Follow by Email

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Virgin Islands holds its Caucus

All eyes now are on June 7 when Hillary Clinton will almost certainly lock up the Democratic nomination.  Everyone is watching whether she can win California.  While this is important for optics, who actually wins California matters little.  If either candidate wins by a few percentage points, it means a handful more delegates.  Clinton will easily pick up the few dozen delegates she needs for a majority out of the more than 900 still at stake.

This weekend, however, has two other contests.  Saturday was the Virgin Islands Caucus, which has 12 delegates: 7 pledged and 5 super.  Clinton won the caucus overwhelmingly, with about 85% of the vote.  That was enough to collect all 7 of the pledged delegates in this proportional contest.  Some sources indicate Sanders may get 1 delegate. Clinton already had two superdelegates pledge support, with the remaining three still unpledged.  The Virgin Islands, therefore, brings Clinton that much closer to victory.

The Virgin Islands is not that significant in the scheme of things.   Voters in this territory cannot choose electors to select the President in the general election.  It's population of just over 100,000 is smaller than any State.  Just over 1500 people voted in the caucus, with just over 1300 supporting Clinton.

The Virgin Islands held a caucus, which have tended to favor Sanders, and was open, which has also tended to favor Sanders.  Clinton's victory in a relatively small jurisdiction that has been largely ignored by both campaigns shows that her support among Democrats remains high.  Sanders' claims that his is now the more popular candidate after Clinton ran up victories early in the season tends to ring hollow.

Today, Sunday, Puerto Rico holds its primary with 67 delegates at stake.  If Clinton won all of them, she would be just over the majority threshold.  More likely she will get achingly close to the number she needs, with the large contests on June 7 putting her over the top.  A win in Puerto Rico will provide momentum going into June 7 though.

As I said, Clinton will win her majority of delegates on June 7 because there is no way Sanders can win over 95% of the popular vote on Tuesday.  But if Sanders beats Clinton in California, the story will remain that Clinton is still weak, the party divided, and how the Democrats may not really get behind her to defeat Trump in November.

Clinton victories in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will help her with the notion that she is the more popular candidate and that Democrats need to start rallying around her if they want to defeat Trump in November.  Binding up wounds though, will likely have to take place with a VP pick and with the Convention.  Much of that will be up to Sanders.  He can either get behind the Clinton campaign in a major way, or can pout or demand too many concessions and leave the party divided.

1 comment:

  1. This contest is no longer about who can win the primary--I think that Sanders long ago figured the math out and realized that he could not win. Rather, this is about the future of the Democrat Party, and in that battle, Sanders has already won. He has pushed the party much further to the left, which is exactly what he wanted to do. Look at the fact that he was given five selections to help draw up the party platform, just one less than presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. His selections are all far left political figures, or (in the cases of Cornel West and James Zogby) anti-Israel activists. These people will help draft the party platform for the next election, which will set a precedent going forward. So, get ready for a Democrat Party which is more akin to Europe's Social Democrats than to the old Democrat Party.