Democratic Primary Home Stretch

[ Posted Monday, May 16th, 2016 – 17:04 UTC ]

We're really in the home stretch of the Democratic primaries now, as the last few territories and the last eight states will all be voting in the upcoming weeks. Tomorrow night, Oregon and Kentucky will weigh in, and then the last six states (who, for some unfathomable reason, all decided to go last this year) will finally get a chance to vote on the seventh of June: California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Before I get to predicting tomorrow night's races, as usual I have to take a moment to update the stats. Last Tuesday, I called West Virginia for Bernie Sanders, predicting he'd win by double digits. This turned out to be true, which gives me one more in the "win" column for Democrats. As I mentioned last week, since Donald Trump is the only candidate left on the Republican side, I won't be calling any more of their races (Republicans in Oregon vote tomorrow, too), and my Republican record for the year can now be considered final.

Total correct 2016 Democratic picks: 34 for 44 -- 77%
Total correct 2016 Republican picks: 37 for 47 -- 79%
Total overall correct picks: 71 for 91 -- 78%.

Those numbers may look pretty good, but I have to say I was chagrined to learn that there is a spoof pundit out there (Carl "The Dig" Diggler) who has also been playing this game, which was intended by the people behind the prank as satire of the horserace-obsessed political press. They intentionally ignored the polls and went with gut feelings designed to poke fun at how some pundits operate. This led them to write such lines as: "Wisconsinites are mostly a simple people. They eat their three lunches, kiss their often enormous children on their often featureless faces, and go to church so they can pray for the 2 Broke Girls." Pretty funny, I have to admit, but the sobering part is that their record of predictions is astoundingly good -- a fact which shocked even the people behind the spoof. Carl "The Dig" Diggler called 87 primary races so far. He got 77 of them right, for a very impressive 89 percent correct. My own record doesn't look so good, stacked up against what was intended to be a prank. It's stories like this which keep you humble about the whole business of political prognostication.


Kentucky (Democrats)

There are two Democratic races we'll all be watching tomorrow, and neither of them has much in the way of polling to examine. Kentucky is the race which everyone is expecting to be the close one tomorrow night, but really at this point it seems like everyone is relying almost entirely on their gut feelings.

Kentucky could go either way, if you're basing predictions on how surrounding states have voted. Will Kentucky's map look more like Ohio's or West Virginia's? Or possibly neither? Nobody really knows, at this point. Hillary Clinton had a big victory in Ohio earlier in the year, and won almost every county (which I wrote about last week, complete with a map showing how tough Kentucky is to predict). Then Bernie Sanders did manage to win every county in West Virginia, just last week. But Kentucky is kind of a crossroads of different demographics, in more than one way. It is Southern, but is also the northern border of the South. It reaches into Appalachia in the east, but also touches the Mississippi River in the west. Areas of the state are dominated by the coal industry, farming, and horseracing. This all adds up to a mix of demographics that would be hard to predict even without Hillary's and Bernie's outsize wins in (respectively) Ohio and West Virginia.

Clinton has campaigned in Kentucky, which she didn't bother to do much of in West Virginia. She has also outspent Bernie 3-to-1 in advertising, showing that she thinks she's got a real chance to win. Bernie is being labeled the favorite to win tomorrow by most pundits, but I'm not really sure why they're so confident. Clinton, if West Virginia is any indication, could lose a lot of counties in the eastern parts of Kentucky, but she also may win a lot of counties in the western part of the state.

My guess -- going from just gut feelings -- is that it will be close, but not as close as some are now predicting. I'm going with the herd on this one, and predicting that Bernie Sanders pulls out a victory in the Bluegrass State. I don't feel at all confident about this prediction, and I think the county map is going to be a lot more mixed than it was in Indiana, Ohio, or West Virginia. This one could be a late night, though, as I think it'll be close enough that we'll be watching returns come in for hours before the state is called by the networks.


