Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sanders Whips Farrell, Judd and Rest of Field in West Virginia, Cuts Delegate Gap By 7

Bernie Sanders won the West Virginia primary by a 51% to 36% margin over Hillary Clinton, a 15-point gap that beat our expectation of an 8-point Sanders win.  For his efforts, Sanders picked up 18 delegates to Clinton’s 11, to narrow Clinton’s unpledged delegate margin from 290 to 283.  If he continues to pick up a net +7 delegates for every 29 contested delegates in each and every upcoming primary, he will catch Hillary in South Carolina on February 29, 2020.

You may be wondering about the other 13% in West Virginia (or you may not be).  That is, if Bernie beat Hillary by a 51% to 36% margin, who received the rest of the votes?  It turns out a Huntington, WV lawyer named Paul Farrell, Jr. who decided to run for President this year -- “there is nobody on the presidential ballot I want to vote for…I’m a better choice than ‘none of the above’ ” -- managed to snag a healthy 9% of the vote.  He easily whipped Martin O’Malley (who you may remember), not to mention Rocky De La Fuente (a San Diego businessman) and Keith Judd (wait for it), the trio who split the remaining four percent of the vote.

For those of you who see the Farrell boomlet as a metaphor for the nosedive descent of the dignity of our modern politics, I submit that we should view this instead as forward progress.  After all, the aforementioned Keith Judd (that's him in the picture on the right, from 2012) gave sitting President Barack Obama a run for his money in West Virginia's 2012 Democratic primary – Obama beat Judd by a rather stunningly narrow 57% to 43% margin.  At that time, Judd, a convicted extortionist, was doing time in a federal prison in Beaumont, Texas.  Neither Obama nor Judd had actually physically campaigned in West Virginia that year, suffice to say for wildly different reasons.  So in this one respect we have come a long way in four years, although we have to contemplate how Judd, in prison, managed 43% of the vote in 2012, yet sunk to 2% as a free man in 2016.  Perhaps Judd was feeling the Bern, and also the magic of Paul Farrell, Jr.

Needless to say, we at BTRTN did not envision the Farrell/Judd/De La Fuente troika making a dent (nor O’Malley for that matter) in the voting, so we were a bit off in our percentages.  Having said that, we did accurately forecast the Sanders win, making us 25 out of 29 in Democratic primaries.  We remain 11 out of 14 in caucuses and thus 36 out of 43 overall on the Democratic side.

West Virginia
BTRTN Prediction
De La Fuente

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