[EDIT: So, all of the comments online about California being a winnter-take-all primary...only for the Republicans. Turns out that no one wants to talk about how the Democrat Primary is a proportional system by Congressional district
. No statement on the California Secretary of State website, no statement on the California Democrats website. THAT'S not good. However, it also doesn't change the importance of California...just makes it a little more flexible. Oh, and New Jersey is a combo
...propotional for some of their delegates, state-wide "winnter-take-all" (in a weird way) for the others. But, hey, it's Jwersee, right?]
The 2016 Democratic Primary has been incredibly confusing, not the least because of the media itself. As much as we try to remember that the media provides us with information to help us make our decisions, each piece is written by human beings, and many of those individuals aren’t interested in facts…they are interested in getting their opinions accepted.
A great example is the headline I read today by some online blog called Common Dreams (never heard of it before). “Clinton to Californians: Your Votes Will Not Affect the Democratic Primary Whatsoever”
. The site is VERY one-sided in their language. However they are absolutely correct this time that “Chris Cuomo had the temerity to use conditional language in speaking of Hillary Clinton’s chances of becoming the Democratic nominee for President.”
Because the California Primary is THE KEY
to the Democratic Nomination.
Certainly Hillary Clinton knows this. Certainly Bernie Sanders knows this. But unfortunately a lot of Democratic voters don’t, because of the way that the media constantly talks about the Delegate counts between the two. So I’m going to make it very clear.
If Hillary Clinton wins the California Primary, a take-all delegate Primary, the game is over, and Sanders has lost.
Here is where Clinton and Sanders stand right now. Clinton has a total of 1768 Pledged Delegates; Sanders has a total of 1494
. The difference is only 274 Pledged Delegates. So, why don’t I include the Superdelegates? Because, at this time, they don’t have ANY importance to the race…or at least, they shouldn’t.
At the King County Convention in Washington State, Democratic Senator Patty Murray stated that there has been NO Democratic National Convention where the Superdelegates did not vote for the candidate with the majority of support (she did not say whether the support came from Pledged Delegates or the popular vote, but I think it would be rare that they wouldn’t be the same). And she is correct, simply because it’s so rare that there has been a contested election at the Democratic National Convention.
If one does the research (and I have
) one finds that the last time a contested elected occurred was in 1992
. Bill Clinton’s first run for president resulted in a contest at the Democratic National Convention against Former California Governor Jerry Brown, Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas, and four others (receiving 1% of the vote each). Bill Clinton was the clear majority winner of the Pledged Delegates, with over 1000 entering the convention, while his nearest competitor had only around 500 (I couldn’t get exact figures because they are not easily available online). Bill Clinton swept the convention, taking all (or most all) of the Superdelegates with over 3300.
Since then, all contenders have withdrawn before the National Convention occurred, including in 2008 when Hillary Clinton withdrew in early June, after the last of the primary/caucuses had completed, know that with 102 pledged delegates between her and Obama, the Superdelegates would STILL vote for him. Because he was the clear majority winner.
So, back to the current race. What’s left? A handful of states and colonies (did I just say that?) that total 781 Pledged delegates. California is the key, because it will give 475 to the winner.
IF Clinton wins California, she has won the primary race, and the nomination. The remaining Pledged delegates, 306, will not be enough for Sanders to overcome that number AND her current lead. And the Superdelegates will vote for her.
IF Sanders wins California [EDIT: or a large part of California], he MIGHT still lose, but the chance will be small. With that 475, his lead will be 201. She will have to get almost all of the remaining states/colonies to beat him. And the race will end up being so close that we might, for the first time, in a quarter century, find out just what the Superdelegates will do when the race is not so clear.
IF Sanders wins [Edit: the majority of] California and New Jersey, the race is over and Sanders has won. Again, the majority will be clear, and Clinton will not be able to overcome the Superdelegate support of Sanders.
THIS is why California is so important. This is why California is key. And this is why Hillary Clinton doesn’t want anyone to think that the California Primary will not affect the Democratic Primary whatsoever. Because it will. And she’s afraid she’ll lose.