Bernie Sanders needs something huge in order to turn the race against Hillary Clinton, and a new poll analysis suggests that he could have it in the form of a big win in California.
After a winning streak that stretched across most of April, Sanders ended the month by suffering losses in the New York primary followed by poor showing in the eastern seaboard states that voted last Tuesday. With the wins, Hillary Clinton has built up a large and nearly insurmountable delegate lead, leaving Sanders to hope for a game-changer in the upcoming primaries.
One new analysis shows there could be hope at the end of the line for Sanders. An analysis of California polls from Political Analyzer found that Bernie Sanders is on pace to take more than 60 percent of the vote in the state’s June 7 primary.
“The current situation in California tells us that the strength of Vermont Senator is still great and he’s by far the most popular politician,” the analysis found.
The Sanders campaign has been undaunted at the challenge of catching up to Hillary Clinton, even though it would require taking more than 60 percent of delegates in the remaining states. Sanders has said repeatedly that he plans to stay in the race until all states have voted, and he isn’t content with simply being a “message candidate” aiming to shape political discourse.
Bernie Sanders believes he can win.
“You remember in mid-March after a string of losses, the media wrote his political obituary and we came back to win eight in a row,” Bernie’s wife, Jane Sanders, said according to Politico. “So we’re expecting to do the same here.”
The campaign is also hopeful that they will perform better in the states to come. They are mostly through with the closed primaries, which Sanders said takes away his advantage of appeal among independent voters.
Jane Sanders noted that much of the recent losing streak came through closed primaries.
“Four out of the five contests that were just done last Tuesday were closed primaries again,” Jane said. “The open primary, Rhode Island, we won. Connecticut, we came very, very close, and if it had been an open primary, we have no doubt we would have won. Pennsylvania, we would have come close or won.”
We're working hard to win every possible vote and delegate for Bernie in Indiana. Can we count you in? https://t.co/mwS4wCi207
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 30, 2016
But it will take wins by big margins to catch up to Hillary Clinton, and polls for upcoming states indicate that Bernie Sanders isn’t close. FiveThirtyEight gives Sanders a less than 10 percent chance of winning Tuesday’s race in Indiana, where a loss would all but doom whatever comeback chances his campaign had still been harboring.
— Picked One! (@PickedOne) May 1, 2016
Milo Beckman of FiveThirtyEight said the proportional nature of the Democratic primary makes it very hard to overcome any kind of substantial deficit.
“The reason for this is pretty simple: Proportional allocation of delegates makes comebacks really, really hard. You can’t just notch wins in a string of states, as Sanders did in late March and early April. You have to start consistently trouncing your opponent by large margins in every contest. You need, well, a political revolution.”
But many pundits have noted that Bernie Sanders can still win even without securing the party’s nomination. By winning as many delegates as possible, he would have more sway at this summer’s Democratic National Convention and could have more part in shaping the agenda. That makes polls like the one released this weekend showing him with a lead in California that much more important.
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]