Bernie’s California endgame – By GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI 06/06/16 05:12 AM EDT

If Sanders wins the biggest and most delegate-rich primary, all bets are off.Bernie Sanders says Hillary Clinton will not have clinch the nomination on June 7.

Bernie Sanders says Hillary Clinton will not have sewn up the nomination on June 7. | Getty

Bernie’s California endgame

If Sanders wins the biggest and most delegate-rich primary, all bets are off.

LOS ANGELES — Barring a set of unprecedented upsets on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton is expected to be declared the presumptive Democratic nominee. And when the television networks make that call as soon as New Jersey polls close on June 7, it will leave Bernie Sanders with a hard choice: whether to directly acknowledge it or intensify his fight to the July convention in Philadelphia.

The Vermont senator has shown few signs of being ready to concede. And if he wins California, he won’t.

The outcome there will determine the course he takes in the seven-week runup to the convention, top Sanders aides and high-profile supporters say, either driving his decision to battle on for the nomination or to begin focusing on the party policy and platform changes he wants to make.

A win in California, his top advisers believe, will enable Sanders to make a much more aggressive pitch to superdelegates and Democrats around the country in the coming weeks. He will be able to point to victories over Clinton in more than 20 states — capped by the biggest, bluest and most diverse in the nation. The symbolic value of winning California, they think, would underscore his point that the future of the party is on his side and rattle superdelegate confidence in her candidacy.

A loss, however, would dismantle that argument. The Sanders camp believes a defeat there would take the wind out of his sails, in no small part because of the negative media narrative that would result after having spent so much time in the state.

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Sanders, Clinton fight for green vote in tight Calif. race – By Devin Henry – 06/04/16 04:17 PM EDT


Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are both hoping green voters will put them over the top as they near the end of a tight California primary fight.

Clinton this week locked up two key endorsements — from an environmental group and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) — both thanks to her positions on environmental issues.

Sanders, meanwhile, is taking his environmental message directly to California voters. He’s endorsed local efforts to block new fracking operations, an issue where he argues Clinton is weak, and pushed her on other initiatives dear to greens.

“I urge Secretary Clinton to be bolder,” Sanders said at a climate change press conference on Thursday.

“Of course she recognizes the reality of climate change, but I want her to join me in supporting a tax on carbon. I want her to change her views on the very important issue of fracking.”

Polls show a near dead-heat between Clinton and Sanders in California, the biggest prize on the Democratic primary calendar with 475 delegates up for grabs. It’s a critical state for Sanders’ hope of winning the nomination.

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‘A capacity to move voters’: can California be Sanders’ golden state? – Nicky Woolf in San Diego Sunday 29 May 2016 07.05 EDT

As the senator stays on the move, speaking to huge crowds, volunteers and insiders say he can take the Democratic nomination away from Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

After Hillary Clinton won the New York Democratic primary in April, her surrogates began relaying the message: game over, Bernie Sanders. Time to go home. It is mathematically impossible to win the nomination.

Technically, they were right. The rivals may be separated by only 270 pledged delegates, a large but not insurmountable gap, but that figure does not take into account the superdelegates who do not owe allegiance to any vote and almost all of whom – 571 – are already pledged to Clinton.

Nobody appears to have told Sanders. The Vermont senator has set a punishing pace in California: in the last week alone he addressed crowds in National City, Vista, Irvine, Santa Monica, Anaheim, East Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Cathedral City, Lancaster, Ventura, San Pedro, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Pomona, Bakersfield, Fresno and Visalia.

Sanders has outspent Clinton on advertising and his ground game is strong; he has more than 55,000 volunteers in the state who have made more than two million phone calls, according to the campaign.

His rallies, attended by tens of thousands, sometimes more, certainly don’t feel like those of a losing candidate.

His audience hang on his every word, joyously finishing his favoured talking-points. They sport hats, T-shirts and even tattoos of Sanders’ unofficial logo: a silhouette of his unkempt hair and glasses which has become almost as recognizable a totem of the 2016 primary as Donald Trump’s red “make America great again” hats.

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Sanders: Primary isn’t ‘rigged,’ just ‘dumb’ – By Evelyn Rupert May 28, 2016, 07:40 pm

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Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rejected Donald Trump‘s characterization of the Democratic primary system as “rigged,” but did give his own harsh assessment.

