Sanders' Bern Won't Be Cooling Just Yet
On June 7, Democratic candidates will have their last major shot at winning the nomination through the presidential primary process. Tuesday's primaries will take place in six more states, including North Dakota, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota for a combined 694 pledged delegates to be secured by Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. With the final contests right around the corner, can Bernie Sanders still beat Hillary Clinton?
As the race for the White House comes to a quick close, there are just a few more opportunities for the Dems to win delegates and secure the nomination outside of the Democratic Convention. Clinton has led Sanders in delegates throughout the primary contests; she currently holds 1,768 pledged delegates ahead of Tuesday's contests, and Sanders holds 1,501. While he's not too far behind her count, what's more valuable is that Clinton is closer to the 2,383 delegates needed for the nomination. And while Sanders' chances at winning are slim, there's still a possibility for him to beat Clinton at a convention, if not through the primary nominating process.
However, even though Sanders still has a chance of winning a spot in the general election, some of his supporters are nervous about what will happen should Clinton secure enough delegates on Tuesday before all the polls are closed.
According to The Washington Post, if Clinton keeps up at the rate she has been winning, she could reach the delegate target by 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday after New Jersey's polls close — that's even before California polls close. New Jersey holds 126 of Tuesday's pledged delegates, and California holds a whopping 475 delegates. But that declaration would come only if the outlets are counting the superdelegates' plan to support Clinton — she won't reach the required amount in pledged delegates after New Jersey alone.
The idea of that led one columnist to suggest that "[news] networks will make the news on June 7 rather than report it," as superdelegates cannot officially commit to a candidate until the actual convention, and declaring Clinton the candidate on June 7 based on superdelegates feels inaccurate — and could deter California voters from voting if they think it's all over.
Throughout the month of May, polls for the California primary have shown Clinton with a lead as large as 18 points, but according to the most recent polling average, that lead is down to 2 points.
The Vermont senator has made his intentions to stay in the race very clear. At a campaign event in Oakland, California, on Sunday, Sanders made it known that he intends to take his campaign through to the convention in July, noting "[Clinton] has received obviously a whole lot of superdelegate support, no question about that. A lot more than I have. But superdelegates don't vote until they're on the floor of the Democratic convention."