May 11, 2016 (San Diego) Delegate counts reveal that we still have a pretty competitive race on the democratic side. Yes, while Hillary Clinton would prefer that Senator Bernie Sanders suspects his campaign, that is not going to happen. Neither will have enough delegates to win the election outright without super delegates. So this is the exciting news. While the Republican race has a presumptive nominee, the democratic race is going to go all the way to the convention floor in Philadelphia. This means that the democratic primary actually matters this year.
Neither candidate has been mathematically eliminated.
So after that, what are the counts? And as usual we are not using super delegates in the count.
Hillary Clinton: 1718
Bernie Sanders: 1436
They are separated by 282 delegates.
The big prize will be California. We have 719 pledged delegates at play. This is a proportional system, so both candidates will get delegates. This is what frustrates many Bernie supporters. Bernie needs a crushing victory to get enough delegates to overcome Clinton’s lead. Even if he did, he would not have the necessary 2383 delegates to win on the first ballot either.
This is why they are both playing so hard for the super delegates, some of whom are elected officials, others are lobbyists. The system of super delegates came after the George McGovern wipe out in the 1972 election to Republican Richard Nixon. The system is supposed to prevent the nomination of a weak candidate to the presidency. They serve kind of like an electoral college, that is the easiest way to explain them. They can vote for either on the floor, and they are technically not bound until they vote.
So here is where the argument is being set by both campaigns. The questions is which of these two candidates is better equipped to defeat Donald Trump in the General Election? This is why Sanders is making the electability argument. He is winning on the closing end of the campaign. He has momentum. While Secretary Clinton is making the diversity argument. The polls so far are with Sanders, he is proving to be more electable in head to head matchups. Clinton has the party behind her.
While we were all expecting fireworks at the Republican convention, we might very well get some at the Democratic convention. This proves how both party elites are not fully in control of the process this year.
So how about Donald Trump? He has pivoted towards the General Election, he has that luxury with everybody else suspending, That said. Senator Ted Cruz made noises yesterday of restarting his campaign. On the face of it, this might look like lunacy. That said, Cruz knowns something about the rules. Trump is the presumptive nominee but he still needs 1237 delegates to win outright in the first round of voting. He has 1119, with 82 percent of the delegates allocated so far. So Cruz is thinking that perhaps there is still hope becuase Trump might not reach that number of delegates either.
There were some rumors that Trump approached Marco Rubio to run as his Vice President. Not only would that have given him the necessary delegates to overcome this problem, but Florida could potentially be out of play in the general for the democrats. Rubio has shut that down, preemptively, but that was strategically sound.
Without any other candidate in his way, Trump is expected to get those delegates, but there is still the off chance that he might not. If that is the case, there is a chance, that at least one leg of the party might try to prevent his nomination at the floor.