Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won the Wyoming Democratic caucus, but the surprise may be a victory by a smaller margin than his victories in other recent caucus states.
Hillary Clinton won the caucus in Laramie County over Bernie Sanders (731-689), but the unofficial results showed Sen. Sanders with a smaller than expected 56%-44% lead. Hillary Clinton already has 4 pledged Democratic superdelegates in the state, but Sanders is expected to pick up most of the 14 pledged delegates that are up for grabs. However, those delegates will be awarded at the state convention. Today’s caucus was a vote to send delegates to the state convention.
The pattern in the Democratic primary has been very consistent. Sanders has dominated in smaller caucus states where the electorate is dominated by white voters. Wyoming was practically a foregone conclusion for Sen. Sanders, so for Clinton to not get blown out by a 70%-30% or 80%-20% margin as has happened in other recent caucus states is a bit of a surprise.
For Bernie Sanders, a win is a win. It would have been a shocking upset if Clinton would have won Wyoming, but for her to hold the Sanders margin of victory to under thirty or forty points was a significant turnaround from the results in recent caucus states like Washington and Alaska.
Some Sanders supporters are accusing the Clinton campaign of ballot box stuffing via surrogate votes, and one of the problems with state party controlled caucuses is that they are not official elections. Caucuses do present opportunities for cheating, but as of publication time, there is no evidence of irregularities at the Wyoming caucus. If anything unusual did happen, the Sanders campaign has not been shy about investigating state results.
The margin of victory may be critical when it comes to awarding delegates at the state convention, but Bernie Sanders won Wyoming and is the stage is set for a critical battle with former Sec. of State Clinton in New York.