“Well, I’ve been very touched by Donald Trump’s love for me. But John, you know, with all due respect, I think there may be some aspect of this which he thinks will advantage himself,” he told host John Dickerson on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” in an interview to air Sunday.

On Thursday, Trump gave “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host Jimmy Kimmel a question to ask Sanders during his appearance on the show. He asked if Sanders would launch a third-party campaign because “both primary systems are rigged, but in particular the Democrats’ ridiculous system of superdelegates.”

“I wouldn’t use the word ‘rigged,’ because we knew what the rules were,” Sanders said on “Face the Nation.” “But what is really dumb is that you have closed primaries, like in New York State, where 3 million people who were Democrats or Republicans could not participate. Where you have a situation where over 400 super delegates came on board Clinton’s campaign before anybody else was in the race, eight months before the first vote was cast. That’s not rigged. I think it’s just a dumb process which has certainly disadvantaged our campaign.”

Sanders and his supporters have protested the Democratic nomination process, especially the influential role of superdelegates and the limited amount of primaries open to Independent voters.

Sanders also continued to hit Trump for backing out of a proposed debate, saying that he has flip-flopped on the idea.

“I think that is who Donald Trump is, and I think the American people should be very concerned about somebody who keeps changing his mind not only on this debate, but on virtually every issue he’s been asked about,” he said.

Bernie Sanders Takes an Early Lead and Wins the Oregon Primary – PATRICK CALDWELL AND JENNY LUNAMAY 18, 2016 12:05 AM

The victory came after he lost to Clinton in a nail-biter.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledges the crowd during a rally in Carson, Calif. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

Bernie Sanders won the Oregon primary Tuesday night and won nearly half the delegates in Kentucky, but it doesn’t matter all that much.

Despite a few final speed bumps from Sanders’ supporters giving the socialist candidate three recent late-state victories, these wins still don’t put Sanders any closer to claiming the Democratic nomination. Hillary Clinton is still on an easy path to becoming the Democratic nominee.

CNN and the New York Times called the Oregon race in Sanders’ favor. With 66 percent of the ballots casts, he had 52 percent of the vote.  Clinton had 46 percent.

But on the path to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia later this summer, Oregon bolsters Sanders’ argument that the party will have to take into account his supporters’ views when it crafts its platform.

Still, despite his success out West and his narrow loss in Kentucky on Tuesday, Sanders has little hope of displacing Clinton as the Democratic nominee. According to the New York Times‘ delegate counter, even before Oregon and Kentucky’s primaries on Tuesday, Clinton had 1,716 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 1,433 for Sanders. Clinton’s delegate count is 2,240 delegates when super delegates are added to the mix, leaving her just shy of the 2,383 delegates required to clinch the nomination. And that number was before Tuesday, where thanks to the Democrats’ system of proportional allocation of delegates, she added to her total even as Sanders won Oregon

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Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Win West Virginia Primaries, Trump Takes Nebraska – Tessa Berenson Updated: May 10, 2016 9:46 PM

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Donald Trump has won the West Virginia and Nebraska Republican primaries according to the Associated Press, while Bernie Sanders won the West Virginia Democratic primary. Trump was expecting an easy win in West Virginia while Hillary Clinton faced a tough road to victory after comment that damaged her with the coal miners of the state.

Trump told West Virginia voters to stay home Tuesday night, but since he’s the only Republican candidate left, that didn’t keep him from coasting to victory in the state.

“Get ready, because you’re going to be working your asses off,” Trump crowed of his future presidency to the state’s miners at a rally last week. (Nebraska is also holding its Republican primary Tuesday; the Democrats held a caucus there in March.)

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Sanders poised for May win streak – By DANIEL STRAUSS 05/06/16 05:14 AM EDT

Upcoming primaries give him reasons to believe.


Upcoming primaries give him reasons to believe.

Here’s one reason Bernie Sanders is reluctant to give up the fight: May is shaping up to be a pretty good month for him.

On the heels of his Indiana victory Tuesday, Sanders is well-positioned for wins in the upcoming West Virginia and Oregon primaries. That might explain his it’s-just-a-flesh-wound approach to the nearly insurmountable delegate math confronting him, and his dogged insistence that he’s taking his long-shot presidential campaign all the way to the July Democratic convention.

