Can Bernie Sanders Still Win the Nomination?

Bernie Sanders chances, Bernie Sander polls, Bernie Sanders delegate count

Bernie Sanders, here at a rally in Pennsylvania, is a long shot for the nomination after losing New York. (Getty)

2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suffered a major setback Tuesday night with a 14-point loss in the New York primary. The defeat cost him 27 delegates and increased the gap between them to 277 pledged delegates and 769 total delegates. It also blunted the momentum Sanders had built with a strong showing in April contests.

Delegate Count (2,383 Needed) Pledged Delegates Total Delegates
Hillary Clinton 1428 1930
Bernie Sanders 1151 1161

While there are 1,400 delegates still up for grabs before the convention, Clinton polls well ahead in delegate-rich states, and can clinch the nomination with just 33% of the remaining delegates. This, however, counts the superdelegate vote, which can shift in the case of a major upset.

Here’s a look at the state of the race:

Delegate Targets: Sanders Fighting Uphill

Election forecaster FiveThirtyEight tracks “delegate targets,” or the number of delegates each candidate will need to stay on a plausible path to the nomination given polling in future states. Sanders has seriously missed his target, ceding 8 percent to Clinton over the course of the primary race.

Candidate Delegate Count Delegate Target
Hillary Clinton 1428 1337
Bernie Sanders 1151 1312

Sander’s campaign manager Jeff Weaver disputed mainstream delegate math on MSNBC as the primary results were coming in, arguing that a “special relationship” with the people of New York was masking real demographic trends which were friendlier to Sanders:

Weaver also alluded to the potential to woo superdelegates, who are not considered in typical delegate math due to their fluidity. Weaver also committed the campaign to pursuing the nomination until the convention regardless of upcoming results.

Upcoming States: Sanders Needs Serious Upsets

After the primary, FiveThirtyEight adjusted its targets to reflect a difficult but plausible path for Sanders. However, this new path requires the Vermont Senator to win by large margins states that the polling suggests will be close wins or losses. Here’s a look at what Sanders needs to do in the biggest remaining states:

State Voting Target RealClearPolitics Polling Margin Margin vs. Target
California +18% -9.5% -27.5%
Pennsylvania +9% -13% -22%
New Jersey +10% -9%* -19%
Maryland -7% -20.7% -12.3%

*Limited recent polling

Again, these numbers don’t reflect superdelegates, whose allegiance is not set in stone until the convention. It’s not unheard of for superdelegates to change their minds late in the race; President Obama famously swung hundreds of superdelegates on the way to his 2008 primary victory. If Sanders can accomplish even a few of the momentous upsets described above, it’s not out of the question that unpledged delegates might take another look.




Bernie has pulled back the curtain showing us major corruption in modern politics. He points to the disenfranchised and is helping us to articulate the discussion around reforming our broken ‘Democratic’ Party. Hundreds of thousands have had their constitutional right to vote ‘legally’ stripped away by Republicans and Neo Democrats. Hillary quickly accepted ‘wins’ in states such as Arizona and NY where there’s clear evidence of broken voting systems. If she had half the integrity of Sanders, she would have criticized unacceptable voting practices and called for re-voting in those states.


Hey scoopa you are so wrong there are alot of states which are closed, so when you vote besure you put democrat or republician when you sign up and you can vote in a closed primary. Get with the program.

Deborah Claros

Hey anonymous! It’s not about voting democrat or republican. Are you paying attention at all. There has been voter suppression since the race started. In NY for example independents had to be registered many many months ago as a democrat to vote for Sanders as many wanted to. Pay attention.


Deborah, that’s not voter suppression. People who are registered independent KNOW their state voting laws regarding primary elections. If they live in a state that doesn’t allow independents to vote in primaries, they purposely chose to opt out of voting primaries when they registered independent. If they wanted to vote for Bernie, they would have changed their registrations, even if the deadline was months ago. Here in Pennsylvania, the deadline is a month prior to the election. I switched from Republican to Democrat on the deadline day so I can vote for Bernie. It was super easy. I did it online. My new voter registration card came in the mail a few days later.


Most Sander’s supporters are in a state of total denial, he is not going to win. Sanders is not Obama and superdelegates are not leaving Hillary for Sanders.

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