Bernie Sanders currently has 1,399 delegates (counting both pledged and superdelegates). The Democratic candidate needs 2,383 delegates in order to win at the convention. For Sanders, 2,383 minus 1,399 equals 984. Sanders needs 984 additional delegates.
If you add up all the available delegates in the remaining primaries, there are now a total of 933. Unfortunately for Sanders, 933 is less than 984.
As Politico puts it “it’s now mathematically impossible for him to reach the magic number for the Democratic nomination by winning the remaining pledged delegates alone.”
That’s right. Even if Sanders wins every single remaining pledged delegate (extremely unlikely, as Democratic primaries are all proportional), his only path to victory involves convincing a large number of superdelegates to change their minds and vote for him. That is also highly unlikely, and gives Sanders the hypocritical (albeit required) goal of winning over the superdelegates that he has repeatedly mocked as being undemocratic.
Last night, Sanders again claimed “I think that while the path is narrow — and I do not deny that for a moment — I think we can pull off one of the great political upsets in the history of the United States.”
Yes, that will be a political upset, but it won’t be great, coming at the expense of the democratic values that Sanders professes to love. Clinton leads in raw vote (she now has over 3 million more votes than Sanders in the primaries), in pledged delegates (she has 321 more pledged delegates than Sanders), not to mention a huge lead in superdelegates (520 to 39).
Sanders argues that the superdelegates should overrule the voters and switch their allegiance to him because he has a better chance of winning over Trump. Even if that were true (and prior to the convention, polls about hypothetical general election match-ups are notoriously unreliable), the reason why the superdelegates are so strongly in favor of Clinton is because they believe she has a better chance of winning against Trump. Even more importantly, they believe she will be better for the other Democratic races. Sanders has been good at raising money for himself, but he has done nothing for other candidates, while most of the money that gets raised at the expensive fundraising dinners that Clinton appears at (and Sanders mocks) will go to the Democratic party and not to Clinton’s campaign (because of the $2,700 limit on contributions to a candidate’s campaign).
The fight now is not about who will be the Democratic nominee for president. The bigger fight for the Democrats is about Congress. The Democrats need to take over the Senate and win as many seats in the House as possible in order to overcome GOP obstructionism and get anything done (let alone enacting any progressive legislation).
If internal bickering hands over the presidency to Trump along with a Republican Congress (which will then hand over the Supreme Court), it will be a very sad day for the Democrats, and Sanders should know that.