Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"We're Going To Lose The South Anyway," Sez Bernie. Oh Really?

Bernie's response to Hillary's beating him like a gong in one Southern primary after another is, "We're going to lose the South anyway."

Bernie, maybe YOU would lose the South to Trump. I'm not so sure that Hillary would. There are lots of female and black and Latino voters in the South, and if ever there was a Presidential candidate guaranteed to lose hard in all demographics other than white males, it's Trump. Obama won Virginia and Florida in both 2008 and 2012, he also won North Carolina in 2008 and came close in 2012, and he came close in a few other Southern states both times. The South is changing. It's gradually changing from red to blue.

And Bernie's not going to get the nomination. Maybe my ability to do math in my head really is autisitically-freakish, maybe those of Bernie's supporters who are actually jubilant about yesterday's results are a little behind the curve in math skills, maybe there's a little bit of both involved here, but let me lay some math on you. And when I do please keep in mind that Nate Silver wasn't the only person predicting 365 electoral votes for Obama in 2008, just the most famous one; and that while my 2012 prediction of 350+ electoral vote for Obama was over-optimistic (he got 332), my assurance to every Democrat I met in the run-up to the 2012 who was worried that Romney might win, my assurance that Obama would be re-elected and that it wouldn't be close, was not over-optimistic.

Before yesterday's primaries Bernie said that if he gets 55% percent of the delegates from here on in, he's got the nomination. But that will be the case only if he gets 55% of the pledged delegates from here on in, and if a great number of superdelegates currently committed Hillary jump ship and join him. If the superdelegates who are now with Hillary stay with her, that means that Bernie needs to win 68% of the delegates left. But there's no reason to think he can even do as well as 55%. They're still counting yesterday's results, but it looks like Bernie got about 45% of the delegates for the day. He lost the day. How many days has Bernie lost to Hillary so far? All of them except two: the day when New Hampshire and no other state had a primary, and the day when Maine and no other state had a primary. On those two days combined, Bernie won a total of 4 more delgates then Hillary. Other than that, every single day when there have been Democratic primaries, Hillary's lead in delegates over Bernie has gotten larger.

According to CNN, Hillary currently has 1711 delegates and Bernie has 939 -- with a dozen or so still to be awarded. 2383 is a majority, 2383 wins the nomination. Hillary needs 672 more, Bernie needs 1444 more. If Bernie's results improve to the point that he gets 50% of the delegates in the primaries yet to come, Hillary will have a majority of delegates before the California primary on June 7. California has by far the largest population of any state, a total of 475 delegates are at state in its Democratic primary.

Hillary will have the nomination before the California primary, assuming that she gets 50% or better of the votes in the primaries between now and then, and assuming that the superdelegates currently pledged to her stay with her.

Those are two very safe assumptions.

Bernie says he wants to be absolutely sure that Trump isn't elected President. Hillary beating Trump is about as sure as Hillary beating Bernie for the nomination. One thing which isn't at all sure is how many Southern states Hillary will win. The more states Hillary wins, the more Democrats are likely to win in other elections in November, elections for the Senate and the House and for Governorships and state legislatures, elections for mayors and city councils and so forth. Democrats badly need to win more of these other elections besides just the elections for President. If Bernie gets his supporters strongly behind Hillary, there's a chance for a huge Democratic landslide in all of those elections. The sooner he drops out of the race, the easier it will be for him to get his supporters behind Hillary.

Hillary has 1711 delegates, Bernie has 939, 2383 wins the nomination. That's not difficult math. This thing has been over for a while already. The earlier Bernie does the right thing, the greater the chances for a huge Democratic landslide in November. That's not difficult math either.

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