Apologies to any Qt3 folks living in the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico for the goofy thread title. I know I should know better… ;)
Today’s primaries look like the smallest of appetizers, the most amusey amuse-bouche for the main course on Tuesday. But let’s not ignore them, either. This is 67 pledged delegates to Philadelphia, and that’s more than West Virginia or Kentucky. So…it’s a thing.
It’s also very likely to be a big thing for Hillary Clinton’s nomination, and thus also sorta newsworthy.
To look at what’s up here, we need to go back to the math. I realize that no one told you there would be math, but here we are.
More specifically, it’s delegate math. There are likely to be two separate delegate math calculations to make, and it’s only fair to show both in some detail here.
First of all, in deference to Senator Sanders, let’s not consider any superdelegates at all. That puts us at 4,050 pledged delegates on offer throughout the nomination season in either primaries or caucuses. To obtain a majority of these pledged delegates, a candidate needs 2,026. Right now the pledged delegate count stands at Clinton 1,770, Sanders 1,500.
Still here? Great!
The Virgin Islands will offer up 7 delegates today. PR will offer up 60 today/tomorrow. Clinton should do well, but allocation rules here will hurt her a bit. Unless there’s a crazy margin in the VI vote, it’ll split 4-3 for her. Puerto Rico is a little different, but even if she wins by double digits there (which is a strong possibility), the delegate break will probably be something like 34-26.
The end result is that after the weekend primaries in the Caribbean, HRC is likely to still need a little over 200 votes to win a majority of pledged delegates in Tuesday’s contests.
That…seems like a lot, right? Well, it kinda isn’t. On Tuesday, New Jersey will offer up 126 delegates, and Clinton will win 65-70 of them. The Dakotas and Montana will have 59 delegates between the three states, and Sanders will do really well and take 35-40 of them…but Clinton will win 19-20 herself. New Mexico will go with 34 delegates, and though there’s zero polling, demographics there suggest that Sanders at best can hope for a 17-17 split there.
So now let’s reconfigure the math a bit. If Hillary needs, say, 212 delegates to have a majority after this weekend, she’ll get at minimum 65, 19, and 17 from the contests listed above on Tuesday. That’s 101 delegates, leaving her 111 short.
Oh yeah. California. Duh! California has 475 delegates up for grabs on Tuesday too! To keep Clinton from gaining 111 delegates, it would take an 85-15 Sanders landslide. That simply isn’t happening. California looks like a 50/50 contest right now at best for Sanders too, and the weekend results from PR won’t help him.
And there’s other math that Sanders is pushing back against. (Continued, next post.)