- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team sent an email to supporters on Monday saying they could lose Wisconsin — warning “the nomination isn’t locked up yet.”

Her campaign was out-raised by about $15 million in the month of March to rival Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders. And instead of having a victory party on the evening of the Wisconsin primary, Mrs. Clinton will be attending a private fundraiser in New York.

Many in the press are calling her campaign “nervous,” “frustrated,” with a Washington Post headline: “A close Wisconsin primary could spell future trouble for Clinton.”

I don’t think so. Mr. Sanders may be more likable, genuine and have the wind at his back with wins in all four of the last contests (if we’re including Wisconsin on Tuesday). He also may be able to raise more money — but he has nowhere to go on the electoral map.

Sorry.

To win the nomination, Mr. Sanders will need to win 57 percent of the remaining delegates, and that’s not even including the number of superdelegates he’ll need to woo to his side (if that’s even possible).

As pollster Nate Silver points out, 65 percent of the remaining delegates reside in New York, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland, and they’re all states where Mr. Sanders trails Mrs. Clinton, sometimes by double digits.

“To reach a pledged delegate majority, Sanders will have to win most of the delegates from those big states,” Mr. Silver, editor of FiveThirtyEight, wrote. “A major loss in any of them could be fatal to his chances. He could afford to lose one or two of them narrowly, but then he’d need to make up ground elsewhere — he’d probably have to win California by double digits, for example.”

Robby Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager, wrote a Medium posting on Monday, reiterating the math to her supporters — and pointing out the delegate-rich states moving forward are diverse. Thus far this election cycle, Mr. Sanders has done well with largely white-middle class voters and the youth, but is dominated by Mrs. Clinton with minority voters.

Hillary Clinton has a lead of nearly 230 pledged delegates  —  and with each passing week, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that Senator Sanders will be able to catch up,” Mr. Mook wrote. “In order to do so, Sanders has to win the four remaining delegate-rich primaries  —  New York, Pennsylvania, California and New Jersey  —  with roughly 60 percent of the vote.

“To put that in perspective: Sanders has thus far won only two primaries with that margin: Vermont and New Hampshire. Needless to say, the size and demographic makeups of New York, Pennsylvania, California, and New Jersey are decidedly different than Vermont and New Hampshire. And these figures don’t even include superdelegates, where Clinton has an overwhelming lead,” Mr. Mook wrote.

That being said: There’s no reason for Mr. Sanders to get out of the race. He has the money, progressive support, and the longer he stays in, the more Mrs. Clinton adopts some of his positions, like that on trade and advocating for the $15 minimum wage.

Mr. Sanders is pushing Mrs. Clinton to be a better candidate — if she’s going to win the general election, she can’t be lashing out at Greenpeace protesters who question her political donors because she’s tired and irritable from the grueling campaign trail. He’s pushing her stamina — forcing her to get better.

Indeed, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign may be frustrated they have to have one more debate, that they can’t just focus their time and effort on the general, that they have to deal with Mr. Sanders’s for a longer primary season then they anticipated.

But that’s the reality. Just like Mr. Sanders‘.

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