How Many Delegates Did Bernie Sanders Win In Wyoming? Not As Many As He'd Probably Like

Well, that didn't take long! On Saturday afternoon, the results of the Democratic Wyoming caucuses were announced, and the final outcome was just about what you'd expect based on the race so far. In other words: a caucus state with a relatively small population usually equals a win for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, and in this case, it's his seventh consecutive victory going head-to-head with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But what about the real measure of success, those oh-so-crucial delegates? How many delegates did Bernie Sanders win in Wyoming?

That's basically the foremost question that should be asked after every contest between Clinton and Sanders going forward, because simply put, it's the only thing that matters to who'll ultimately seize the nomination. It's a frustrating situation for Sanders and his supporters, no doubt — because the Democrats don't have any winner-take-all delegate hauls in their nominating race, it's almost impossible to narrow a 200-plus delegate deficit without winning big states by big margins, and heading into Saturday, Sanders was lagging behind by 219 pledged delegates.

Now, according to The New York Times' live delegate tracking, 96 percent of the Wyoming returns are now in, and it's looking like a 12 point win for Sanders. The grisly reality, however: he only secured 7 of the state's delegates, the exact same number Clinton did.

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The state of Wyoming had 14 pledged delegates on offer, and up until the very final numbers rolled, in, it was unclear whether Sanders would win 8 to Clinton's 6, or would deadlock with her. And with the news that the final delegate went to Clinton, well, it becomes a purely cosmetic win for Sanders — there's no practical benefit to winning a state contest if you tie in delegates, outside of a sense of momentum. But it's extremely unclear whether momentum is as much a genuine political phenomenon as a media creation, and despite all the wins he's racked up in the last several weeks, the forecast as far as seizing that majority goes looks similarly bleak as when his streak began.

He has narrowed the gap over this stretch of contests, however, and that's a mighty impressive achievement considering the potency of Clinton's political operation, and within the context of his decision to fund his campaign almost entirely through individual and small-dollar donations.

He now trails by 219 pledged delegates, compared to the 329 deficit he faced before this seven-state winning streak began. But his performance in Wyoming was actually a disappointment relative to the delegate pace he needs to keep — as FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten noted, the polling website's projected route for Sanders to get the nomination had him needing to pick up 11 delegates on Saturday, not the mere seven he got.