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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sanders Wins Wyoming

Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the Wisconsin Caucus yesterday.  The 11 point win (Sanders 55% to Clinton 44%).

For Sanders, this is mostly about bragging rights, as he can now claim 8 victories in the last 9 contests.  As far as delegates though, the win in virtually meaningless.  Because Wyoming is so strongly Republican and because Democrats award delegates to States based on how many people voted for the Democratic candidate for President in prior elections, Wyoming has a whopping 18 delegates at stake, the smallest of any State primary or caucus (there are a few territories with smaller delegations).  Further, because delegates are awarded proportionally, both candidate ended up with seven pledged delegates.  Clinton has already received pledges from the four super delegates.  So despite her loss, she will walk away with 11 Wyoming delegates to Sanders' 7.

Clinton, of course, has been much more focused on the New York Primary this Tuesday.  A big win in New York could give Clinton more delegates than Sanders has won in all 8 of his last small state caucus victories.  Sanders made the point as well as anyone.  After announcing his victory in Wyoming during a campaign rally in New York, he commented “There are probably more people in this room than there are in Wyoming.”

Clinton is poised to do well in New York, followed by a victory in Pennsylvania and several smaller States the following week, which brings her ever closer to her desired majority.  Clinton is only about 600 delegates away from the 2383 majority, with nearly 2000 delegates still in play.  Sanders, however, continues to beat expectations and nip at her heals.

A Wyoming victory for Sanders contributes to his "momentum" argument, that the tide is turning in his favor.  Polls show him headed for a serious setback next week.  He is so far behind at this point that doing anything less than surprisingly amazing in the remaining States is pretty much fatal to his chances.

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