Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Next Few States Do Look Better For Bernie...Except Arizona

In the aftermath of the most recent Super Tuesday, there's been plenty of talk from the Sanders side about how much more favorable the map looks for him going forward. So let's take a look at the next few contests, via NYT:

Utah isn't listed as a caucus here, but it is...and along with Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming and (especially) Washington, Bernie should be able to chip away at Hillary's 300+ lead in pledged delegates. He'll need all the help he can get, but because most of these are small states it won't be near enough.

As far as primaries, there are just two: Wisconsin and Arizona. The former is an open primary and the polls have been tight, so I'll give Bernie a slight advantage and a rough delegate split there. But Arizona? There is little indication that this should be favorable territory for him.

For one thing, Arizona is a closed primary so a Michigan-type party crossover situation is off the table. Clinton has also shown tremendous strength among Hispanic voters all across the country, and that should continue in this state as well. Plus, Arizona has already been early voting for weeks, which makes a potential late surge toward any candidate less impactful.

And thanks to the results this week we can go back to looking at polling! It's been quite scant in Arizona, but Clinton had a 28-point lead in a poll from last fall and has a 26-point lead now.

Here's another clue: It sure doesn't feel like the Clinton campaign is sweating Arizona too much, while at the same time the Sanders folks have been treating it like a must-win state. And that it is...because if Clinton wins by double digits, she may come out even further ahead in the delegate count even if Sanders wins the other two states that day. And he can't afford that.

After these eight states is New York on April 19th, a closed primary that Clinton will probably win by at least 20 points. That may well be Bernie's last stand, but if it's not, the following week's contests in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware will be.


  1. First off: Beautiful pic of monument valley! Here's the deal with AZ: (I live here.) It is a predominately Red(neck) state, but there is a strong Democratic presence here. We've had a lot of Dem Governors in recent years, for example. The Dems here are probably a different breed than those in a state like MI, for example. There is a lot of light industrial manufacturing here, which is less likely to be union oriented than something like a massive auto operation. So the dems are not as likely to feel threatened by NAFTA, etc. There is also a big vacation and retirement industry, so lots of service-oriented workers, many of them Hispanic. Phoenix especially is a big population area, and there are lots of teachers and workers in schools that tend to be Dem. So if Bernie does struggle here, it's probably because there aren't a lot of upscale, social Democrats which might be more likely to help him. I voted weeks ago by mail of course, but I'll still be doing what I can to get out the vote! Go Hillary!

    1. Thanks for the insights! As you probably saw, Lysis included more about AZ in the roundup today. I do think Clinton wins it, possibly by a lot. We shall see!

      BTW, we drove through Monument Valley last summer. It was so amazing, as was the Grand Canyon of course...and Arches NP up in Utah.