Yesterday, Bernie Sanders won West Virginia, adding 16 delegates to his delegate count. Clinton walked away with 11. For Bernie supporters, this was a major victory. In 2008, Hillary Clinton won West Virginia in her race against then-senator Barack Obama. Her loss to Sanders in a state that she’d previously won and probably assumed she had locked up is a major upset. Although Sanders still has quite a ways to go to catch up with Clinton’s delegate lead, his win in West Virginia proves that he remains a viable candidate and that the Democratic primary race will likely continue for several weeks.
Sanders has won a total of 19 states: New Hampshire, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, Kansas, Nebraska, Maine, Michigan, Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Rhode Island, Indiana, and West Virginia.
Clinton has won 25, including the territories of American Samoa and Guam: Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachussetts, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Illinois, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
In delegate terms, the magic number for Democrats is 2,383. There are 1,057 delegates that remain open for capture in the Democratic primary race. At present, Clinton has 2,239 delegates to Sanders’ 1,469. She has 1,716 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 1,430. She has 523 superdelegates to Sanders’ 39. Superdelegates can switch allegiance but not without some convincing. Sanders, who — compared with Trump and Clinton, remains the favorite — absolutely needs more upsets like the ones he pulled off in Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and West Virginia, in order to take his campaign the full mile to the Democratic convention and make his case before party elites. To be more precise, he needs a 953 delegate upset, or close to that sum, to win over more superdelegates.
Despite trailing Clinton in the delegate count, Sanders is statistically favored to beat Trump over Clinton. Much of this is due to the fact that American voters trust Sanders, whereas Clinton, for good reason, continues to struggle with an authenticity problem.
At the other of the political spectrum, the Republican primary race is effectively done. With Cruz and Kasisch “suspending their campaigns,” Trump, in an unfortunate but unsurprising twist of fate, is now the sole Republican candidate and, accordingly, the presumptive nominee. Facing no competition during yesterday’s Republican contest in West Virginia (if the previous races are any indication, it wouldn’t have mattered much anyway), he won an additional 31 delegates.
Neither his victories or popularity with conservatives have done much to persuade establishment Republicans that they shouldn’t mistake Trump’s trough for poison. Republicans, like the rest of the country and the world, have not made, and seem unable to make, peace with this outcome. Their party appears to be in tatters — class warfare is ripping its elements apart, flinging them all over the place. GOP donors have closed their wallets, for now. This is to be expected, given the fact that Trump has spent a whole year bashing the right and accusing them of killing the American Dream. Even the Koch brothers have closed ranks. You know you’ve fallen deep into the rabbit hole when the Koch brothers withdraw their hand. At least he still has the military, right?
For my part, I could care less about the infighting in the GOP’s toontown. I’ve reminded folks all along that one of Trump’s central arguments on why he’s presidential material has been his wealth. It was his dime that financed his entire primary run. He’s fond of reminding supporters that no special interests, no millionaire or billionaire, will control his administration or dictate policy. Apparently Clinton’s money-making juggernaut has given him cause for pause and forced him to backpedal. This, in turn, should be a red flag for conservatives that encourages them to reevaluate Trump’s veracity. Ask me if I think that will happen?
The remaining contests include Oregon and Kentucky (May 17); Virgin Islands (June 4); Puerto Rico (June 5); California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota (June 7); and Washington D.C. (June 14).
The remaining delegate counts are: Oregon (61), Kentucky (55), Virgin Islands (7), Puerto Rico (60), California (475), New Jersey (126), New Mexico (34), Montana (21), South Dakota (20), North Dakota (18), and Washington, D.C. (20).
Thus, as you can see, we’ve still got quite a ways to go before declaring this thing officially a wrap.