Oregon (Democrats)

Oregon is even harder to predict, because we actually do have poll numbers. Well, numbers from one poll, I should say. The reason this makes it harder is that these poll numbers are exactly the opposite of what everyone has long assumed about how Oregon will vote.

Oregon is Bernie country, virtually every pundit out there says, with a fair degree of confidence. It's a fairly commonsense conclusion to draw, actually. Oregon's Democrats are pretty liberal overall. They pride themselves on being more progressive than their neighbor to the south, in fact. For those unaware of West Coast politics, the easiest analogy to use is that Oregon is kind of the Vermont of the West Coast. A lot of hippies moved there a long time ago, and have now put down some long-term roots. This shifted the politics of the state in a very liberal direction. Described that way (especially the "Vermont" part), it's easy to see why the natural assumption would be that Bernie's going to win big in Oregon.

The only problem with this scenario is the poll, which appeared last week. It wasn't from one of the biggest polling firms out there, but there are no other polls around for comparison (to see if this one was a wild outlier or not). The poll showed Bernie Sanders with only 33 percent support among Democrats, and Hillary Clinton with a whopping lead of 15 points (at 48 percent). That's an astounding margin in a state where nobody is even giving her a chance to win.

Researchers took another pass at the numbers, and this time adjusted to see what would happen if turnout is high. But even this didn't solve Bernie's problem:

Researchers tested two potential turnout scenarios, to see if the race might change if turnout is higher than expected. But even in a higher turnout race, Clinton led Sanders, this time 45 percent to 38 percent.

So is something going on in Oregon that nobody in the political chattering class is now admitting? Well, we'll have the answer to that tomorrow night. Oregon is a closed primary state (independents don't get to vote in it), which so far this year has given Hillary Clinton a big edge. So her pulling an upset win here is entirely possible.

Perhaps blindly, though, I am going to go with both my own gut and the consensus opinion among other pundits, and say that Bernie easily takes Oregon. One poll with a rather high margin of error (5.6 percent) isn't enough to convince me, in other words. If Hillary does manage a win here, I will have plenty of company being very surprised, that's for sure. But I think Oregon's results will look much like Washington's results, to its north. I think Bernie will not only comfortably win the state, but also that he'll likely sweep most of the counties as well.

So those are my picks, made almost entirely from gut feelings. Bernie wins narrowly in Kentucky, and wins in a blowout in Oregon. We'll see tomorrow night whether the conventional wisdom that Bernie's the favorite in both states proves true or not. And as always, if you disagree with my picks, let me know yours down in the comments.


[Previous states' picks:]

[AK (D)] [AK (R)] [AL] [AR] [AZ] [CO (D)] [CT] [DE] [FL] [GA] [HI (D)] [HI (R)] [IA] [ID (D)] [ID (R)] [IL] [IN] [KS] [KY (R)] [LA] [MA] [MD] [ME] [MI] [MN] [MO] [MS] [NC] [NE (D)] [NH] [NV (D)] [NV (R)] [NY] [OH] [OK] [PA] [RI] [SC (D)] [SC (R)] [TN] [TX] [UT] [VA] [VT] [WA (D)] [WI] [WV (D)] [WY (D)] [American Samoa (D)] [American Samoa (R)] [Puerto Rico (R)] [Democrats Abroad (D)]

-- Chris Weigant


Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


33 Comments on “Democratic Primary Home Stretch”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The KY Dem primary is tomorrow and I can't vote in it, so HilRod sent me a postcard. She says her plan will require health insurance companies to place a $250 monthly limit on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. Give her another delegate.

  2. [2] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Oregon being vote by mail, it may be tough to get results tomorrow night, even on the West Coast. We were allowed to claim a party primary up until 4/26 (so proper ballots could be mailed) and it looked like there could still be a race then.

