What Comes After Wisconsin For Democrats? The Primary Season Isn't Close To Over
Wisconsin will push Democrats firmly into the second half of the primary election season, doling out 96 delegates on Tuesday. Polls coming out of the Dairy State have shown Wisconsin Democrats appear to be "feeling the Bern" with frontrunner Hillary Clinton trailing five and six points behind Sen. Bernie Sanders in the latest Fox Business and PPP polls respectively. But what's next for Democrats after polls in Wisconsin close?
The New York Times' Nate Cohn has said Wisconsin will be "one of Bernie's best remaining primaries" due to its largely white demographic. With 263 pledged delegates between him and Clinton, a win in Wisconsin would likely heighten the fundraising momentum Sanders' triple wins in Alaska, Washington, and Hawaii earned him. But delegates are what Sanders's campaign really needs, and a potential win won't close the gap between him and Clinton.
Democrats will gather to caucus in Wyoming just three days after Wisconsin's primary. At stake are just 14 delegates — the state's four superdelegates already committed to Clinton, the Casper Star Tribune reported — but neither Sanders or Clinton would snub their nose at a win there. Both Democratic presidential candidates are sending their spouses to campaign Monday on their behalf in the Cowboy State. A win in the small state of Wyoming could set the tone for future primaries in neighboring states like Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
Much of Democrat's focus has been pegged to the key New York primary, scheduled for April 19. Delegates are based primarily on population size, and New York's hefty numbers means it has 291 delegates for Clinton and Sanders to fight over. Polls conducted by CBS News and Quinnipiac at the end of March both showed Clinton with a slight double-digit lead over Sanders.
Sanders has publicly challenged Clinton to debate him in Brooklyn ahead of the New York primary, but negotiations between the two campaigns have yet to make much headway on the matter due to disagreement on proposed dates. Clinton's campaign said Saturday she had agreed to meet Sanders on the debate stage, proposing April 4, April 14, or April 15 as potential days. Sanders' campaign immediately dismissed the April 4 option citing it as it is the eve of the Wisconsin primary and the day of a significant March Madness game.
It may seem like the presidential hopefuls have been campaigning for votes for awhile, but primary season isn't over yet — figuratively or literally. As the current Democratic frontrunner, Clinton still needs a sizeable 671 delegates to have the 2,383 delegates required to secure the party's nomination in July. Sanders is 1,372 delegates short of the minimum required. Which means Democrats will still be playing close attention to the primary race after voters in Wisconsin cast their ballots.