Can Bernie Sanders actually win the democratic primary?


In a word, no. Sander’s race is over. Unless Hillary Clinton sheds most of her super delegates, Bernie can’t win. But why is the system this way? Bernie hasn’t been doing quite as well as Hillary has been doing in the popular vote, but he certainly doesn’t have only ⅔ of the votes that Hillary has. This is correct. But he is behind Hillary by about 800 delegates. What gives?

The Democratic Party has a group of delegates, not picked by voters, called super delegates. These are high-ranking party leaders and current elected officials who are free to support whichever candidate they want. This system ensures that a candidate outside of the party establishment can’t become nominee. If, for example, the Republicans had a similar system in place, Donald Trump would have a much harder time becoming the Republican nominee. A candidate outside of the establishment is generally controversial and may have part of the party against them, and so may not be elected president in the end. A “safer” candidate closer to the party line may not have the appeal that draws out voters in the primaries, but can relate to a wider group than the “grassroots” candidate (like Sanders) who was more popular in the primaries.

Hillary is favored by super delegates, so she will probably be the Democratic nominee. Bernie has to win a super majority of the remaining delegates in states such as California, but this is unlikely. There is a path available to him, but it’s a rough road. Sander’s supporters, who believe very strongly in their candidate, are outraged that he faces such long odds because of the super delegate system. Several polls show that Sanders could defeat Trump, the likely Republican nominee, much more easily than Clinton could. He certainly isn’t a non electable nominee, but much of the Democratic establishment is against him because of his former status as an independent and because of Clinton’s long history in the party. So, in summation, no, Bernie Sanders cannot be the Democratic nominee.

But he has had a huge effect on the Democratic race this year. He has pushed issues that were unheard of in Washington and inspired millions of young voters to come out to the polls. He challenged a hugely influential candidate in the Democratic Party. Even if this is the end of his run in this race, this certainly is not the end of Sanders. Feel the Bern.