Hillary Clinton is on the cusp of the Democratic nomination for President. With one day to go until the California and New Jersey primaries, Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by nearly 800 total delegates and is just 23 delegates from the magic number of 2,383 needed to wrap up the nomination on the first ballot.
|Total Delegate Count||2,383 Needed|
With 475 delegates up for grabs in a tight California race and another 126 in a New Jersey primary that heavily favors Clinton, she is almost certain to gain the necessary delegates with even a disastrous showing in the June 7 primaries. Clinton, who currently holds 1,815 delegates bound to primary results, could claim the pledged delegate majority with just 45 percent of California voters, not even counting her expected wins in New Jersey and New Mexico or smaller showings in demographically Sanders-leaning June 7 primaries in Montana or North and South Dakota.
While the delegate math looks to be clearly in Clinton’s favor, there are a few things that might complicate or outright derail her bid for the nomination:
- Superdelegates may not be as reliable as Clinton and some outlets are hoping. Al Jazeera America host David Shuster reported that some California superdelegates, who have so far uniformly supported Clinton, might switch to Sanders should he win the state’s popular vote, a prospect that’s not favored but not out of the question considering Clinton’s 2-point lead in the state, a collapse from the double-digit margins she was holding less than a month ago.
- Clinton’s future in light of the ongoing FBI investigation could render the delegate count moot. FBI Director James Comey’s last public statement citing “pressure” to finish the probe is the most recent comment the Bureau has made on the issue. It’s not a sure thing for Sanders if Clinton is indicted; the delegates are free to vote as they please beyond the first ballot, and while superdelegates would surely strip Clinton of her majority were she indicted, names like Joe Biden have been floated as a replacement for the Democratic establishment.