Bernie Sanders has recently run into a roadblock in his quest for the Democratic nomination. Democratic rival Hillary Clinton already leads Bernie Sanders 1,188 to 564 in delegates, while Bernie struggles to make a decisive win in any key states after his New Hampshire landslide. Among Super Tuesday states, recent polls show Sanders also lags behind Clinton in nearly every state except Ohio, where polling suggests a marginal advantage.
Besides the recent ceiling Sanders has seemed to hit in support, there are a few other reasons why Sanders is expected to struggle in the coming months.
For one, Sanders must confront an army of superdelegates who have already pledged support for Clinton; a whopping 458 superdelegates have pledged to Clinton, compared to Sanders’s 22.
Sanders will also be forced to face the general political reality of low voter turnout among younger voters, which is where a large chunk of Sanders’s support lies. The hope that Sanders could fire up young voters to participate has largely not come true in reality, with young voter turnout still lower than all other age groups.
Following Super Tuesday, the Sanders campaign faces an even more formidable obstacle as Sanders won by closer-than-comfort margins in Colorado, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. The only state Sanders won by high margins was in his home state of Vermont, which only contains 10 delegates.
Super Saturday, however, provides a spark of hope in the Sanders’s campaign. The lagging candidate took home two states, Kansas and Nebraska, leaving Clinton with a heavy win in Louisiana. The following day, Sanders also won Maine.
A critical win came on Super Tuesday number two for Sanders as he won Michigan, disproving the initial polling that suggested a comfortable lead for Clinton. Sanders won the tight race with a 49.9% to 48.2% victory.
Another hope for Sanders’s campaign is the media firestorm that might be lit should the nomination be decided by superdelegates. Should such a case occur, superdelegates may redistribute their votes in order to save face for the party. This idea also has precedent in the fact that Barack Obama also received a redistributed superdelegate count when he gained traction in the election in 2008. Whether this applies to a relative radical like Sanders is yet to be seen.