Clinton Campaign Expects to Have Nomination Locked Up Next Month

The campaign’s chief strategist says Clinton’s delegate lead is “nearly insurmountable.”

Carolyn Kaster/AP


A month from now, the Clinton campaign thinks it will have all but won the Democratic presidential nomination.

On a conference call with reporters Monday, Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist, Joel Benenson, said the former secretary of state will have expanded her delegate lead enough by the end of April to be the clear winner of the primary contest over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Benenson predicted that the upcoming Wisconsin primary, on April 5, would be close. But after that, Clinton is expecting victories in the delegate-rich states of New York on April 19 and Pennsylvania on April 26.

“The truth is, after April 26, there just simply is not enough real estate left for Sen. Sanders to close the commanding lead that we’ve built,” Benenson said. “We expect to come out of that day with a pledged and total delegate lead that will make clear who the nominee will be, and that it’s going to be Hillary Clinton.”

Benenson’s comments came shortly after Sanders’ campaign held a call of its own to argue that the senator has a path to overtake Clinton’s delegate lead and win the nomination.

With 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination, Clinton currently leads Sanders 1,243 to 975 among pledged delegates and 469 to 29 among the 712 superdelegates who are free to back the candidate of their choosing. Benenson did acknowledge Monday that Clinton may not reach a majority of delegates through pledged delegates alone, but argued that superdelegates are a part of the Democratic Party’s nominating process and have been for decades. As of now, Benenson said, Clinton has already amassed a “nearly insurmountable pledged delegate lead.”

Benenson also took issue with the Sanders campaign’s claim that the senator will be a stronger candidate in the general election against the eventual Republican nominee. On its call Monday, the Sanders campaign pointed out that in general election match-up polls, Sanders performs better than Clinton against Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich.

“She is winning in most of the general election swing states we’ve competed in,” Benenson said. “She’s won in 9 of 12 states that were decided by single digits in the 2012 election.” Those include Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and North Carolina.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.