Today and tomorrow we have the Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington Democratic primaries.
According to the model I developed prior to the last primary, which predicts future primaries using information about primaries to date (which I’ve not updated from last Tuesday), Sanders will win all three primaries. That model suggests that the delegate spread by the end of the day will look like this:
However, I also developed an alternate model which assumes that Sanders’ over performance (in relation to the afore mentioned model) requires an adjustment. That alternative model suggests that this will be the delegate spread:
The outcome of this weekend’s contests, therefore, will be either a Clinton:Sanders delegate take of 61:81 or a Clinton:Sanders delegate take of 41:101.
Or not. The key difference between these two futures is, of course, in the first one, Clinton secures the nomination, and in the second one, it is too close to call with Sanders having a distinct possibility of winning.
Well, the Easter Bunny, who I believe is a friend of that bird that visited Senator Sanders the other day, left Bernie a nice basket last night.
As noted above, Sanders was expected to win all three caucuses that were held yesterday, and he did, so that alone would be no real news this morning.
However, in the framework of two alternative models, one giving Clinton the nomination, the other having the two Democratic candidates coming out in a virtual tie, a larger than expected win would be associated with the latter.
And that is what happened. The following compares the expected delegate distributions for the standard model and the Bernie II model (as discussed above and in previously provided links) with the actual outcome (though I estimate the delegate counts, that could be off by one for any of the states).
As you can see, the delegate count matches the Sanders II model almost perfectly for Alaska, is between the Main Model and the Sanders II model for Hawaii, and exceeds the Sanders II expectation for Washington.
These are small states, caucus (and thus quirky) states, and there are only three of them, so one must be cautious in drawing conclusions. We can combine the three states to get what might be a more robust indicator of which of the two models is working out best. Like this:
Across all three contests, the main model and the Sanders II model were distinctly different, and clearly, the actual outcome was almost identical to the Sanders II model.
I won’t produce new graphs for the revised outcome because the model was so close to reality that it hardly changes it. I’ll do so when more delegates are counted.
So, the bottom line is this. For several contests now we have seen Sanders do something to indicate he is pulling ahead, but then, in the next round, he failed to do so and Clinton continued on a clear path to the nomination as per the main model. The contests on the 22nd, once gain, indicated a shift in voter behavior in favor of Sanders. This weekend’s caucuses were a test of that hypothesis.
Instead of the shift being falsified, it was supported by this weekend’s voting. This gives credence to the idea that Sanders could catch up to Clinton. However, this is a small number of small states. So it may not mean much.
We now have an entire calendar week with no contests. This allows for a more flexible campaign strategy for both candidates. Then, on the 5th, a week from Tuesday, we have Wisconsin all by itself with 86 committed delegates, where Sanders is expected to do well. Immediately following, on the 9th, is Wyoming with only 14 candidates. Again, Sanders is expected to do well.
Wisconsin will be an important test for Sanders because my models says he’ll do well, but it is a primary, not a caucus.
The following Tuesday, the 19th, is the New York primary. Here, according to my main model, Sanders and Clinton are neck and neck. The polls put Clinton way ahead there. So New York will be an interesting test of my model. I do have Clinton winning, but not by much, and the Sanders II model has them even closer.
If the polls are right, and Clinton trounces Sanders in New York, then my main model, which has Clinton winning the nomination, is conservative on the Clinton side, and the contest may be over. If the two candidates are pretty even there, or Sanders wins by a few delegates, then we will continue to bite our nails. If Sanders swamps Clinton, then that bird was right.
This is followed by another huge gap in time prior to the