Alaska and Hawaii’s polls for the 2016 Democratic caucus are practically non-existent — with just one set of data for Alaska available and none for Hawaii.
Despite the fact that the states only hold a combined delegate count of 55, that mystery makes the caucuses for the America’s 49th and 50th states a bit tenser than some of the preceding primaries. A decisive victory in both states could still be a huge boon to either the Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton campaign, as Hillary leads by about 300 pledged delegates. Still, both are dwarfed by the more substantial 118 delegates held by the Washington democratic caucus the same day, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
Alaska has at least one 2016 poll to help gauge the Democratic caucus’ results, but there are several reasons its predictions may be unreliable. The first of which is that it had a sample size of just 310 registered voters, unlikely to precisely predict where the state’s 20 delegates — four of which are super delegates — will go.
Alaska Dispatch News asked respondents if they preferred Clinton or Bernie for the nomination. Hillary won out with 44 percent of the vote to Sanders’ 41 percent, which is a slim victory in a poll with such a large margin of error. Furthermore, the last Democratic caucus poll was taken near the end of January, a two-month stretch in which voter outlook could have changed substantially.
Results were divided into registered Democrats and those who had no party affiliation, as Alaska has a particularly high concentration of independent voters. The arctic state is tied with Massachusetts at 53 percent for the state with the lowest rate of party affiliation. Including those independents, the Democratic Socialist candidate won by a wide margin. While those independent voters cannot caucus for Bernie or Clinton, they’ll be pivotal in deciding who the state goes to in 2016: Alaskan Democrats make up just 14 percent of the electorate, according to Independent Voter Network.
Still, that’s not to say Alaska’s electoral college votes will be in reach at all for Democrats come November. The state has gone Republican in every election since 1960 other than once for Lyndon B. Johnson. As a Democratic win is unlikely to occur there, Hawaii’s caucus polls would seem the more enticing race for Sanders and Clinton. The state has gone blue every year since 1984, when Ronald Reagan swept 49 of the 50 states up for grabs. In 2008 and 2012, it went more than 70 percent for Obama. These two factors make it an almost definite win for eventual 2016 Democratic nominee.
Yet who will take home the majority of the state’s 35 delegates — 10 of which are super delegates — is much less conclusive. Without a single Hawaii caucus poll, the behavior of Democratic voters on March 25 can only be judged based on a slim variety of factors. One worth noting is the number of endorsements that each candidate has racked up. Politico reported that Hillary has been chosen by most of the island state’s establishment politicians, as well as five super delegates. Young Hawaiian representative Kaniela Ing did, however, endorse the Vermont senator earlier this week.
Bernie, on the other hand, has only landed one super delegate pledge in Hawaii ahead of the caucus. The absence of polls, however, may actually be failing to reveal a tilt in his favor. A Bloomberg poll published Thursday indicated that Sanders had narrowly surpassed Clinton in overall national popularity. That same momentum may be shifting in his favor even thousands of miles from the continental U.S.
With the lack of Alaska and Hawaii caucus polls, how are you predicting the states to fall for Democrats in 2016?
[Image via Mike Powell and Donald Miralle/Getty Images]