When Is The Soonest Hillary Clinton Could Get Enough Delegates For The Nomination?
The Presidential primaries will be coming to a rapid end, with just 14 more state contests left in May and June for the Democratic candidates. So far since their start on Feb. 1 in Iowa, former Sec. Hillary Clinton has solidified a lead against her opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in terms of the delegates she has won thus far. As the rest of the contests continue, with a few big delegate-heavy states coming up in Indiana, California, and New Jersey, what's the soonest Hillary Clinton could get the nomination if it were up to delegates alone?
Clinton currently leads Sanders by a wide margin — not one that is impossible to close, but she is ahead in her delegate count nonetheless. So far, Clinton has racked up 1,645 pledged delegates and 520 superdelegates, putting her total number at 2,165 total delegates, with still 14 contests left. The remaining states offer a total of 942 pledged delegates for the Democratic contenders, and Clinton needs 738 more pledged delegates to secure the 2,383 needed for a nomination ahead of the July convention. In that case, she could win the nomination as soon as early June, following contests in Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oregon in May. June contests include North Dakota, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, all on June 7, and Washington, D.C. on June 14.
The month of May alone offers 228 delegates, but Clinton won't win all of them because they are allocated proportionally.
So, how's she doing in all these states?
Indiana is the next Democratic primary, taking place on May 3. The state has 83 delegates at stake for Democratic candidates, and Clinton has a slight lead in the state. In Indiana, Clinton leads Sanders 47 percent to 43 percent. If she were to win, she would take slightly over half of the state's pledged delegates. As early as November 2015, five of the nine superdelegates from Indiana were supporting Clinton.
The West Virginia primary will take place on May 10, and the state holds 29 delegates. There is little polling data on the state — the most recent is from February. But even with this data, Sanders leads Clinton in West Virginia 57 percent to 29 percent.
Kentucky And Oregon
Kentucky and Oregon both hold their primaries on May 17, offering 55 and 61 delegates respectively. There is very little polling data on Kentucky, but based on a survey from March, the results show Clinton with a narrow lead in the state of 43 percent to 38 percent. Nineteen percent of voters were undecided at the time of that poll. If Clinton wins in Kentucky, she'll also take about half of its delegates.
On the other hand, Oregon has little to no polling data, so it's unclear what candidate might have the upper hand in the state, but there are 61 delegates at stake.
June 7 Super Primaries
On June 7, six states will head to the polls, including North Dakota, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. This could very well be the day — and it likely will be — when Clinton secures enough delegates to win the nomination.
There are a total 694 delegates at stake on June 7, so even if Clinton won only half of the total voter support on this day, she will have secured the nomination. She's already polling ahead of Sanders in California with 49 percent to his 42 percent. In New Jersey, Clinton leads Sanders 51 percent to 42 percent, and in New Mexico, Clinton leads Sanders 47 percent to 33 percent. There is little to no polling data for the other states.
While Clinton is likely to secure enough delegates by the end of the day on June 7, just like every other primary that has passed, we will not know the outcome until the day is here. All projections and predictions have a margin of error, and you never know how the people will vote until the day comes along. Even so, with her establishment support, which you can see from her superdelegate counts, many of this support will likely remain loyal to her at the convention. Sanders could pull a few upsets along the way, however — it wouldn't be the first time.