Bernie Sanders has done the math, but he doesn’t like the answer.
Hillary Clinton has a nearly unbeatable lead in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — 2,293 delegates to Sanders’ 1,533 — that only requires her to win about 100 more delegates to clinch the candidacy.
But Sanders, in what many are viewing as an unorthodox, political faux pas, is not stepping down. In fact, he plans to take his campaign all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 25, seemingly regardless of his poor odds.
“In the past three weeks voters in Indiana, West Virginia and Oregon respectfully disagreed with Secretary Clinton,” a spokesperson wrote in a May 19 press release in response to remarks Clinton had made about the race being all but done.
“We expect voters in the remaining nine contests also will disagree. And with almost every national and state poll showing Sen. Sanders doing much, much better than Secretary Clinton against Donald Trump, it is clear that millions of Americans have growing doubts about the Clinton campaign.”
Sanders needs to win 90.8 percent of the vote (including super-delegates) in the last nine primaries, according to The Green Papers and The Washington Post. That includes California and New Jersey, which have 546 and 142 delegates, respectively, and in which Clinton has over a 90-percent chance of winning, according to Fivethirtyeight.
With those odds, Clinton and other members of the Democratic Party are looking beyond primary season to the actual presidential election, in which she will most likely have to face Republican nominee Donald Trump. Clinton sat down with CNN for an interview this week, in which she not-so-subtly hinted that the proper behavior for Sanders at this point in the race would be to step down:
“I went all the way to the end against then-senator President Obama. I won nine out of the last 12 contests. Back in 2008, I won Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia, so I know the intense feelings that arise particularly among your supporters as you go toward the end, but we were both following the same rules just as I and Senator Sanders are following the same rules.
I’m 3 million votes ahead of him and I have an insurmountable lead in pledge delegates and I am confident that just as I did with Sen. Obama where … I withdrew and endorsed Sen. Obama. And about 40 percent of my supporters said they would never support him. So I worked really hard to make the case as I’m sure Sen. Sanders will. Whatever differences we might have, they pale in comparison to the presumptive nominee of the Republican party.”
One of Sanders’ biggest complaints throughout the nomination process has been the unfairness of super-delegates — which make up 15 percent of all delegates that vote at the convention — as they portray the trailing candidates as being much further behind than they actually are. And because they aren’t bound to their states’ primary or caucus outcome, they can vote for whomever they want, which, Sanders argues, leaves outsider candidates at a disadvantage.
But Clinton maintains that, rather than argue about the process or even her ever-increasing list of scandals, it is more important for the party to unite in order to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.
“The kinds of positions he is stating and the consequences of those positions and even the consequences of his statements are not just offensive to people, they are potentially dangerous,” Clinton said on CNN.