The Skeleton Scoop: Breaking down one story each week to the bare bones

Published: April 28, 2016

This week: Primary results, and Sanders’ dwindling chance at a nomination

By Zachary Dyer

Five states were up for grabs in Tuesday’s primary elections: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Republicans Donald Trump, Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich were vying for Republican delegates in these states, as were Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

As results started trickling in, two things became clear: Donald Trump isn’t going anywhere, and – barring a massive shift in campaign strategy, superdelegate trends and voting results – Sanders may be out of the running.

Each state has a certain number of delegates that it will send to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and the Republican National Convention (RNC). At the RNC, candidates need the support of 1,237 delegates to win a spot on the general election ticket. Democrats need 2,383.

The RNC is scheduled to be held July 18-21, 2016. The DNC will be held July 25-28, 2016.

Currently, on the Republican side, Trump has a massive lead with 953 delegates, with Cruz and Kasich trailing him at 546 and 153, respectively, according to Bloomberg Politics.

Clinton is currently ahead on the Democratic side with 1,650 delegates, with Sanders trailing her at 1,348 delegates, according to Bloomberg Politics. At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but that’s because a majority of the numbers being reported on news outlets aren’t including superdelegates: those Democratic delegates who are unbound by their state’s election results, allowing them to vote for whomever they want at the DNC. (As per a change in December, all Republican superdelegates must vote for the winner in their respective states – taking away much of the uncertainty and frustration many Democrats are feeling right now).

Currently, Clinton has 519 superdelegates supporting her, bringing her delegate count to 2,151. Sanders only has 39 superdelegates pledged to him, bringing his total to 1,338. Not yet allocated are 1,276 delegates – these will be assigned in the coming primaries.

Sanders supporters may point to his Tuesday Rhode Island victory as a surprise win, in an attempt to maintain the weeks-old mantra of Bernie continuing to have momentum, but the fact of the matter remains that he is losing. By a lot.

While a Sanders win is still technically possible, it would, unfortunately for his supporters, require HUGE amounts of change (like almost every superdelegate changing their minds, or Sanders winning every remaining primary by a huge margin).

As of right now, if trends stay the same, the November general election will be a race between Clinton and Trump.

Contact the writer: zachary.dyer@scranton.edu

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