[UPDATE: Now that 100% of precincts have reported, I have updated the numbers (which worked out a bit better than they did at 2AM, last night. Also, spelling is fixed. Typos happen at 2AM — thanks to all the people who came to my defense against the spelling-trolls while I slept! You’re awesome!]
Greetings, my friends! Firstly, I want to offer my condolences to the Clinton campaign and to the corporate media because — as I’m sure you all have heard, by now — a fire of hope has berned across West Virginia and the preliminary reports all confirm that both the media’s narrative and Clinton’s false sense of security were badly damaged in the blaze. This is because Clinton walked away with a mere 36% of the vote tonight and Democratic Party officials fear that these fires may already be spreading both to Oregon and Kentucky and some estimate that they, too, will soon be entirely engulfed with berning flames by the evening of May 17th.
Now, let’s take a deeper look at the math and at what today means for us — but, this time, it’s going to take us a few extra steps because, as many of you have probably noticed, there is a piece of the puzzle missing. Fear not! I shall now use the power of numbers to cut through the confusion…†
So — Why don’t the totals add up!?
An excellent question! You may have noticed that Sanders’ and Clinton’s total percentages don’t add up to 100% — take a look:
Sanders | 51.4%
Clinton | 35.8%
51.4 + 36 = 87.2
So, what gives? The missing piece in this puzzle is that, in West Virginia, there were several other candidates for the democratic nomination — other than Clinton and Sanders, there were also options for Martin O’Malley (remember him? He seemed nice…), Roque De La Fuente, Paul Farrell Jr., and a fellow named Keith Judd. Don’t worry, I’ve never heard of them either. Well, except for Mr. O’Malley, of course. Anyway, between the three of them, they somehow netted almost 13% of the vote today, in West Virginia. To paraphrase the Sand-Man, himself — there are a lot of surprises in politics.
Wait, So… Is This Good or Bad?
Oh! Don’t worry — it’s good! It’s good because a candidate needs to secure at least 15% of the vote to gain any delegates at all — and, since there is only 12.8% to split between the four of them, we can deduce that none of them reached that threshold. Because of this rule, all of West Virginia’s pledged delegates will still be split proportionately between Sanders and Clinton — and we can figure out what that proportion is with just a little math. Well, we’ll have to, anyway, because the media refuses to report the real numbers to you. Okay — remember that, between the two of them, there was 87.2%? Now, we will divide Sanders’ total of 51.4 by 87.2, like so:
51.4 ÷ 87.2 = .589
So, 51.4 is actually 58.9% of 87.4 and, when all is said and done, it is as if we’ve won this primary with about 59% against Clinton’s 41%!
But Wait: I’m Not Finished Yet!
Sanders won 58.9% of the total votes between Clinton and himself — but, because the public tends to frown upon delegates being split in half, we appear to be walking away with 18 delegates, leaving Clinton with only 11. And 18 delegates, out of 29, works out to be…
18 ÷ 29 = 0.62 or 62%
That’s right: we’ve grabbed 62% of the delegates in West Virginia, just a hair shy of our 65.5% target. This, along with the recent delegate gains at the state conventions, puts the current delegate totals at:
Sanders | 1,437
Clinton | 1,717
Subtracting Sanders’ total of 1,437 from our target of 2,026 pledged delegates, or half +1 of the total pledged delegates we get:
2,026 – 1,437 = 589
Therefore, we’ll be needing 589 of the remaining 897 delegates, and…
589 ÷ 897 = .656 or 65.6%
And there you have it — If Sanders — If we — can secure 65.6% of the remaining delegates, then Sanders will have the majority when he arrives at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia on July 25th (and I hope to see you all there). Of course, as Don Ford points out in his insightful articles, we can also chip away at Clinton’s delegate lead at the state conventions — just as we did in Nevada, then in Washington, Colorado, and Maine, more recently. These gains may seem small but every delegate that we can get that way will reduce the percentage of the remaining delegates that we must win and — at the same time — subtract a delegate from Clinton’s total!
Oregon Looms on the Western Horizon!
We should be able to lower our 65.6% target when Oregon & Kentucky vote, one week from now, on May 17th. Oregon is a bastion of progressive political leanings, much like Washington (where we won with 72.7%!), and we should have no trouble winning there (but don’t get cocky!).
Although no recent polls have been conducted, I believe that we have an excellent chance of taking Kentucky, too. We don’t know a lot but we do know that Kentucky has had record-breaking numbers of new voter registration (a very good sign) and the demographics are similar to West Virginia (which we’ve just won quite handily). If we can take both of these states, we will be going into June with a lot of momentum — so much, in fact, that even the corporate-media will have a hard time ignoring us this time.
Tomorrow, I shall write to you all again — and, I hope, before the day is out, I will be able to provide all of the most recent numbers having to do with Oregon and Kentucky. In the meantime, keep hitting those phones and, for god’s sake, donate, donate, donate! I don’t care if you have to start flipping couch-cushions and checking the change slots on vending machines — just get it done! And get some rest, my friends — we have a lot of work ahead of us.
John Laurits #SeeYouInPhilly
† This article was written around 1:45 AM (PDT), when there were 96.8% of precincts reporting. The final count may differ slightly and John will swoop in to smooth those little details out as they become available.
UPDATE: Now that 100% of precincts are reporting, the numbers are up to date (5/11 at 2:28PM). When I originally wrote this , Sanders had 58.8% but, now, he has 58.9%. Clinton’s percentage also dropped by 0.2%, leaving her with 41.1%.
*You may follow John on Twitter or send him pictures of your dinner or (more usefully) send him crappy corporate-media articles w/ math to debunk: @JohnLaurits. If ye’d like, You can also help out by buying John coffee HERE, which he is always very grateful for.