What Happens If Bernie Sanders Loses The New York Primary? It Could Be All Over For Him

Recently, all eyes have been focused on the New York primary, which finally arrived on Tuesday. This is a make-or-break event for both parties, but perhaps even more so for the Democratic candidates, both of whom have a lot to lose on Tuesday. Public perception is plaguing Hillary Clinton, who's lost eight out of the last nine primaries and needs to prove that she really still is the frontrunner in this race. Bernie Sanders' focus is undoubtedly on delegates — to stay within competitive range of Clinton, he needs to pull off an astonishing victory. If Sanders doesn't win New York, it could be over for his campaign.

Optimistically, Sanders could bring home a win in New York Tuesday. His extensive campaigning in recent weeks has helped to significantly narrow the gap in polling numbers between himself and Clinton. The margin is now pretty close to the projections from the Michigan primary in March, when Sanders surprised the country and pulled off a win. If he can repeat that performance in New York, Sanders would not only have a more secure delegate count, but it would put another serious hole in Clinton's air of invincibility.

However, Clinton is still favored to win the state, and therefore take the majority of its 247 pledged delegates, due to the state's proportional primary rules. In that case, the likelihood that Sanders pulls off the win for the nomination is extremely unlikely. The big upcoming primaries, like California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, not only favor Clinton in polls, but also have large populations of minority voters, whom Sanders hasn't yet successfully lured away from Clinton.

Sanders has a chance in some of the smaller remaining primaries, like Oregon and Montana, but they won't give him the 67 percent of the remaining delegates he needs to automatically clinch the nomination. Without big, decisive wins in the delegate-rich states, the math is squarely on Clinton's side.

Tuesday is a deciding moment for both Clinton and Sanders' campaigns. If Sanders wins, it could mark the beginning of the end of Clinton's campaign. But the opposite is just as true — if Clinton wins, the improbability of Sanders going on to the general election grows dramatically. Be sure to pay close attention to the New York primary results Tuesday night, because the Empire State could decide the future of the Democratic Party.