While it is still mathematically possible for Sanders to win the Democratic nomination through pledged delegates, it is highly unlikely. However, it is also highly unlikely that Hillary will win the nomination through pledged delegates, alone. The mainstream media has been conveniently treating this as a one-way issue.
Let’s do the math.
According to the official numbers as of April 27th, there have been 2,931 pledged delegates awarded.
Hillary has won 1,632 of those pledged delegates while Bernie has won 1,299.
There are 1,120 pledged delegates still up for grabs.
A candidate for the Democratic nomination needs to receive 2,383 delegates to win.
That means that, of the remaining pledged delegates, Hillary needs to win 751 or 67% of the remaining delegates. Bernie will need to win 96.7% of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination through pledged delegates alone, so that is highly unlikely.
What so few media outlets forget to mention, though, is that Hillary is not expected to win the rest of the state contests by a margin of 67%.
Thus far, Bernie has collected 44% of the delegates that have already been won, leaving Hilary with 66%. Very close, yes, but we need to remember that Bernie has been doing better as time goes on, not worse. Clinton’s latest big win, the primaries on April 26, landed her 206 delegates or 59% of those available.
If Hillary only secures 59% of the remaining delegates, that will only net her 660 more pledged delegates, 91 delegates short of a clear victory. That’s if she even secures 59% of the remaining vote. Don’t forget, she only has a 2-point lead over Sanders in California, which holds 475 of the remaining delegates.
If polls play out in California, and Clinton only nabs 48% of the vote, that would be 228 delegates. If that’s the case, then that means Hillary will need to win 81% of the other remaining states. Bernie is expected to do well in the very liberal state of California, and he polls better than 19% everywhere in the country.
Therefore, this June, the Democrats will likely have a contested convention. This would be the first time in our history that superdelegates will be the deciding factor. That means that both candidates will be passionately fighting over superdelegates at the convention.
After all, it’s intellectually dishonest to act as if Hillary is just entitled to their votes.