Could California Flip for Bernie Sanders?

bernie sanders california primary

Could California flip for Bernie Sanders after all the votes are counted? (Getty)

It’s the question on the top of Bernie Sanders’ supporters minds, as the results for Washington, D.C. come in and the Democratic National Convention looms in the near future. Is there a chance that California might still flip for Bernie Sanders? Sanders supporters were angered when news organizations declared Clinton the presumptive nominee and the winner of the California primary the night before the elections happened. But now with millions of votes still waiting to be counted, is there a chance that the delegate-rich state could still flip for Sanders?

Here’s what you need to know.

According to AP, Sanders Has 1.5 Million Votes to Clinton’s 1.9 Million

First, a look at the current numbers. According to AP as of June 14, Bernie Sanders has 1,502,043 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 1,940,580 votes. That means Clinton is taking away 269 delegates to Sanders’ 206 delegates. Supporters of Sanders were confused by this outcome, when early exit polls of absentee ballots gave the edge to Sanders.

The current numbers are based on partially reporting precincts. That’s important to remember — 100 percent of precincts have reported, but they have only reported partially. (The Secretary of State website has a more updated count that shows Sanders gaining slightly as of June 15. The vote count there is 2.36 million to 1.88 million, with a percentage of 55.1 for Clinton to 44 for Sanders.)

As more votes are counted, the difference between Sanders and Clinton has narrowed. Already, some counties in California have flipped for Sanders. If you compare the election map from the LA Times (which has not been updated at the time of publication) to the Secretary of State’s map, you can see which counties flipped for Bernie as more votes have come in. Among those counties, according to the two maps, are San Luis Obispo, Glenn, and Santa Barbara.

Some counties are saying it may be until July 7 before all the votes in California are counted. The deadline for certifying the results is July 8.

Nearly 2 Million Votes Are Still Uncounted

This is where things get a little confusing. Not all the votes have been counted yet. This PDF document by the California Secretary of State gives you a detailed look at the unprocessed ballots for the election per county, and which ones are provisional vs vote-by-mail vs “other.” In the entire state, 1.959 million ballots are still uncounted. 712,849 of these are provisional and 1.173 million are vote-by-mail. Many of the provisional ballots, and many of the vote-by-mail ballots, are NPP (No Party Preference) voters who support Sanders.

In many counties, same-day mail-in-ballots are just now being counted and provisional ballots haven’t even been looked at yet. Not all provisional ballots will be counted, unfortunately. But 2008 might be a good indicator of how many will. In 2008, less than 17 percent of the provisional ballots were rejected. Dean Logan, Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, was estimating that 85 to 90 percent of provisional ballots would be counted:

Bernie Supporters Are Gathering Volunteers to Help Count the Remaining Ballots

Because of concerns of election fraud, Bernie Sanders supporters are volunteering to help make sure that every vote counts. These volunteers will observe mail-in and provisional ballots as they are counted. You can sign up to help at this website. For more information on other things you can do to help, please see this story.

If you voted provisionally or by mail, you can check on the status of your ballot at this website.

One reason the number of provisional ballots is so high may be because some poll workers were wrongly instructed to give all NPP (No Party Preference) voters provisional ballots instead of the Democratic crossover ballots that would have automatically been counted:

Concern about Election Fraud in California and Other States Is Growing

Sanders supporters have expressed widespread concern about potential election fraud in California.

Some of this concern is connected to exit polls, which show significant discrepancies between the exit polls and actual election results. According to Election Justice USA, an early voter exit poll in California showed Clinton leading Sanders by less than 10 percent in Los Angeles county, but results posted on primary day showed her winning vote-by-mail by 66.6 to 34.4 percent. The exit poll was praised by mainstream journalists for its accuracy. But with a discrepancy of over 23 percent, things looked suspicious. And that’s not the only place where discrepancies were noted:

One voter for Sanders in California noted that his Non Partisan Crossover Democrat ballot kept getting rejected by the voting machines:

In the video, it appears that the voter’s ballot only had Bernie Sanders marked and no one was selected on the down ballot. Because of this, for some reason, the machine’s optical scanner rejected the ballot as having no votes. Overcoming this issue required overriding the rejection and manually entering the vote for Sanders.

Other voters encountered additional problems. In our previous story about election fraud in California, one commenter named “BG” said that his polling place in Claremont, CA ran out of ballots 90 minutes before the polls closed. They were told that getting more ballots was not an option and all of them would have to vote provisionally.

Even if Sanders does flip California ultimately, he still will likely not have more pledged delegates than Clinton. But with rumors about Wikileaks possibly leaking more of her emails or a potential indictment from the FBI, Sanders supporters are hoping that a flipped state would give the campaign more momentum to hold out until the Democratic Convention, when the political climate might be very different.

