Bernie Sanders will score a moral victory in New York’s Democratic primary if he can limit Hillary Clinton’s winning margin to single digits, party insiders say.
But they also caution that such a result would not be enough to change the overall shape of the race, in which Clinton holds a solid lead.
To have any real shot at wresting the nomination away, the experts say, Sanders would need to produce a seismic shock on Tuesday, defeating Clinton in the state she represented in the Senate for eight years.
The odds of such an outcome look slight, given that most polls show the former secretary of State leading by more than 10 points. The RealClearPolitics polling average has Clinton ahead by 13.8 points in the Empire State.
“If he loses but comes close in New York, he can claim a moral victory,” said Democratic strategist Brad Bannon. “The bad news is moral victories don’t do him any good. Winning delegates is what he needs.”
And he's not going to get them. 247 delegates are up for grabs today and Sanders is down by almost that many pledged delegates. Clinton getting a double digit win would increase her delegate lead by 25 or so, all but erasing the gains Sanders has made in smaller states over the last several weeks.
Having said that, Sanders will probably pick up enough delegates today and next week's contests in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic states to make sure that Clinton's not going to be able to put Sanders away until California and New Jersey in June, so expect another seven weeks of Sanders complaining about superdelegates.
Fun for all the kids.