    Oregon's bent is quite geographically specific. Portland and Eugene are very liberal. There are a lot of conservative miles in between. Bend and the surroundings very liberal. All of that ranching and farming land? Not so much. Even the residents against the Bundy people were not liberals, they just didn't want those morons around.

    The dems in these conservative places will probably vote for Clinton. To give a thought to the poll you mention, these people are much more likely to respond to a survey/poll than are the liberals, especially the college-aged and older hippies.

    That said, liberals are a solid majority and many are very liberal. Even though much of Eugene won't vote (college town, whey will go for Sanders, but won't come out in large numbers in any case (we do have recreational usage and there's a lot of procrastination that will happen)).

    All that said, I agree that Sanders takes OR, quite possibly large. My reason above may get at why the poll was so inaccurate assuming a correct prediction.

    I think Clinton takes Kentucky.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    How whacked is the Democrat Party that Hillary continues to lose, lose, lose and lose and yet STILL is "winning" the primary??


  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Looks like Judicial Watch is going to get to depose Hillary Clinton under oath...

    If ya'all think back to all the Clinton scandals, the one thing that always tripped them up was being deposed under oath...

    Hillary, beware the Ides Of March.... Which happen to come in May this year.. :D

    I would say that Hillary is going to start LOSING primary contests now... But she already IS losing.. And yet, she is the presumptive nominee...

    In other words, the LOSER is the Democrat Party's candidate..

    How apropos, eh?? :D


  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    so far, hillary has won 26 states and territories for 1700 pledged delegates, and bernie has won 20 for 1400 pledged delegates.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    How many states has Hillary won since 15 Mar???


    All I am saying is that Hillary SHOULD be winning these states if she is the presumptive nominee...

    The fact that she continues to lose and WILL continue to lose should be of concern to ya'all....

    That's all I am saying..


  7. [7] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    beg pardon, the estimated numbers are 1717 and 1423 pledged delegates, 12.7 million voters to 9.6 million voters.

  8. [8] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    as has frequently been the case, public perception about support for hillary clinton does not match up with the reality of voters' decisions.


  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    as has frequently been the case, public perception about support for hillary clinton does not match up with the reality of voters' decisions.

    We'll see.. :D


  10. [10] 
    Paula wrote:

    BOSTON (AP) — Two Boston brothers who claimed to be inspired in part by Donald Trump's views on immigrants were sentenced to state prison after admitting they beat a homeless Mexican man because they thought he was an illegal immigrant, authorities said.

    Der Donald.

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    BOSTON (AP) — Two Boston brothers who claimed

    So, now we're taking the word of 2 scumbags who like to beat up on the helpless???

    Oh, when it fits the partisan agenda..

    OF COURSE we are... :^/

    So, when I find some scumbag who did something disgusting and said they were inspired by Hillary or Sanders, then that's sufficient to cast the candidate themselves as evil...

    Right??? :^/

    "No.. That's different"....

    Yea... That's what I thought...


  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nevada Democrats Warn DNC of Violence From Sanders Supporters
    State party chairwoman has received death threats

    So.... Obviously, Bernie Sanders is evil and should be tarred and feathered, arrested and thrown in jail, right???

    "No... That's different..."

    Ahh yes... It's "different".... :^/


  13. [13] 
    Paula wrote:

    [12] Sanders supporters in NV seem to be taking notes from Trumpies. Sad that. Some believe a lot of them are Ron Paulites -- I don't know.

    I'm not at all happy about this NV mess or the people who are trying to use intimidation to get what they want. I'm not happy that Bernie has yet to disavow these behaviors. But he lost me awhile back. Eventually he will have to face his legacy -- we'll see what he decides to do.

    Just waiting for things to play out, then we'll see what he's made of.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    44% of *DEMOCRAT* Voters say they will vote for Trump if Hillary is the Democrat Nominee....

    Almost HALF!!

