US Senator Bernie Sanders has won the West Virginia Democratic Primary. As you can see below, via Five Thirty Eight, Sanders was solidly expected to win going into today’s election.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 10, 2016
— Slate (@Slate) May 10, 2016
One of the most recent and respected polls out of West Virginia had Sanders with an 8 point lead over front runner Hillary Clinton. The Public Policy Polling survey was conducted over the period of April 29 through May 1. Of the four most recent out of five total polls conducted since last fall, Clinton was only in the lead in one of them. Thirty Ninth Street Strategies had Clinton with a 13 point lead on March 6.
The head of that polling firm, so unknown it doesn’t even appear, is Marc Silverman. Silverman, according to the front page of his website, “worked for the National Economic Council in the White House during the Clinton Administration.” Conflict of interest much?
This win for the Senator doesn’t put him in much better of a position to clinch the nomination before the nominating convention in July. What this win does ready him for is to take the nominating contest to the convention floor. He has already begun activating his network to woo the “super,” or unpledged, delegates, who are responsible for the nomination when no candidate has a majority of pledged delegates. Sanders continues to notch enough wins to make such a scenario likely.
Going forward, Clinton still maintains her slight lead among the party base. One of the factors working in Sanders’s favor in both today’s election and going forward in states like California is the fringe vote. Sanders wins by huge margins among voters who are young, unaffiliated, or some other version of fringe status.
The latest Real Clear Politics polling average, which you can see below, for the national Democratic race has Clinton up by about 6 points.
Huffington Post has her up by about 12 points. You can find their chart below.