There are two Democratic presidential primaries. One is almost over. The other is about to begin.
The first Democratic presidential primary runs from Feb. 1 to March 15. All 11 “Old South” states vote in that primary. We have two states left to go, but Hillary Clinton has won every one of the other nine, by an average of 43 points.
Outside those “Old South” states, 12 other states also have voted. Bernie Sanders has won nine of those races, Hillary Clinton has won only two, and there has been one tie (Iowa). The average result in those 12 states has been a Sanders win by just under 20 points.
The net effect of this (Hillary winning the “Old South” by 43 points, Bernie winning everywhere else by 20 points) is a Clinton lead among pledged delegates of 223 (specifically, 775 to 552).
Which brings us to the second Democratic presidential primary: Democratic Presidential Primary 2.0. It runs from March 16 through June 7. It includes none of the “Old South” states, because they all will have already voted. It includes all of the Pacific states, and all of the “Mountain” states except Colorado and Nevada (which already voted). The biggest prizes are California (545 delegates), New York (291) and Pennsylvania (210).
Democratic presidential primary 2.0 elects a total of 2033 pledged delegates. If Bernie Sanders wins those races (and delegates) by the same 60-40 margin that he has amassed in primaries and caucuses outside the “Old South” to date, then that will give him an advantage of 407 pledged delegates. That is more — far more — than the current Clinton margin of 223.
Almost 700 pledged delegates are chosen on June 7 alone. It seems unlikely that either candidate will accumulate a margin of 700 pledged delegates before then. So this one may come down to the wire.
Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a wild ride.
Rep. Alan Grayson