then Sanders might narrow the gap by 5 delegates — but there will be only 781 left to go, and his required margin would rise to 275/781 or 35 percent. And the demography gets much worse for him in the remaining states.

But here’s the thing: a lot of Sanders supporters don’t understand this reality — 29 percent still believe that he’s the likely nominee, and another 11 percent aren’t sure. If news reports say that he “won” tonight, they’ll persist in their illusions — and the narrative that Clinton is somehow stealing the nomination will continue to fester.

I think some of this comes from people hearing something and not really digging into it to understand what they’ve heard. I’ve had a Sanders supporter try to tell me that the popular vote count is a “statistical dead heat” (no, it isn’t, not even when one counts the caucus states). I’ve had another Sanders supporter try to tell me that there were some states where Sanders won the vote but Clinton got *all* of the delegates (no: look at the links to see for yourself); evidently she was confused by the complaint that, in some states, Sanders won the state but all of that state’s *superdelegates* are backing Clinton.

Hence the belief that Sanders is being cheated continues to fester. Yes, Sanders is being called out on it:

Like a lot of people, I was shocked by the statement Bernie Sanders put out about Nevada. No hint of apology for his supporters’ behavior, lots of accusations about a “rigged” process when the issue in Nevada was whether Clinton should get more delegates in a state where she won the vote. And the general implication that the nomination is somehow being stolen when the reality is that Clinton won because a large majority of voters chose to support her.

But maybe we shouldn’t have been shocked. It has been obvious for quite a while that Sanders — not just his supporters, not even just his surrogates, but the candidate himself — has a problem both in facing reality and in admitting mistakes. The business with claiming that Clinton only won conservative states in the deep South told you that; and even before, there were strong indications that he would not accept defeat gracefully or even rationally.

And as far as Nevada: here is what happened. In a nut shell, Clinton won the state, her campaign was better organized and some of the Sanders delegates didn’t understand that one had to be a registered Democrat to vote in a Democratic convention.

Oh dear. Losing is never pretty. And idealism together with passion can dampen rationality.


May 18, 2016 - Posted by | politics, politics/social, Uncategorized | ,

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