Last week, Hillary Clinton unleashed everything she had on Donald Trump, really getting in there and not holding back. In her mind, she is already the Democratic nominee for the presidency and it is time to start campaigning against her adversary in the upcoming general election, Mr. Trump.
And when you look at it coolly and factually, she is almost entirely right. At the moment, she has 2,357 delegates and Bernie Sanders has 1,566. Just to remind you, for a Democratic candidate to become nominee, they need 2,383 delegates. At face value, Clinton needs only 26 more delegates.
Tomorrow, there will be 694 delegates up for grabs in six different states. Even if Sanders absolutely obliterates Clinton (which will not happen), she would somehow still get those 26 delegates.
That being said, in the mind of Bernie Sanders and his supporters, Clinton does not actually have 2,357 delegates, but only 1,809, fewer than 300 more than Sanders. The rest are superdelegates.
Sanders and his supporters have for a long time been very vocal about their disagreement with the whole superdelegates thing and it is not that hard to understand them. There is something undemocratic about superdelegates, no matter how you cut it. They are delegates who can vote as they wish. The votes cast by the people they represent do not matter. They support who they wish and in this primary, the vast majority of them (548 to 46) support Clinton.
In essence, her lead is more than doubled due to the fact that she has the support of the majority of superdelegates.
While all of this is true, the fact remains that Clinton still has nearly 300 more delegates (without superdelegates) and that Sanders has no hopes of making up for those 300 tomorrow. The primary systems in North Dakota, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota are such that it is impossible for him to make enough ground.
What he can do is win tomorrow. More precisely, win California.
California has 475 delegates up for grabs, the most of any state, but it is not just about the number of delegates.
California is a state where both parties are strong and where the electoral body is the most diverse in every sense of the word. As much as some pundits like to think that New York is the state which represents the country politically, it is actually California.
And if Bernie wins California tomorrow, that could complicate things.
Not mathematically, mind you. Hillary Clinton will become the presumptive Democratic nominee tomorrow; there is no doubt about that.
However, Sanders will become stronger if he wins tomorrow and as he becomes stronger, he will have more options before him.
In an article for Politico, Gabriel Debenedetti wrote extensively about the options – from continuing his campaign to conceding defeat late Tuesday or first thing Wednesday. Debenedetti quotes the chairwoman of the Vermont Democratic Party and one of the few Sanders-supporting superdelegates Dottie Deans who says that Bernie will most likely decide on Wednesday. The article also speaks of how difficult it is to read Bernie and determine exactly what he will do after Tuesday’s primaries.
You already know what we think. As far as we are concerned, Bernie already won. His ideas, ones that seemed like an impossibility coming from within one of the two major parties just a year ago, have now become a part of the political discourse in this country. The ideas of a less corrupt and more humane political system and a less corrupt and more humane America have been planted.
He needs to concede tomorrow. He needs to tell his supporters that it is time to fight the common enemy, the political abomination that is Donald Trump, even if that means supporting Hillary Clinton.
Of course, he should still make sure some of his ideas and concepts become part of the future Democratic Party Policy that is going to be discussed and penned out come the Democratic National Convention.
Still, it is time to unite the party and make sure Trump does not win.