For Bernie Sanders supporters hoping to see the senator’s winning streak continue, the weekend brought more good news when the Vermont senator won the Wyoming caucuses, though it came with an unfortunate catch.
Wyoming’s Democrats were picking their favorite candidate for the party’s nomination at the state’s 23 county caucuses.A total of 14 pledged delegates were up for grabs in the state, and Sanders and Clinton will split those delegates at 7 each, according to estimates based on the state convention delegates elected at Saturday’s county convention.
Sanders won with nearly 56% of the vote, which meant a double-digit victory over Clinton, but not quite the lopsided landslide wins the senator enjoyed in some of the other caucuses in the region. Note, for example, the senator’s enormous successes in neighboring states such as Utah, Nebraska, and Idaho.
Regardless, the good news for Team Sanders is that he scored another victory, which means a fresh fundraising opportunity and a sense of “momentum” as the race for the Democratic nomination moves forward. The bad news is, what the senator needs is to narrow his delegate deficit against Clinton, and his not-quite-as-big-as-expected win in Wyoming appears to have given him a net gain of zero.
And speaking of the Democratic race, I’ve been meaning to mention that some of the delegate trackers that show Clinton up by around 250 pledged delegates are technically accurate, but they also understate Sanders’ current standing a bit. The tricky element of these counts is the state of Washington, where Sanders won by a large margin, but where the state party has not yet made its district-level allocations.
Based on Washington’s caucus results, Sanders will soon pick up roughly 40 or so additional pledged delegates, which means the trackers showing him down by 250 are true for now, but it’s best to understand that Clinton’s current lead is probably closer to 210.
Given proportional delegate distribution, that’s still a very difficult gap to close, but when kicking the numbers around, it’s best to keep this in mind.
As for the broader map, there are now only 16 states remaining. Clinton continues to have sizable leads in the total number of votes and delegates earned, but the state-by-state count is closer: Clinton has so far won 18 states to Sanders’ 16.
Also of note is the striking distinction between the kind of contests in which the candidates have thrived: In the 21 primaries held thus far, Clinton has 16 victories to Sanders’ 5, but in the 13 caucuses, Sanders has 11 wins to Clinton’s 2.
Of the 16 states that have not yet held their presidential nominating contests, 15 are holding primaries. One, North Dakota, is a caucus state. The next big contest, of course, is the New York primary, which will be held a week from tomorrow.