Donald Trump’s sweep in Indiana did not, by itself, clinch the Republican nomination. But the race ended when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) quit on Tuesday night. Now the California primary is all about Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains in the Republican race, but will be eliminated once Trump reaches the 1,237-delegate mark — perhaps weeks before California counts its votes on June 7. California Republicans, sadly, will be a footnote — once again.
But on the Democratic side, the race is heating up again. Clinton was thought to have sealed the race by winning big in New York last month, and taking four out of five northeastern states last week. Even Sanders seemed to have conceded, effectively, laying off field staff and talking about influencing the Democratic Party’s platform, rather than winning the nomination itself.
Yet as they did in Michigan — the biggest upset in primary history — voters dragged Sanders across the finish line in Indiana.
Clinton has won an estimated 2,217 delegates thus far, leaving her just 166 delegates shy of the 2,383 she needs to clinch outright win. With 933 delegates left, that should be no problem — though she is unlikely to reach that mark before June 7.
However, according to CNN, some 513 of those delegates are “superdelegates” — party bigwigs whose role is to prevent a grass-roots insurgency. Clinton only has 1,704 pledged delegates — that is, delegates won at the ballot box — to Sanders’s 1402 delegates. Sanders only has 41 superdelegates. If 388 of Clinton’s superdelegates switched sides, he would be winning. If he can do well in California, he hopes to force a contested convention.
Add to that a close contestto replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), where Democratic voters are torn between two women, one African-American (California Attorney General Kamala Harris) and one Latina (U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez), and it is clear that the California primary is still a race to watch.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.