US Senator Bernie Sanders has scored an important victory in today’s primaries. Five states voted today: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. Sanders had the odds stacked against him across the board, but he still managed to pull off an important win today in Rhode Island. Five Thirty Eight analysts gave him about a 60% chance of winning the primary, as of this morning.
Rhode Island was one of the smallest states to vote today. It only offers 24 pledged delegates, compared to the 189 coming out of today’s Pennsylvania primary.
This Sanders win changes little about the race. Clinton is still in the lead, and Sanders still isn’t going anywhere. This win is important, though, because the Sanders camp is energized by the points where his message can break through, be that in one of the smallest contests or not.
This win in Rhode Island comes after the Senator dramatically flipped his position in the polling number result estimates just hours before polls opened. On April 24, two days ago, Sanders was about 9-11 points behind Clinton according to Five Thirty Eight. However, on April 25, yesterday, Sanders was 4 points ahead of Clinton, according to a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling.
Sanders, by far, is still the underdog, but he has vowed to not cede the race until the convention floor in July. There are a number of possibilities of how a Sanders win could still come about. Among one of the most likely is a dramatic blowout win by the Senator in the June 7 California Primary. Sanders has elements of the election both in his favor and against him, so the results are still very much up in the air.
One feature of the California primary that is is working against Sanders is one that gave him a lot of trouble today and in the past- a closed primary. In a closed primary, only voters who have been appropriately pre-registered in a particular primary can vote in that primary. Sanders wins big among voters on the fringe of the two-party system. Many of these voters have a high probability of not registering appropriately or in time.
California voters, though, are largely under 40 and have a very small African American population. Both of those demographic characteristics are very much in the Senator’s favor.
Sanders still very much has a chance at the nomination- he always will- and today’s win gives strong moral support to his supporters’ assertion of the same.
You can find more breaking news coverage, via Twitter, of today’s Sanders win in Rhode Island below.
— The Maverick Journal (@MavJournal) April 27, 2016
Bernie Sanders wins Rhode Island Democratic primary https://t.co/MEwzXYRqvj
— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 27, 2016