How Bernie Sanders Could Win California Primary — and Still Lose

A supporter holds a sign as US Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speaks at an election rally in Irvine, California on May 22, 2016. / AFP / Mark Ralston (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty

A new Breitbart News analysis suggests that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could win the June 7 California primary, even if he loses the statewide vote, and even though Hillary Clinton will win most of the “superdelegates.”

In April, Breitbart News predicted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win the California primary decisively. Polls have also shown Clinton with a consistent, albeit narrowing, lead among Democratic primary voters in the state.

However, based on Sanders’ rise in the polls, his success among younger voters, and his surging popularity among Latino voters, Sanders could do very well on June 7.

Breitbart News now predicts a slim Sanders victory among pledged delegates by congressional district, 162 to 155. Though Clinton will win more districts — taking 24 districts to Sanders’s 16, and splitting 13 — Sanders will win by wider margins in delegate-rich urban districts. Depending on how well he does in the statewide vote, he could hold onto a slim lead in pledged delegates — though it will be almost impossible for him to overcome Clinton’s superdelegate lead.

California Democrats allocate the state’s 548 delegates to the party’s national convention through a three-tier system. Most of the delegates are won by congressional district.

Within each of the state’s 53 districts, delegates are allocated proportionally based on popular vote, with between 4 and 9 delegates available per district, for a total of 317 (58% of the total). In addition, 158 (29%) are divided proportionally on a statewide basis, and the remaining 73 (13%) are unplugged “superdelegates.”

To the chagrin of Sanders and his supporters, 53 superdelegates are reported to have backed Clinton already. That makes it almost certain that Clinton will win more overall delegates than Sanders in California. However, if she must rely on the superdelegates to make up the difference in delegates won by congressional district and delegates won statewide, she will feed into Sanders’s contention that the Democratic Party’s nomination process is “rigged” to disenfranchise the electorate.

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.


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