Nate Silver's Prediction For California & Beyond Is Glowing For This Individual
After all those months, and all those debates, and all the jockeying for position and political gamesmanship, the big day is finally here: Tuesday is the final day of state primaries for both the Democrats and Republicans (the Democrats still have the Washington, D.C. primary on June 14). That's right! Over the course of the last five months, every single state in the union has had its chance to vote, meaning things are nearly at an end. And polling guru Nate Silver's prediction for the final state primaries is very rosy for Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight, has undeniably taken some licks lately over his failure to recognize the ascension of Donald Trump on the Republican side of things (for which he's offered some mea culpas). But on the Democratic side, the race has played out far more conventionally, and the state of the delegate math heading into Tuesday was very clear — Sanders trails by hundreds of pledged delegates, and thanks to the Democrats exclusively using proportional delegate allocation, he'd need to run the table with nothing but shocking landslides to have any hope of pulling even.
In simple terms, based on what the polls showed heading in, it's not going to happen. And that's precisely what Silver tweeted Tuesday morning — Clinton will finish the night with a mathematically insurmountable lead in pledged delegates, meaning there'll be no way for Sanders to claim the nomination unless the superdelegates hand it to him anyways, against the will of the Democratic majority.
This has been a point of contention on the part of the Sanders campaign and some of its supporters. There's been a broad perception that the Democratic superdelegate system is unfair, and that media outlets have improperly lumped them together with pledged delegates, creating the impression that Clinton's been ahead by more than she actually is. This is in large part because hundreds of them endorsed Clinton before the race had even begun, fueling the sense that they're tilting the playing field in Clinton's favor.
But there's a very important reality about the superdelegates that sometimes gets lost: they've never actually done the thing that everyone gets so upset about them doing. Namely, since they entered the Democratic primary process in 1984, they've never once sided with the candidate who finished behind in pledged delegates. While it's true that they could, and that's a fair thing to take issue with, it's only ever been a problem in theory.
Despite Clinton having a massive superdelegate advantage heading into 2008, just like she did this time around, when then-Senator Barack Obama overtook her in pledged delegates, they switched their support to him, just like you'd expect. If Sanders had ever managed to outpace Clinton, it stands to reason that the same thing would've happened, their prior commitments to her notwithstanding.
But he never did. In other words, Silver is right. There's no historical precedent for the superdelegates to side with Sanders if he trails Clinton by every metric — in pledged delegates, total states won, and the popular vote (yes, even including vote total projections to account for Sanders' caucus wins). And after Tuesday night, barring a series of miracles unlike anything in modern American political history, all those facts will be set in stone.
The only question is whether Sanders truly will, as he and his campaign have sometimes indicated, try to convince the superdelegates to usurp Clinton's victory and hand the nomination to him anyways. He could make the argument that his poll numbers against Trump are better than hers, and that'd be entirely true. But as far as pro-democracy, will-of-the-people rhetoric goes, he'll have no leg left to stand on — the Democratic electorate has spoken, and the majority chose Clinton. There's no shame in that for him, considering his dramatic rise from relative obscurity into a veritable household name, but in the end he just couldn't quite get over the top.