    No way to spin that.. But, by all means.... Give it a shot... :D


  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm not at all happy about this NV mess or the people who are trying to use intimidation to get what they want. I'm not happy that Bernie has yet to disavow these behaviors. But he lost me awhile back. Eventually he will have to face his legacy -- we'll see what he decides to do.

    So, you are saying that you agree with me. That Sanders is as bad as you accuse Trump of being...

    That's what I am hearing.. Just wanted to confirm I am hearing right.. :D

    Of course, there IS another possible explanation..

    And that explanation is that there are supporters on ALL sides (Bernie, Hillary, Trump) who are very VERY passionate about their candidate...

    Passionate to the point of fanaticism...

    But that fanaticism is not indicative of the candidate themselves...

    Would you agree that THAT is a distinct possibility??


  16. [16] 
    Paula wrote:

    [15] I agree with you that intimidation tactics are reprehensible.

    And while there is a point past which candidates can not be held responsible for the actions of their supporters, the candidates do have the responsibility to call out actions they don't support and to tell their supporters such actions are not acceptable. The worse the actions, the stronger the call-out should be.

  17. [17] 
    Paula wrote:

    [14} Re: Bernie voters not voting for Hillary. They may not.

    I don't think the election will be a walkover by any means and have never said it would be. The fact that I think Trump is both a very bad joke and a potential disaster doesn't mean there aren't lots of people who will vote for him. But right now things are still fluid and we haven't fully transitioned into the general. That's when things will become more clear and we'll know exactly what we're up against.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:


    And while there is a point past which candidates can not be held responsible for the actions of their supporters, the candidates do have the responsibility to call out actions they don't support and to tell their supporters such actions are not acceptable. The worse the actions, the stronger the call-out should be.

    Fair enough...

    But right now things are still fluid and we haven't fully transitioned into the general. That's when things will become more clear and we'll know exactly what we're up against.

    But that's the funny thing.. Trump has been waging a GENERAL campaign from the start...

    He is to the LEFT of Hillary on many many issues..

    Hillary is still mired in the Primary because she can't put away a 74yr old Socialist...

    If she has this much trouble with Sanders, I don't see how she is going to try and beat Trump..

    But, as you say, things are fluid and it IS early... So, time will tell...

    A lot can happen. A lot is GOING to happen..

    It's going to be entertaining, that much is certain.. :D


  19. [19] 
    Paula wrote:

    To some degree she is "having trouble with Sanders" because she is holding her fire. She knows she'll have to deal with his supporters if/when he loses so she's trying to not burn bridges. Bernie is not concerning himself with that nearly as much.

    With Trump she won't have to do that. (Nor will her surrogates.)

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's a very good point...


  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    And with all the talk about how vile and disgusting Trump supporters have been and how the Republican Convention is going to be such a nightmare.......

    Sen. Barbara Boxer, a veteran of Democratic politics, says she never saw anything quite like this before.

    Loud cursing, shouting, obscene gestures and vile insults, including crude comments about the female anatomy. It was all on display over the weekend as supporters of Bernie Sanders turned the Nevada State Democratic Convention into chaos.
    "I was not able to stop these people for doing what they did," Boxer, a Hillary Clinton supporter, told CNN. "Apparently they've done it before. .... This group of about 100 were very vocal, and I can't describe it -- disrespectful doesn't even explain it, it was worse than that."

    ...... we come to find out that it's supporters on the DEMOCRAT side that's disgusting and perverse and it's the DEMOCRAT Convention that is going to be a horrendous mess...

    You can't see it, but I am grinning from ear to ear right now...

    Why?? Because it proves what I have always said..

    There ain't much difference between the Right and the Left.... :D


  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Judging from the above CNN article, there really isn't any difference between Sanders supporters and what ya'all accuse Trump supporters of doing...

    So, of course, all of you will condemn Sanders supporters with as much passion and as much zeal as ya'all condemn Trump supporters...


    Paula is on record.. More or less... Anyone else???


  23. [23] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, first off, an announcement:

    Today's column is up, and it's fascinating! Check it out.

