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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Democrats, Psychology, and Arithmetic

VOA reports that Sanders won the Wyoming vote count but tied in the delegate count:
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders won Saturday's Democratic caucus in the Western state of Wyoming, but even in victory he failed to gain ground on his rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the race to become U.S. president.
Sanders won 56 percent of the vote. Democratic Party rules left each candidate with seven of Wyoming's 14 delegates.
The win was the eighth in the past nine contests for Sanders, who has pointed to the streak as a sign of momentum for his campaign.
Dan Balz writes at The Washington Post:
The cold realities of the nominating process have been stated many times. Democratic rules make it difficult for anyone to gain a significant lead in pledged delegates because delegates are awarded proportionally. But once someone has a lead, a rival candidate faces an even more daunting task trying to catch up. That’s the situation Sanders has faced for some time, but his big victories in recent caucuses and the Wisconsin vote have kept the focus on his successes more than on his challenges.

Clinton’s team had hoped that the hard realities of delegate math would have set in earlier this spring. Instead, the opposite has occurred. The more Sanders has won, the more the focus has been on what’s wrong with Clinton. She has had to keep virtually her entire focus on the primary campaign. At some point, however, as the likely nominee, she will need to turn her attention — and some of the resources of her campaign — to assembling the building blocks for a likely general election campaign. That clock is now ticking louder.
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That is why New York is so important to Clinton. It’s not just winning, it’s changing the conversation. A loss to Sanders in the state she represented in the Senate for eight years would be a huge setback, far bigger than what happened in Wisconsin. Victory could start her on a path that could make the Democratic race look far different in a matter of weeks.