The past month has been a numbers game for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. What once looked like a viable campaign to unseat Hillary Clinton as the Democratic front-runner is becoming increasingly out of a reach. And while people feeling the Bern with offer some complicated math for how he can still get the nomination, it's starting to sound like a limit does exist. Can Bernie Sanders win the Democratic nomination without a contested convention? Not without some major shakeups.
Clinton currently leads Sanders 2,165 delegates to 1,357, a lead of 808 delegates. That means, according to U.S. News & World Report, that Sanders would not only need to win all of the remaining states, but win 80 percent of the vote in those states. So far, his highest margin of victory (86 percent) has been in his home state of Vermont. The next highest has been New Hampshire at 61 percent. Those numbers aside, most of the primaries left are closed, which means that the independents who have turned out for Sanders in previous races won't be able to vote. In short, he technically could win without a contested convention, but it'd be the longest of long shots to get him there.
It seems that Sanders is now focusing on the possibility of a contested convention, the very fabled event Republicans have been parroting since Donald Trump started picking up steam. Even that doesn't seem very plausible, however. He told the Washington Post that, if necessary, he would take his campaign all the way to Philadelphia, where the Democratic National Convention will be held in July.
But if it went to a contested convention, Sanders would need to cozy up to superdelegates for support. Currently, Clinton is absolutely creaming him in that department. The former Secretary of State has the support of 520 superdelegates, while Sanders has a paltry 39. That math could change, but it would mean that Sanders would need to get support from the members of the establishment that he has waged all-out war against. So even a win via contested convention seems unlikely at this point.
So why would Sanders stay in the race with these unlikely odds? To get his platform out there. From the beginning, Sanders has had some pretty big pie-in-the-sky ideas to shakeup the party, and the longer he stays in the longer he has to remind people of what he views as a broken system.