Is the Democratic nomination really up for grabs? True, Bernie could still win if his momentum continues after a near-tie in Iowa, but right now the delegate count is 385 for Hillary to his 29.
Yes, Hillary won in Iowa, but Sander’s supporters are jubilant and hoping a win in New Hampshire will boost his chances even more. However, only one will be going up against the Republican nominee and if it’s Clinton (which is likely, but not a sure thing), damaging her now to support Sanders only helps the Republicans. Even Bernie himself has said he’s not going negative. And in case Sanders is the nominee, Clinton fans should not damage Bernie.
Thing is, Hillary is leading the delegate count by a wide margin nationally. Don’t forget that 15% of the Democrats’ 4,764 convention delegates (713) are unpledged superdelegates. The most recent count has Sanders with only 8.
For Sanders to be “on track” to break even in pledged delegates nationally, he wouldn’t just need to win Iowa and New Hampshire by a hair. He would need to win 70 percent of Iowa’s delegates and 63 percent of New Hampshire’s delegates. We already know that didn’t happen in Iowa. His problem here is demographics.
Significantly, 98 percent of pledged Democratic delegates will come from states with lower shares of liberal whites than Iowa and New Hampshire. There’s only one state where whites who self-identify as liberals make up a higher share of the Democratic primary electorate than Iowa and New Hampshire. You guessed it: Vermont.
As the saying goes, it’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future, and Bernie has generally been trending up. But as of now Hillary has about 51% support to Bernie’s 37%. The good news is that The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll that came out January 30 showed that only 8% of Clinton supporters are “Not ok” with Sanders and only 12% of Sanders supporters are “Not ok” with Clinton.
Let’s hope both sides will remember what’s at stake, given the Republican control of Congress ….