Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Obama lost New York, too, and we all know how that turned out

OK, so people are a little bit disenchanted with how things have gone down in New York. Bernie Sanders lost New York, 57-42%. Obama lost New York 57-40% in 2008. Really, this is not so bad. It's just a scratch. Every statistician watching this race knows the numbers. The FiveThirtyEight Blog had Hilary at 92% chance of winning, so we knew what was coming.

There was a lot going against Bernie in the state of New York, anyway. He does well with independents, but New York has a closed primary. 3.2 million voters, roughly 27% of all voters, could not vote in this primary because they are independent voters. Keep in mind that Bernie polls very well with independent voters.

Someone has noticed that a tally of the vote by county shows that Bernie won the vast majority of the counties, but he lost in the densely populated areas. Check out the graphic below from the New York Times:

The delegate counts are, for now, 135 to 104, so this wasn't a terribly resounding loss for Bernie's campaign. The Democratic Party of New York will also hold a convention to complete the delegate allocation. As we've seen before, Bernie tends to pick up more delegates at the state conventions for the Democratic Party.

There is also a lawsuit pending to open up the New York Primary to voters who were disenfranchised by the mysterious change in their party declarations the last time they registered. Election Justice USA filed suit to open the primary independent voters and anyone who might have had their party affiliation changed. The lawsuit was delayed because the judge said that the plaintiffs named the wrong defendants. That was actually very nice of the judge to do that. Instead of dismissing the suit, he helped them out. It's unlikely that they will prevail, but now the stage is set for a political movement to open the primary elections in New York.

That same lawsuit also seeks to address enormous voter purges in recent months. Even the mayor of New York City expressed surprise by the number of people who were purged from the voter rolls. Since November of last year, more than 126,000 people have been purged from the voter rolls in New York. There is also a petition afoot to audit the voter purges.

The results of the New York primary election will only stoke the fire for the Sanders campaign. It's not a resounding loss, not even close. Remember, in 2008 Obama lost to Clinton in New York by roughly the same margin as Sanders, only slightly bigger. Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan and he still went on to become president. Sanders won Michigan in what some say was a history upset that nobody saw coming. If anything, I'd say that Sanders has even more reason to campaign until the Democratic convention is over in July.
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