Wait, you thought this was over?
Sanders looks for another win
If you somehow just happened to first tune into the Democratic race last week, you might think Sanders is the front-runner — he won the Indiana primary a week ago and polls suggest he could be poised for another victory in West Virginia. Clinton has been on the defensive in the state in light of her comments in March at a CNN town hall in Ohio that, as president, she would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” The remark was made during a discussion on the need to transition to clean energy, and Clinton went on to stress the importance of helping miners who’d worked in the industry for years. Later, she said the coal comments were taken out of context and that the remark “was a misstatement.” Nevertheless, the damage may have been done.
Regardless, with only 29 pledged delegates at stake which will be allocated proportionally per Democratic Party rules, there’s not much Sanders can do in West Virginia to fundamentally alter the delegate math. Entering Tuesday’s contest, Clinton was 155 delegates shy of the 2,383 needed to clinch the Democratic nomination, according to the Associated Press, while Sanders still needs 929 more. Those figures factor in superdelegates — elected officials and party leaders free to back either candidate — where Clinton has an overwhelming lead. In the race for pledged delegates, Clinton also has an edge of nearly 300 over Sanders. Bottom line: Not only would the Vermont senator need to start winning the remaining primaries by massive margins, he’ll also need a significant number of superdelegates who have already announced their support for Clinton to switch to him.
How much support can Trump get when he’s the only one running?
As for the Republicans, well, yeah, it’s over. Donald Trump emerged as the presumptive GOP nominee after
Meanwhile, Trump will look to rack up big victory margins in West Virginia and Nebraska, which is also holding a GOP primary Tuesday (Democrats held a caucus there in March). In past elections, the margin of victory by the presumptive nominee at this point in the primary calendar wouldn’t have been all that interesting. But given the ongoing divisions within the Republican Party over Trump, it will be telling to see just how high a percentage of the vote he can get (he’s already proven his ceiling is higher than most thought). For point of reference,
Trump will also move closer to securing the 1,237 delegates needed to make his nomination official. Thirty-four delegates will be at stake in West Virginia, while 36 will be on the line in Nebraska, a winner-take-all state. Trump enters Tuesday with 1,068 delegates.
When to tune in
Polls close at 7:30 p.m. ET in West Virginia. In Nebraska, they”ll close at 9 p.m. ET.