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.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


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.


Support our journalism

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


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.