Bernie Sanders wins Wyoming

Bernie Sanders campaign rally in Laramie, WY/
image courtesy of C-Span

Sanders Wins in Wyoming

| published April 10, 2016 |

By Keith H. Roberts, Thursday Review contributor

In what has been his eighth win out of the last nine Democratic contests, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders roundly defeated Hillary Clinton in Saturday’s Wyoming caucuses, taking more than 56% of the vote to front-runner Hillary Clinton’s 43.7%. Sanders says that his big win in Wyoming shows he has the ability to win anywhere, in any region or state.

Sanders victory in Wyoming will net him only about seven additional delegates, but in the increasingly tense, bitter fight between Sanders and Clinton, every delegate is now worth its weight in gold. The Sanders campaign has released media information touting the Vermont Senator’s momentum as reaching a critical mass in strength, though the Clinton campaign still maintains that she will win easily long before the convention.

Sanders’ own staff estimates he has the loyalty of about 1,088 delegates, but Clinton has roughly 250 more pledged delegates, meaning the lead is still firmly under her control—for now. According to DNC rules, at least 2,383 delegates are needed for a candidate to win on the first round of balloting at the convention.

The political math experts say that even if Sanders wins in the all-important New York primary—the next major contest—he will be unable to catch up to Clinton in the delegate count. For this reason, Sanders makes little secret that his goal is to eventually convince super delegates to migrate from Clinton and toward his own campaign.

Unlike the Republican Party, whose rules allow some states to award delegates on a winner-take-all basis, the Democratic Party awards delegates only on a proportional basis. Despite his recent streak of smashing victories, Sanders now faces what may be the most difficult stretch on the campaign as he enters states which may prove more favorable to Clinton. Both candidates are now battling intensely in New York, a state which each—for varying reasons—can claim as home. Sanders was born and raised in Brooklyn, and Clinton has called New York state her home since long before her U.S. Senate run in 2000.

The Clinton campaign has begun to push back against Sander narrative of his recent winning streak, in essence downplaying his campaign’s reliance on caucus state wins and small state victories, and ignoring the larger states which will—in the long run—prove whether or not a candidate has the ability to win in a general election. The Clinton campaign says it has won the allegiance of at least 2.5 million more voters than those who have voted for Sanders, and in this regard the former Secretary of State deserves the nomination—not Senator Sanders.

In the meantime, Sanders will have little time to relish his Wyoming win or his recent winning streak. The campaigns will now focus on the Empire State and its rich slate of delegates. Clinton seeks an outright overwhelming win there to stop the Sanders campaign cold; Sanders hopes to pull off a victory, however narrow, to stop Clinton’s momentum once and for all, and to convince super delegates to switch sides.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Sanders Scores Big Win in Wisconsin; Keith H. Roberts; Thursday Review; April 6, 2016.

Sanders Sweeps to Victory in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; March 27, 2016.