Bernie Sanders Curtails Hillary Clinton’s Lead In Delegate-Rich California And New York: Is This The Turning Point Of The Race?

Bernie Sanders has often talked about how the momentum in the Democratic race has started shifting his way after thumping wins in the Western states and most recently in Wisconsin, where the Vermont senator managed to bag 10 more pledged delegates than Clinton. And while some talk of momentum has almost become a staple in Bernie’s victory speeches, recent evidence shows his confidence in a late surge for his campaign is not unfounded, but backed up by facts.

There is not much denying the fact that Clinton is still the favorite for winning the Democratic nomination come July, considering her support among registered Democrats and the party’s top brass, but Sanders has started gaining on her in states which, would she manage to win, could all but guarantee her the nomination.

But of course, the road does not remain that simple for Clinton anymore. Sanders’ sweeping victories in the Western states mean his supporters are once again galvanized by the prospect of a tough battle between the two Democratic candidates, while it has also opened a door for more funding for Bernie, a large portion of which his campaign has reserved for advertisements.

All of which has meant that delegate-rich states where voting still has to take place, like New York and California, could become important pivots around which the Democratic nomination could turn on his head. And Bernie Sanders would hope to make the most of that.

Is Hillary Clinton losing ground?

According to Sacramento Bee, Sanders is gaining on Clinton in California, which has the most number of pledged delegates of any remaining state — 475 to be exact — to offer. The Vermont senator, who trailed Hillary by double digits back in January, has cut down the former Secretary of State’s lead to only six points, according to a new Field Poll.

With two months still to go before the California primary, there is every chance that Sanders might not only be able to cut down Hillary’s lead, but even go on to establish a lead himself. One of the reasons for Bernie’s surge could be the support he has been able to muster among Latinos.

Poll director Mark DiCamillo said that while Clinton was earlier assured of support among Hispanics, now the tables are turning in Bernie’s favor. He reaffirmed Sanders’ claim that the Vermont senator has momentum in the race, which could help him perform better.

“He’s building some momentum. “He’s doing damage. His campaign isn’t being a kid glove campaign on Hillary any more. It’s actually doing damage and is changing people’s minds about Hillary.”

“Latinos would be a traditionally strong segment for Hillary, [but now] it’s one of the segments that’s moving away.”

Moreover, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll carried out this week, 25 percent of Sanders’ supporters will not vote for Clinton if she becomes the Democratic Party’s nominee. While Hillary’s supporters have a 60 percent favorable rating of Sanders, it is the not the same the other way round, with Clinton receiving mixed reviews — bordering on the negative — when it comes to favorable rating among Sanders’ supporters.

Bernie Sanders

According to an earlier report by Inquisitr, Bernie Sanders has started to gain ground against Clinton even in New York, with his poll numbers jumping a massive 15 percent in the state where he spent his early childhood.

With 291 delegates at stake, New York provides the biggest immediate challenge for Sanders, where the primary is due to be held in less than two weeks’ time. While Clinton appeared set to sweep to victory in her home state of New York previously, recent poll surges could mean that the Northeastern state will be the most pivotal primary yet in the Democratic race for nomination.

Not only does the New York primary come at a time when polls, and Sanders himself, are claiming to have the momentum in the race, it comes at a time when losing in New York could be potentially hazardous for Clinton’s campaign. It will seriously undermine her chances as the Democratic Party representative if she loses in her home state, but for Sanders, it could prove to be a major psychological boost in the race for nomination.

But despite Sanders closing the gap on Clinton in a significant manner in New York in recent polls, Clinton still holds the upper-hand, and a big victory will virtually seal her nomination. It will become a monumental task for Bernie Sanders to come back from such a difficult position.

However, there is also little doubt that California and New York present great opportunities for the Democratic contestants to give their campaigns a running boost, and with Bernie Sanders closing on Hillary Clinton in both of those states, the Democratic race appears set to become a very tricky one in the coming weeks.

[Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images]