While everyone has started to focus on Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders refuses to back down. The democratic-socialist candidate intends to run until every state has voted in the primary, regardless of whether or not it seems likely — or even possible — for Sanders to defeat Hillary and turn November’s election into Donald Trump vs. Bernie Sanders. The Senator’s win in Indiana shows that not all progressives and democrats are ready to give up Bernie for Hillary. In the end, many wonder if it will ultimately matter which candidate runs against the GOP’s Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.
What does it really mean if Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in Indiana? Even if they are “feeling the Bern” in California and Sanders destroys Clinton, would that be enough to make a difference? Could Bernie Sanders force a contested convention for the Democratic party? And, if stopping Donald Trump is the ultimate goal of the Democratic Party, would Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton be the best choice to run against The Donald in November?
Bernie has made it clear that he plans to run the entire race. As they build toward the final Super Tuesday in June, does the remainder of the Clinton-Sanders battle even matter?
Bernie Sanders won Indiana
Bernie won Indiana on Tuesday, but not by as much as he would have liked. After the Indiana primary, it became mathematically impossible for Sanders to earn the Democratic presidential nomination using only pledged delegates. At the same time, with a strong finish, it’s possible that Sanders could prevent Clinton from doing the same.
Even Bernie admitted that the win in Indiana was largely symbolic. As he told ABC News, the win provides “momentum” for the rest of his campaign. To get the nomination, either candidate would need 2,383 delegates. Hillary already has 1,683 pledged delegates, while Bernie has 1,362. When it comes to the “freethinking” superdelegates, however, Hillary’s 522 is crushing Bernie’s 39. For Sanders to win this, there would have to be a major shift in thinking among most of the establishment Democrats that Sanders is the person for the job, rather than Hillary.
Bernie Sanders Vs. Donald Trump
According to the most recent poll data available from Real Clear Politics, Bernie Sanders would have an easier time beating Donald Trump in the general election. Their polls show Bernie beating Trump by 13.4 points, while Clinton beats Trump by just 6.5.
If the Bernie Sanders campaign’s main objective is to get Sanders in office, then they would benefit most by Clinton losing her lead over Trump, making the superdelegates truly questions who the best Democratic candidate would be to shut down Donald Trump in November.
Can Bernie Sanders Win California?
As The Sacramento Bee noted, Bernie Sanders believes he has “a pretty good chance” to win California, especially after the win in Indiana. There are a total of 546 democratic delegates up for grabs in California. Other primaries on the same day include New Jersey (142), New Mexico (43), Montana (27), South Dakota (25) and North Dakota (23).
Unlike the Republican primaries, all democratic primaries are proportional. Even if Hillary only received 30 percent of the vote in California, she’d still receive over 160 delegates. The most recent polls from Real Clear Politics show Bernie trailing Hillary in California by almost 10 points.
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Democratic Contested Convention
While the Republican party had been talking about a contested convention come July in hopes of preventing Trump from getting their nomination, similar things are now being said about Sanders challenging Clinton with a contested convention.
That appears to be Bernie Sanders’ only viable path to the White House. If he can continue to build momentum, finish the race incredibly strong, and convince some of the superdelegates to change their mind along the way, a Democratic contested convention could theoretically end with Bernie Sanders advancing to face Donald Trump to determine the next President of the United States of America.
When Is The California Primary?
The California primary is Tuesday, June 7. It is the final “Super Tuesday” of this election cycle, as six total states (and 806 delegates) are at stake. Between now and then, Guam’s 12 delegates were decided on Saturday, May 7; West Virginia’s 37 are decided next Tuesday; while Kentucky (61) and Oregon (73) are decided Tuesday, May 17.
After California and the “Super Tuesday” on June 7, the final Democratic primary is Tuesday, June 14 in the District of Columbia. If Bernie Sanders stays true to his words, he’ll still be campaigning against Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., hoping to conclude the contest at the Democratic National Convention in July.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]