To read more about voter suppression issues in California, please see our story below:

And to read more about the latest news about the Democratic filibuster and the support it gained on Twitter, please see:




Even if 2+2 =5. And it flipped for Bernie still would not make him the nominee. He does still wield power after losing Calif. he should have significant input on platform. I am more of a Bernie fan than a Hillary fan. But I voted for her. My politics are with Bernie. But MOST important to me is No Trump No Way No Day!


OMG it is so easy to spot the Hillary shill-talk on here. I don’t believe you are a Bernie supporter for one minute.

Bill Taylor

If your politics are with Bernie, why did you vote for Hillary in the PRIMARY. You could vote Bernie in the primary and Hillary in the General in November, if you really feel that way. I do not get the logic of your vote. I phone banked and others said this too. Is it the desire to have your vote go to the winner? BTW, I may write in Bernie in November as Hillary is such a war hawk and Goldman Sachs darling.


The article claims “As more votes are counted, the difference between Sanders and Clinton has narrowed.”

Unfortunately, this claim is false. I can count.

Election day results were Clinton 1940580, Sanders 1502043, difference 438537.

Current updated results on the secretary of state web site are Clinton 2408335, Sanders 1934386, difference 473949.

As anyone who can count will know, 473949 is greater than 438537.

This kind of bald-faced denial of simple reality is one of the major reasons why I have no respect for Sanders supporters. Anyone who is this far in reality denial over basic math is just batshit crazy.


The difference in percentage of the total counted votes is closing. Using your own numbers, as of election day closing Clinton 56.37%, Sanders 43.63%
Your updated numbers show Clinton 55.46%, Sanders 44.54%
You have proven that even mathematics can be spun.


I know enough math to conclude that if the absolute difference is increasing, then the percentage difference will never “flip”. The headline of this article is fundamentally dishonest.


Which counts more in an election? Are you disputing that Hillary has not increased her lead in actual people votes ??? The math is there … ..


You don’t understand math do you. As a larger percentage of votes is tallied, her vote total can increase but the % of margin will narrow if the overall margin of votes doesn’t increase to match the % of overall votes. Talk about putting a Bernie spin on things Christ. lol Since June 7th, her vote margin has increased by 15000 votes. Her % has decreased because the vote margin isn’t keeping up with the overall total of votes in. In other words, he’s losing big still and is unlikely to reduce her lead much. Conceivably he could cut her win % to about 5% but mail in votes favor Hillary by a wide margin so I wouldn’t really expect the vote margin to be less than 300k votes.


It is true that Bernie Bots don’t pay attention to indisputable facts. But it’s still important to try. Otherwise we’re already in Winston Smith 2+2=5 land.


This is the logic of Bernie and his worshipers …. imagine if Bernie got the Presidency (gasp!)

Tazmon L'vis Sims

It’s not math, that is the issue. The point trying to be made, but you are so bent on calling names and getting your talking points out…..yes Hillary has gotten about the same or more votes, but, where Bernie is getting more votes is in Counties he is flipping from Hillary……you get delegates from winning the State and individual districts…….so, by that frame of reference, Bernie is gaining, becuase he is flipping districts…….so please stop calling us names and questioning our intelligence level…..that is what people like you do to Republicans, so imagine for a minute, why we are not coming back….you may see your part in all of this


No, you don’t get delegates from winning individual districts. You’re thinking of the Republican primary.


You are totally uninformed. The vast bulk of the elected (non super-) delegates are awarded on a district level according to the candidate’s proportion of that congressional district’s vote. The average district elects 7 or 8 delegates but it can be slightly more (or fewer) if the district has a larger (or smaller) proportion of Dems than the average district. This will determine more than 2/3 of the elected delegates


You said it yourself. It’s proportional. There’s no magic significance to crossing 50%. A vote is a vote is a vote.


Huh, you can’t figure out that when you get past the 50% mark in a district with an odd number of delegates you go from minority to majority, losing to winning? I thought you were sposed to be a Harvard math whiz. Has the new math got new concepts of counting?


The 50% threshold is ONE threshold, but not the ONLY threshold. There are others; for example at 42% and 58% in a 7-delegate district. It means no more and no less than any other threshold. Since you’re so laser focused on delegate counts, the California delegate count as of today is Clinton 269, Sanders 206, with 76 delegates outstanding. Yes, it could flip if Sanders gets 90% of outstanding delegates, in the same sense that yes the earth could get destroyed by aliens tomorrow, but the math says this is not bloody likely. Ok, actually the math says it’s so ridiculously unlikely that it’s not even worth mentioning.

I’m sorry if math is biased towards Clinton. I’m willing to respectfully discuss policy differences or campaign topics, but math is not a matter of opinion. It’s the necessary foundation for logical discourse.

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