Bernie Sanders was dreaming up picking up a net 300 delegates over Joe Biden in CA, but Biden’s surge has limited him to a 56 net delegate gain.
Nate Silver tweeted his California delegate projection:
We have Sanders netting out 56 delegates over Biden in California based on currently-reported results. If late-reported ballots further cut his lead in CA (which seems likely) Biden could wind up ahead by 100 or so delegates nationally.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 7, 2020
Before South Carolina, pundits and projections were suggesting that Sanders could net a minimum 150-200 net delegates more than Biden. Instead, Sanders is going to end up with a net delegate advantage of 56 in the nation’s largest primary.
The delegate rules that Bernie Sanders helped to craft, including the 15% viability threshold for a candidate to earn delegates, have been his campaign’s undoing. The Sanders strategy to win the nomination was always to stay consistently at 25%-30% support in a large Democratic field where the vote was split. Sanders has never received 51% of the vote in any contest so far. Even in his home state of Vermont, Sen. Sanders finished at 50.7% of the vote.
Bernie Sanders invested millions upon millions of dollars in California. The state was critical to his entire argument for the nomination, but Biden’s momentum was more powerful than Bernie’s cash, and the tiny net delegate advantage that Sanders is getting out of California is why it is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible for him to catch Joe Biden.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association