    Also, that is where I'll be commenting on the election returns coming in, semi-live-blogging, as it were...

    See you there...


  24. [24] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, now let's get to answering some of these.

    Speak2 [2] -

    Yeah, OR might be late, but don't forget that all the early ballots already mailed in can be pre-counted before the poll closing times. But you're right, could be a late one (even for us West Coasters)...

    Paula [13] -

    That's interesting, about the Paulite aspect. Isn't NV where Ron Paul supporters pulled one of their delegate coups, a while back?

    OK, that's it for now, going to try to answer more columns' comments...


  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting thing about that Democrat Convention in Nevada...

    Bernie Sanders had actually WON Nevada at the State Convention...

    But the Nevada Democrat Committee ignored a good portion of Nevada delegates that were going for Bernie because... get this...

    They did not have proper identification!!!!

    So, what can we take away from this, boys and girls???

    The Democrat Party is ALL for Voter ID and ALL for disenfranchising voters.... If it suits their agenda....

    Ironically enough, it was *ONLY* Bernie supporters who did not have the "proper ID"...

    In the dictionary, under HYPOCRISY, there is a picture of the Democrat Party.... :^/

    Now we have ANOTHER Democrat Talking Point (Voter ID/Disenfranchisement) that ya'all can't use with a straight face....

    Ya'all are running out of Talking Points. :D


  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, it's funny... I am always pretty much a cup is half full kinda guy...

    But in the case of the Bernie/Hillary reconciliation of their supporters, I have always been kinda pessimistic.. At least pessimistic from the perspective of an NPA...

    I have always thought that, after the Democrat Primary, supporters of Hillary and Bernie would make nice and come together and everyone would sing koom bye yaa together..

    My basis for this (from my POV) pessimism was recalling the acrimony of the PUMA clan in the 2008 primary... I figured that the PUMA people were just as vocal against Obama, but they all came together in the end...

    But I have to admit that I am seeing a glimmer of hope that, this time around, it's different.. The Bernie supporters are actually VIOLENT and I don't think they are going to go quietly into that good night..

    The fact that the DNC is actively cheating to get their chosen one to be the nominee is not something we saw in 2008 as well..

    So, I am wondering if it would be possible to get some honest assessments from ya'all..

    Do ya'all think that the Bernie supporters are just the latest incarnation of the PUMA clan??? That, in the end, they will disappear as the PUMA people did in 2008??

    Or do ya'all think that the machinations of the DNC (VOTER ID!?? REALLY!!???) will cause scars that simply will not heal over??

    Inquiring minds want to know... :D


  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:
  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    No one wants to chime in?? :^(


  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny...

    A Trump supporter throws a punch and the comments here are fast and furious...

    Sanders supporters shut down a state convention with violence and threats...

    {{chiiirrrrppppppp}} {{{chirrrrrrpppppppp}}}

    Double standard much?? :^/


  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    sorry, wasn't paying attention. i absolutely and unequivocally condemn all violence and incitement to violence, by republicans, democrats, independents, socialists or anyone else. that includes supporters of bernie and hillary. no hitting people unless they hit first.


  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    sorry, wasn't paying attention.

    That's kinda my point..

    No one around here pays attention to the violence of the Left Wingery..

    But let that violence come from the Right Wingery?? And everyone is right there, paying a LOT of attention...

    It's a double standard...

    Notable exceptions noted...


  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    This would all be so much easier if ya'all just admit what is blatantly obvious...

    For the vast majority of people here, there is one set of standards of conduct for the Right and a different set of standards of conduct for the Left..

    Concede that and my argument is completely and unequivocally negated and rendered moot..

    In other words, admit what we all know to be true and I'll shut up about it...

    "Give me what I want and I'll go away"

    :D heh

    I mean, it's not as if I don't have a ton of facts to support my position... :D


  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Notable exceptions noted...


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