“We’re going to stay in until the last vote is counted, and that will be in the [June 14] primary in Washington, D.C.,” Sanders said in an interview Wednesday with NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

For Hillary Clinton, the prospect of additional Sanders wins is more headache than threat. But even if there’s little chance the Vermont senator can win the nomination, every victory raises new questions about why Clinton can’t finish him off.

“It’s a nuisance, it’s a distraction, because he can’t win the nomination and every dollar that he spends and every time she has to defend against an attack or answer some accusation of his is money and time not spent defining Donald Trump and the Republican nominee” said Democratic strategist Joe Trippi. “That’s all it is at this point. I think people gave him a wide berth when he had a numeric chance but there is no math that ends up with his being the nominee, so at this point I think even the wins don’t do anything but continue the inevitable problem of he can’t get there from here.”

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Bernie Sanders pulls off shock victory over Hillary Clinton in Indiana – Dan Roberts in Washington and Ben Jacobs in Indianapolis Wednesday 4 May 2016 02.12 EDT

Despite trailing behind Hillary Clinton in polls, Sanders once again proved his appeal to disaffected midwest voters by pulling off his 18th victory of 2016

Bernie Sanders Indiana primary

Bernie Sanders threw a last-minute hurdle in front of Hillary Clinton’s march toward the Democratic party nomination on Tuesday by clinching a surprise victory in the Indiana primary.

Despite trailing by an average of seven points in opinion polls and losing a string of bigger, more diverse states on the east coast, Sanders once again proved his appeal to disaffected midwest voters by pulling off his 18th victory of 2016, according to Associated Press projections.

Sanders seemed on track to win a narrow majority of the 83 delegates on offer. With 93% reporting, Sanders had 52.7% of the vote to Clinton’s 47.3%.

Sanders said: “The Clinton campaign thinks this campaign is over. They’re wrong. Maybe it’s over for the insiders and the party establishment, but the voters in Indiana had a different idea.”

His success in Indiana was overshadowed by Ted Cruz’s decision to drop out of the Republican race, leaving the path to victory clear for Donald Trump.

The Sanders campaign hopes that Indiana will mark one last turning point in a Democratic race characterised by a series of surprise comebacks that have prolonged Clinton’s otherwise relentless path toward the nomination.

He is well placed to pull off similar wins in West Virginia on 10 May and Oregon on 17 May, before a final showdown next month in California, whose 546 delegates present the biggest prize of the contest.

Bernie Sanders is interrupted mid-speech with news of Indiana win

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Sanders seeks to end his free fall – By DANIEL STRAUSS 05/02/16 07:20 PM EDT

A win in Indiana would be a break from a week of bad headlines.

Outsourcing is a powerful message focus for Bernie Sanders in Indiana, | AP Photo

A win in Indiana would be a break from a week of bad headlines.

Indiana won’t have a dramatic effect on Bernie Sanders’ fortunes — win or lose, he’s said he’s fighting on through the convention. But a win Tuesday would be a much-needed respite from a week of headlines suggesting his campaign is sputtering and his path to the nomination is all but gone.

First came news of hundreds of staff layoffs. Then came word that his April fundraising had declined considerably compared to March — his haul dropped from $44 million to $26 million. The Northeastern primaries were unkind to him as well: Hillary Clinton won four of five states last week.

This week, though, all evidence points to a nailbiter in Tuesday’s only primary. Sanders has barnstormed the Indiana college campus circuit. Clinton has worked the state’s biggest cities, hoping to lock down the African-American vote.

She’s got strong support from the state’s top Democrats, but Sanders has an ace in the hole: Indiana’s open primary format means voters don’t have to be Democrats to participate in the Democratic primary. Open primaries are where Sanders shines: They helped grease his path to victory in Midwestern wins in Michigan and Wisconsin.

“It’s close,” said former Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, a top Clinton surrogate.

The Sanders campaign has focused on labor and the youth vote. Five of the seven events Sanders has done in the state have been on college campuses. And the college towns Sanders has visited are treasure troves of young voters: Indiana University (about 36,000 undergraduates), Purdue University (29,000), Indiana University — Purdue University Fort Wayne (14,000), the University of Southern Indiana (8,400) and University of Notre Dame (8,400).

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