March 9, 2016
It’s time for another update on the Bernie Sanders Nomination Scenario. Two months ago, I attempted to plot out a plausible victory path for the decided underdog. It assumed a few things:
Victory in Iowa: Close enough
Victory in New Hampshire: Yep
Victory in Nevada: Whoops
That Nevada loss was important. It likely contributed to his deficit in Southern states and may have indirectly cost him Massachusetts. But it may not have eliminated him as I originally thought it would. The original script still mostly works. Here’s how:
Between Nevada and today, he only lost two states I thought he needed to win. Tennessee and Virginia. He won Oklahoma, which I’d counted as a loss. That means after 20 plus states have weighed in, Bernie is only one state behind the pace I set for him.
There is a larger delegate deficit than I’d anticipated. But I also figured Hillary would win several states in the final 6 weeks of primaries. Let’s set those aside until we get closer to them, but you can argue Bernie may win a few that I’d assigned to her.
Having mostly survived the section that favored Hillary, we’re now coming up on the most crucial part for Bernie. As you go through it, you’ll find a couple things that look a bit goofy, but it holds up very well overall.
My assumption was that Bernie would need two of the five March 15 states. Three would put him ahead of schedule. In this case, it would help him recover from the larger than expected delegate deficit.
You’ll see the March 5 and March 8 contests went exactly as indicated (except for a little larger delegate problem in Louisiana and Mississippi).
I’m sticking to everything I said for March 15, except North Carolina won’t be as close and Missouri is more likely than Illinois now instead of less. Ohio remains his second best opportunity. The difference is his Oklahoma victory that I didn’t expect and less time campaigning in Illinois than I’d figured.
The states following should shake out the way I thought they would.
If you want to see if he can make up from the delegate deficit, take a look at the final section and think about where you can argue he might win where I had him losing.