After the Super Tuesday primaries, which Democratic candidate will have won the most pledged delegates?

Perhaps the first question to ask is where the candidates currently stand. If I understand things correctly, Iowa went 23 to 21 for HRC, New Hampshire went 15 to 9 for Bernie[2], and Nevada went 19 to 15 for HRC[3]

  • HRC has 23 + 9 + 19 = 51
  • Bernie has 21 + 15 + 15 = 51

Actually, I was a little surprised by that result, but it does make things easier moving forward since we can just ignore the status quo ante and go through the individual states.

Okay, here’s where it get tedious, and I’m not positive I’ve got the details right about delegate counts. But here goes.

  • HRC is the overwhelming favorite in South Carolina[4], and she’s currently forecasted to take the state with 33 delegates to Bernie’s 23[5].
  • Arkansas has 32 soft-pledged delegates[6], and FiveThirtyEight projects HRC to win the state 64.7% to 31.4%[7]. So I’ll estimate that she’ll take 21 delegates and that Bernie will take the remaining 10. (From here on, the percentages refer to the expected percentage of votes who will vote for a candidate. Hence, “64.7%” denotes the 64.7% of Arkansas voters who are expected to vote for HRC. “64.7%” does not denote the likelihood that HRC will win the state.)
  • Georgia has 102 soft-pledged delegates[8], and FiveThirtyEight projects HRC to win the state 76.9% to 19.8%[9]. So I’ll estimate that she’ll take 78 delegates and that Bernie will take the remaining 20.
  • Massachusetts has 91 soft-pledged delegates[10], and FiveThirtyEight projects HRC to win the state 49.4% to 47.4%[11]. So I’ll estimate that she’ll take 46 delegates and that Bernie will take the remaining 45.
  • Oklahoma has 38 soft-pledged delegates[12], and FiveThirtyEight projects HRC to win the state 52.5% to 43.9%[13]. So I’ll estimate that she’ll take 20 delegates and that Bernie will take the remaining 18.
  • Tennessee has 67 soft-pledged delegates[14], and FiveThirtyEight projects HRC to win the state 65.4% to 31.4%[15]. So I’ll estimate that she’ll take 44 delegates and that Bernie will take the remaining 21.
  • Texas has 222 soft-pledged delegates[16], and FiveThirtyEight projects HRC to win the state 62.1% to 35.3%[17]. So I’ll estimate that she’ll take 138 delegates and that Bernie will take the remaining 78.
  • Texas has 222 soft-pledged delegates[16], and FiveThirtyEight projects HRC to win the state 62.1% to 35.3%[17]. So I’ll estimate that she’ll take 138 delegates and that Bernie will take the remaining 78.
  • Vermont has 16 soft-pledged delegates[18], and FiveThirtyEight projects Bernie to win the state 86.4% to 11.3%[19]. So I’ll estimate that he’ll take 14 delegates and that HRC will take the remaining 2.
  • Virginia has 95 soft-pledged delegates[20], and FiveThirtyEight projects HRC to win the state 62.4% to 34.5%[21]. So I’ll estimate that she’ll take 59 delegates and that HRC will take the remaining 33.

So my current forecast is that HRC will get 492 delegates (51+ 33 + 21 + 78 + 46 + 20 + 44 + 138 + 2 + 59) and that Bernie will get 333 (51 + 23 + 10 + 20 + 45 + 18 + 21 + 78 + 14 + 33). In other words, HRC will get 59.6% of the delegates, while Bernie will get 40.3% of them. How likely is it that Bernie can overcome a 19% point gap in the polls? Not likely at all. I’d put that, somewhat conservatively at 9%. Being more specific would require a lot more analysis than I am willing (or able) to do. So with a 91% likelihood, HRC will have more votes than Bernie after Super Tuesday.

[1] http://www.cnn.com/election/primaries/states/ia/Dem

[2] http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/NH-D

[3] http://www.cnn.com/election/primaries/states/nv/Dem

[4] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/south-carolina-democratic/

[5] http://www.bustle.com/articles/141830-is-the-south-carolina-primary-winner-take-all-theres-a-lot-at-stake-in-the-palmetto

[6] http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/AR-D

[7] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/arkansas-democratic/

[8] http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/GA-D

[9] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/georgia-democratic/

[10] http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/MA-D

[11] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/massachusetts-democratic/

[12] http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/OK-D

[13] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/oklahoma-democratic/

[14] http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/TN-D

[15] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/tennessee-democratic/

[16] http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/TX-D

[17] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/texas-democratic/

[18] http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/VT-D

[19] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/vermont-democratic/

[20] http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/VA-D

[21] http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/primary-forecast/virginia-democratic/

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