When Will Bernie Overtake Biden’s Delegate Lead?

Elections

Unless there’s a revolution in the status of the race, it’s hard to see Bernie’s opening to do it. Apparently he’s been saying that he might catch Biden when all the California delegates are allocated, but that’s not plausible. From NBC’s First Read:

On Wednesday night, Bernie Sanders told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that the outstanding delegates in California could still make him the overall delegate winner from Super Tuesday.

“At the end of the count in California, where we have won and will win a whole lot of delegates, I think at the end of the day, we may be a little bit ahead of Biden.”

But here’s the math why the remaining California delegates won’t push Sanders into the lead.

Right now, according to the NBC News Decision Desk, Biden holds a 69-delegate lead over Sanders, 595 to 526.

And yes, there are still 151 delegates remaining to be allocated in California, where Sanders is currently ahead of Biden by a 34 percent-to-25 percent margin.

But there are also a total of 104 delegates still to be allocated from the other 13 Super Tuesday states, including 24 in Texas (which Biden won), 11 in Massachusetts (ditto), nine in North Carolina (ditto again) and Alabama (ditto).

What’s more, assuming that Sanders’ lead in California remains 9 points or so, that comes out to — roughly — a 58 percent-to-42 percent delegate split.

And dividing up the remaining 151 California delegates that way gets you: 88 delegates for Sanders, 63 for Biden.

That’s not enough to overcome Biden’s current delegate lead.

Then, there are the states coming the next couple of weeks. The invaluable Steve Kornacki did some back-of-the-envelope calculations about how the delegate race might shake out based on plausible outcomes, and it has Bernie losing ground even if he’s winning places:

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