What a wild ride its been for Hillary Clinton thus far.
Early in the race, the candidate the consensus deemed the inevitable nominee was threatened by Bernie Sanders – seeing her lead against him decline at a faster rate than against Barack Obama in 2008 (when she too was seen as the inevitable nominee).
She barely squeaked a victory against the candidate in the Iowa caucus – literally winning by a coin toss. Next, Bernie slaughtered Hillary in New Hampshire by a nearly 22 percentage point margin.
Yet all of this is meaningless. It’s not the votes that matter, it’s the delegates, and Hillary is racking those up thanks to super-delegates that have rallied behind her.
As the New York Times reported:
Mrs. Clinton has 502 delegates to Mr. Sanders’s 70; 2,383 are needed to win the nomination. These numbers include delegates won in state contests and superdelegates, who can support any candidate. She is likely to win a delegate jackpot from the overwhelmingly black and Hispanic areas in the Southern-dominated Super Tuesday primaries on March 1, when 11 states will vote and about 880 delegates will be awarded.
With a lead like that, the race can be called as soon as it’s logistically impossible for Sanders to gain a majority of the delegates. That date may come sooner than you’d think.
“She could effectively end the race in less than two weeks’ time on Super Tuesday,” said David Wasserman, a top analyst for The Cook Political Report, who has been closely tracking the delegate race.
Hillary may have been feeling a bit of a bern initially, but it’s safe to say she’s taken a fire extinguisher to that threat.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]