Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Sanders big win last night means he is further behind

Once again the media is mostly ignoring the delegate count. The headlines today are all about the fact that Bernie "won" Michigan, as if winning states is what this contest is about.

In fact, Sanders beat Clinton in Michigan by splitting the vote 49.9%-48.2% That narrow victory gets him 65 delegates and Clinton gets 58, a net gain of 7. But last night Clinton walloped Sanders in Mississippi, with a 82.6%-16.5% vote. MS will give Clinton 29 delegates and Sanders 4.. In other words, yesterday Clinton gains a total of 87 delegates and Sanders gained a total of 69. Sanders fell further behind, with a net loss of 18 delegates.1

Sanders is currently 219 pledged delegates behind Clinton. There are now two fewer states in the running and he needs to make up that gap soon. He can't do that if he keeps eking out narrow victories in some states while losing big blowouts in others. Despite all the press about Bernie's good night last night, his chances of winning the nomination have shrunk.

1-State rules assigning delegates are complicated. Those numbers might vary by a delegate or two over the next few days. But they will not vary enough to change by point that Bernie suffered a net loss last night.