Bernie Sanders Wins the California Primary

Exactly how many delegates he’ll claim may remain unclear for weeks
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Senator Bernie Sanders has won the California Democratic primary, according to exit polls tabulated by the Associated Press and other outlets. While his win in the state was predicted by many in the weeks leading up to primary day, the details of exactly how many of California’s 415 delegates the victory will earn him remains unclear. With millions of provisional and mail-in ballots still to be counted, it may be days or weeks before a final delegate count is confirmed.

While Sanders was strong, particularly in early voting, the Los Angeles Times reports that voters who waited until the last minute to commit to a candidate actually favored former vice president Joe Biden by a 10-point margin. Biden will ultimately peel off a decent chunk of California’s delegates from Sanders.

Michael Bloomberg performed well enough in certain pockets of the state, particularly affluent Northern California communities like Napa and Marin counties, that he will be able to lay claim to some portion of the delegation. And while Senator Elizabeth Warren landed fourth, she may have crossed the threshold needed to claim a small number of delegates as well.

“You’ll see a lot of movement in those delegate numbers over the course of the next few weeks once all the votes come in,” Roger Salazar, spokesman for the California Democratic Party, told the Times. “Our perspective is we’d rather have an accurate count than a fast count.”

Nationally, Super Tuesday was Biden’s big night. Of the 14 states and one territory voting, Biden swept nine, performing strongly even in states where his campaign had invested little in advertising or infrastructure. Oklahoma, where Sanders had won over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary, went for Biden, as did Tennessee, where voter turnout was up 30 percent over the 2016 primary, despite devastating tornadoes that ripped through the state.

Former New York City mayor Bloomberg appears to have been particularly disappointed with the night’s outcome. He had only one win, in American Samoa, in spite of his lavish campaign spending lavishly. The A.P. reports that the billionaire is expected to “reassess his candidacy” on Wednesday.


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