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Tuesday’s Acela Primaries Are Key For The Democratic Race


shutterstock_328825133Photo credit: Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

It is safe to say that this year’s race for the Democratic Party nomination has been an exciting and rather unexpected one. Since Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders remain the only two candidates still running, it has became more focused but it has lost none of its excitement and passion.

Which makes us happy.

A passionate Democratic Party is an engaged Democratic Party and that is always a good thing.

Tomorrow, people are going to be showing this passion of theirs in five states which are voting in the so called Acela Primaries. These five states are Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The reason why these are called the Acela primaries is the Acela Amtrak train, the only high-speed train in the United States and a source of pride for the people in the Northeast.

Before we get into the analysis part, it would be best to provide the numbers, just so we are on the same page.

All in all, there are 462 Democratic delegates at stake tomorrow, which is definitely a sizeable number. Delaware comes with the smallest number of delegates – 31. Delaware is a winner-take-all state, meaning that the candidate with the most votes gets all 31 delegates. Rhode Island comes with 33 delegates and they are awarded proportionally to the percentage of votes a candidate gets.

In Connecticut, there are 70 delegates at stake, one again awarded proportionally. In Maryland, 118 delegates are up for grabs and they all go to the winner of the vote. Finally, we have Pennsylvania with 210 delegates to be won. The delegates in Pennsylvania are awarded proportionally.

According to the latest polls, Hillary Clinton will most probably win Pennsylvania, with different sources giving her between 50 and 60 percent of the vote. In Connecticut, the polls are showing a very tight race which could go both ways. In Rhode Island, some polls are showing Bernie Sanders in the lead, while others have Clinton winning. In Maryland, Clinton is still somewhat ahead while polls in Delaware paint a murky picture.

One trend that is showing in the majority of the five states is that Sanders is catching up in the polls, with Clinton’s lead melting. That being said, it is still unlikely that the Acela Primaries are going to be a huge victory for Sanders.

Unfortunately for him and his supporters, the fact that he will probably not win big tomorrow night actually be the beginning of the end for his chances to win the nomination.

The reason for this is purely mathematical. At the moment, Clinton has 1,428 pledged delegates, while Sanders has 1,153. This might not look like too big of a gap, right? Well, in fact, it is, especially if you add the 513 superdelegates that Clinton has on her side as opposed to Sanders’ 38.

shutterstock_107340851Photo credit: Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

Superdelegates can vote any way they wish come the Democratic Convention and the way things are looking at the moment, the vast majority of them are in Camp Clinton, which is not a surprise really, considering that they are a party establishment and probably not too keen on supporting all the much-needed changes Sanders advocates.

If we include these superdelegates in our calculations, Clinton has 1,941 delegates to Sanders’ 1,191 and this is where her lead becomes much more substantial.

Of course, we are all hoping that superdelegates might change their mind and switch to Sanders. Unfortunately, that kind of thing does not really happen often. Perhaps if Sanders won the majority of pledged delegates, superdelegates might consider switching.

Once again, it is highly unlikely that Sanders’ campaign is strong enough to make up for the pledged delegates in time. Even if he manages to somehow win the majority in Pennsylvania tomorrow or even all of the five states, due to the proportional awarding of delegates, he would not make up too much ground.

In fact, in order to catch up with Clinton, Sanders would have to win more than 60 percent of all votes remaining and that is just highly unlikely.

Tomorrow, however, we will see if Sanders and his supporters have something more up their sleeve.

If they do not, we might have to face the sad reality that time for someone like Sanders has not yet come.

It will come, though.

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