"Momentum is with us," Bernie Sanders told CNN over the weekend. "A lot of these super-delegates may rethink their position with Hillary Clinton."
The firebrand Vermont senator is pleased with himself following big wins on Saturday in Alaska, Washington, and Hawaii, where he dominated the former First Lady on the way to closing the delegate gap and serving notice that the race for the Democratic nomination isn’t over just yet.
Saturday’s “contests” were, quite frankly, a joke. Clinton didn’t even show up, as is clearly evident by Sanders’ margin of victory in all three states:
But make no mistake, Sanders’ contention that “the momentum” is with his campaign is all bluster. The well meaning senator will need to win two-thirds of the remaining delegates to catch Clinton who Reuters notes “will keep piling up delegates even when she loses under a Democratic Party system that awards them proportionally in all states.”
And the calendar is stacked against Sanders.
“Alaska and Washington had two characteristics that made them very friendly terrain for Sanders: They were caucuses in predominantly non-black states,” The Washington Post points out, adding that “Clinton has done worse in caucuses in both of her two presidential bids.”
Then there’s the African American vote. Here’s WaPo again: “Hawaii is 3 percent black. Alaska is four percent black; Washington, about the same. When the composition of the black Democratic electorate has been below seven percent for states where Democratic primary exit polling in 2008 or 2016 was available, Clinton has lost by an average of 30 points this year. Over that percentage? She's won by 26.”
From here on out, there are five more caucuses, but only two of them are in US states (the others are Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico). “Also left on the calendar? A lot of big, diverse states holding primaries,” WaPo concludes, effectively writing Sanders’ electoral obituary. "His victories on Saturday were not unexpected," The New York Times writes, reiterating WaPo's assessment. "All three states have relatively low percentages of the black and the Latino voters who have bolstered Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, and Washington and Alaska held caucuses, the type of voting in which he has done well."
Clinton leads Sanders 1,712 to 1,004 in the updated delegate count including super-delegates who can vote as they please at the DNC and could be persuaded to shift their allegiance to Sanders if the senator can prove that voters are in squarely in his corner. The next big test will be New York where 247 delegates are up for grabs on April 19. Sanders is particulary keen on ensuring that a debate planned for next month be held in New York - something Bernie's campaign says Clinton has fought against.
“We knew from day one that politically we were going to have a hard time in the Deep South,” Sanders said at a Saturday rally in Wisconsin (which holds a primary on April 5). “But we knew things were going to improve when we headed west.”
The senator also boasted of the high turnout and last week scored what some have jokingly said was an "edorsement from God" when a bird landed on his podium during a speech.
We would note that birds don't always choose the best leaders...
In any event, you can show your support for either Clinton or Sanders by attending their respective fundraising dinners. It will cost you $15 for a seat at Bernie's table. If you'd like to dine at Clinton's George Clooney-sponsored event, you'll need to come up $33,400, or "just" 2,226 times as much as what Bernie is charging.
Asked about the fee Clooney and Clinton are charging for the meal, Sanders said this: "It's obscene."