Will Bernie Sanders Win Wyoming? A Victory Wouldn't Help Him As Much As You'd Think
The question of whether Bernie Sanders will win Wyoming when the state holds its Democratic caucus on April 9 is a big one, but also somewhat murky in its significance. Sanders certainly thinks he has a shot, and he’s already been there campaigning. (His campaign had previously canceled some stumping stops in the state last month due to inclement weather.) Still, a win for Sanders in the sparsely populated state wouldn't be enough to make real gains on Clinton. There are only 14 delegates up for grabs (four are superdelegates).
As opposed to primaries, where people pretty much just cast their vote and leave, caucuses require people to stay for hours on end and thus attract the more hardcore. Like, say, Sanders’ fans. Sanders tends to do well with caucuses, while Clinton tends to do better with primaries. This is part of the reason winning the Wisconsin primary was a big deal for him: It bucked the trend in a pretty big state.
According to the Billings Gazette, Wyoming has “one of the worst pay gaps in the country.” This could potentially play to Sanders advantage, as he told Wyoming voters, "Why are women giving birth in Wyoming and Wisconsin and Vermont and they're going back to work in two or three weeks because they don't have the income to take care of their family?" Wyoming, though, overall leans conservative. And, unfortunately for Sanders, Wyoming’s four superdelegates have already declared their support for Clinton. Clinton has 469 superdelegates to Sanders’ 31.
While Sanders is predicted by many to win Wyoming, that victory may really not mean much — Wyoming has relatively few delegates up for grabs, and Sanders has a long way to go. Clinton currently holds 1,749 delegates while Sanders holds 1,061. The upcoming New York primary offers 291 delegates (44 of them are superdelegates), a much more significant piece of the pie. But alas, polls show Clinton leading Sanders in New York. If the polls prove true, that would be a massive loss for Sanders, even if he does win the Wyoming primary.
“After Wyoming on Saturday,” according to Jason Easley of liberal news site PoliticusUSA, “the Democratic primary calendar is going to flip to states that will demographically favorable to Hillary Clinton. Thirteen of the next sixteen contests will be closed primaries. The secret behind the recent burst of momentum for Sanders is that the contests have been open primaries and caucuses in white dominated states that lack population diversity. However, the Democratic race is about to be contested in more ethnically diverse states where only registered Democrats will be voting.”
Wyoming is vastly rural and white, demographics in which Sanders does well. But unfortunately for him, a victory there just wouldn’t provide enough of the momentum — and delegates — that his campaign needs to take him all the way to the nomination.