Bernie Sanders’ supporters are looking westward with optimism as polls show the Vermont senator’s chances of winning liberal California climbing higher. In Michigan, where Sanders was given a less than one percent chance of winning the state immediately preceding the Democratic primary, Sanders walked away the victor in pledged delegates. Both “polls-plus” and “polls-only” predicted that Clinton had a greater than 99 percent chance of winning the Great Lakes State. Polls are not usually 25 percent off, FiveThirtyEight explained of the discrepancy between projections and the results of the Michigan primary, citing that one issue is that the official polls rarely include cellphone-only users, which is among Bernie Sanders’ strongest demographic. Sanders is already garnering tremendous support in California, even with the primary still about four weeks away. Meanwhile, landline polling still presents the same problems as it did in the mitten.
21,000 people just INSIDE stadium in Sacramento. 10,000 people who did not get in standing outside just listening. pic.twitter.com/vaumWYBhWi
— Jacie Lin (@Jacie_Lin) May 11, 2016
The FiveThirtyEight report notes that Bernie Sanders now stands a 13 percent chance of winning in California, drastically higher than they were in Michigan on the evening before the primary and in many other states where he ended up leading in delegates. Polls that rely on landlines, it seems, really might underestimate Sanders’ chances of winning.
The Bern Report indicates that in California, first-time voters have been taking advantage of a quick online registration process. Over 850,000 new registrations were submitted in the first quarter of 2016 alone. The Santa Monica Daily Press reported Saturday that historic party realignments have been occurring in the state. That report also indicated that non-partisan voters are permitted to vote in California’s Democratic primary in June.
“The last time we saw an increase in registration before a presidential primary you have to go back to Ronald Reagan in 1980,” Vince Vasquez, senior policy analyst at National University System Institute for Policy Research, told KPBS on Monday. Most of the newly registered voters are millennials, KPBS reported. Elections officials are also reminding Californians that they only have until May 23 to register to vote in their party of choice in order to be able to vote in the California Primary on June 7, San Diego Union Tribune reported.
— The Progressive Mind (@Libertea2012) May 11, 2016
Sanders’ team says it will still have to fight for superdelegate votes at the Convention in July. Historically, superdelegates have sided with the majority at the actual Convention in Philly, though this year, the election process is anything but predictable. Some superdelegates say they still plan to back the former First Lady at the convention, even against the votes of their own constituents. For example, in Michigan, where the voters chose Bernie Sanders, superdelegates, including elected officials (like Rep. Debbie Dingell) are still supporting Clinton. Dingell also supported Clinton in 2008 and projected that Clinton would win the nomination against Obama.
“I love Bernie Sanders, but Bernie Sanders can’t win a presidential election,” Dingell told The Detroit Newslast fall, long before any primaries or caucuses took place. “We can’t afford to lose the White House next year.”
Thank you for all who showed up for the Hillary Watch Party! America needs a champion and that will be Hillary. pic.twitter.com/0ayaOvJeq7
— Debbie Dingell (@DebDingell) June 13, 2015
Sanders believes that the significantly larger margin of victory that he demonstrates against Donald Trump in General Election match-ups compared to match-ups between Clinton and Trump will be precisely what will cause superdelegates to ultimately cast their votes for him in July. A win in California, the delegate goldmine, would go a long way in convincing superdelegates, especially the superdelegates holding elected positions, Sanders’ supporters believe.
If Sanders does well in California, superdelegates may feel pressured to switch their support away from Clinton. TheInquisitr previously reported that at the State Convention in Maine, not only did Bernie pick up an additional pledged delegate previously earned by Clinton once the state’s Democratic Party voted to do away with superdelegates in the 2020 election, three of the five unpledged delegates are considering backing or are now backing Sanders.
“It’s important that we fully respect the vote of Maine people, and we should be pushing the Democratic National Committee to reevaluate the unpledged delegates,” Maine Democratic Chairman Phil Bartlett said Saturday, announcing that he plans to meet with the superdelegates to see where they now stand in light of the new decision in Maine.
“It is an uphill fight,” Sanders explained, according to Politico. “But I have been used to uphill fights my entire life. And I want you all to know that this campaign will fight for every remaining vote in every remaining state.”
“We think we have an excellent chance to win it,” Sanders told Eyewitness News, of the primary in California.
Sanders: Clinton team thinks race ‘is over. They’re wrong’ https://t.co/cWaOQ8hdoP
— KOMO News (@komonews) May 4, 2016
Sanders still trails Clinton by 280 pledged delegates, according to the most updated count compiled The Green Papers, but Sanders is not discouraged. With the primary still almost four weeks away, HuffPost Pollster shows Clinton only 9.1 points ahead of Sanders after he climbed from a greater than 51-point deficit in the first week of April.
Comparatively, when it was four weeks before Michigan’s primary, Sanders was behind by over 24 points. In fact, just two days before Sanders won Michigan, he was still over 18 points behind and similar projections were heard on the radio the morning of the primary. Do you think that Sanders will win California, and if he does, do you think that he will be able to convince superdelegates to back him at the Convention?
[Photo by Jim Mone/AP Images]