Possibly because of its principled love of arguments based on wildly implausible arithmetic, or possibly for some other motivation, The Wall Street Journal devotes an editorial today to the case that Bernie Sanders can really, truly win the Democratic presidential nomination. “If [Sanders] sweeps the final 10 primaries and caucuses,” reports the Journal breathlessly, “he might take the lead among bound delegates heading into the Democratic convention in July.” This scenario has also been touted by Seth Abramson, an assistant professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and author of a cult-favorite series of Bernie delegate-math fanfiction.
In fact, taking the lead in bound delegates would require far more than sweeping the final ten states. Sanders would need to win two-thirds of the remaining delegates, an implausible goal given that the delegates are proportional, and the only state Sanders has managed to win two-thirds of is Vermont. Also, a huge share of those delegates will be won in California and New Jersey, where Clinton has large polling leads. And that is before even getting to the part where hundreds of longtime Clinton allies abandon her to support a candidate with positions they don’t want to defend in a general election. Probably the scenario has something to do with the Laffer curve.