Good news for Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, as a new poll showed him pulling ahead of Hillary Clinton in the crucial state of Wisconsin. On the same day, Sanders announced new events in New York and Pennsylvania, which are two of three biggest delegate states remaining in the Democratic race. Therefore, these are states that Sanders absolutely must win.
Wisconsin, with 86 pledged delegates to be apportioned between the two Democratic candidates, is also a must-win for Sanders. It has been considered by political experts to be a winnable state for Bernie Sanders, as the state has strong liberal leanings on the Democratic side and a demographic profile that has served Sanders well so far.
But prior to Wednesday, Sanders had trailed Clinton, though not by much, in almost every poll. In fact, of the six polls taken in the state since last October, Sanders trailed in all but one. In that poll, released by Marquette University Law School on February 21, Sanders led Clinton by only one point.
An Emerson College poll last week put Clinton ahead by six percentage points.
But in the new poll, another survey by Marquette that polled “likely” Democratic voters between March 24 and March 28, Bernie Sanders took a lead of four percentage points. That’s the largest lead in the state that Sanders has ever held, and it comes with less than a week to go before the April 5 Wisconsin primary.
Bernie Sanders has been conducting an all-out blitz in Wisconsin and held three more rallies in the state on Wednesday. To get an idea of how Sanders is approaching the Wisconsin campaign, watch his speech given in Madison on March 26 in the following video.
On Thursday, however, Sanders has two stops scheduled for his “Future To Believe In” rally tour. In the morning, at about 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, Sanders takes the podium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
A live stream of the Bernie Sanders Pittsburgh rally can be viewed as it happens in the video below.
Later on Thursday, Sanders and one of his most high-profile supporters, actress Rosario Dawson, storm into the South Bronx, New York City, for another “Future to Believe In” rally in Saint Mary’s Park. That event is scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern Time and will stream live in the video below.
The Bernie Sanders campaign has become a cultural phenomenon. In fact, in the new Time Magazine “TIME 100” reader poll, in which readers vote for the people they consider the most influential individuals in the world, Bernie Sanders took the No. 1 spot, ahead of President Barack Obama and singer Lady Gaga.
— TIME.com (@TIME) March 30, 2016
Nonetheless, Sanders still trails Clinton by 228 pledged delegates in the race for the nomination and needs a daunting 988 more — 57 percent of all remaining available pledged delegates — to secure a majority, according to calculations published Wednesday by Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight.com.
“If you’re a Sanders supporter, you might look at the map and see some states — Oregon, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Montana and so forth — that look pretty good for Sanders, a lot like the ones that gave Sanders landslide wins earlier in the campaign,” Silver wrote.
“But those states have relatively few delegates. Instead, about 65 percent of the remaining delegates are in California, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland — all states where Sanders trails Clinton in the polls and sometimes trails her by a lot,” Silver reported.
New York has 247 pledged delegates available, with 84 going automatically to the winner of the statewide vote. But the remaining 163 are doled out based on the results in each of the state’s 27 congressional districts. That means for Sanders to make a dent in Clinton’s delegate advantage, he must not only win the state, he must win enough congressional districts to take the lion’s share of those remaining 163 delegates.
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But Sanders now trails Clinton in New York by a staggering 43 percentage points in the FiveThirtyEight polling average, and with the primary held on April 19, he has about three weeks not only to wipe out that lead but to overtake Clinton by a significant margin.
Those polls, of course, are why Bernie Sanders is already staging events in both of those states, which will ultimately make or break his chances to win the Democratic nomination.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]