Bernie Sanders as POTUS would be too good to be true. The deep state will not tolerate this.

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I think we can be legitimately concerned that if Bernie wins the presidency and implements his policies, it will make very powerful special interest groups very very angry.

The military industrial complex will not be happy about fewer arms deals with say, Saudi Arabia. The wall street will not be happy about tighter financial regulations. And big pharma & private insurance companies will not be happy about Medicare for all.

These are just a few examples of powerful interest groups who profit of the status quo. And we all know how much Bernie is against the current system. But keep in mind that when we use the term 'anti-establishment' it not only means the political establishment in washington but also the powerful economic forces and groups who corrupted the political system in the first place.

Bernie wants to change all of that which makes him Private Enemy No. 1.

If the CIA indeed owns something like a heart attack gun (because why not?) I wouldn't be surprised if they will use it to make his death look 'natural'. But such a scenario is of course highly speculative and conspiratorial. Fact of the matter is, powerful groups have an indisputable interest in preventing Bernie becoming the POTUS.

But let's just hope that I'm wrong.

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An Argument that Dems Should State When Arguing Against Giving Trump the Funds for his Wall

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How can US Taxpayers trust this administration with utilizing the funds well for this so called national emergency when Puerto Rico, a U.S. Territory, is still suffering from the effects of a hurricane and the response to that emergency misused funds?

I'm irritated that Dems haven't stated this as I feel it brings further spotlight on this issue. Also Flint still doesn't have clean drinking water.

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The Bernie Sanders 50 State Strategy: The Case For The 20 Small State Sweep

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The 20 Small States To Sweep(Plus Mississippi):

State 2020 Delegate Total 2016 Vote Share
Oklahoma 37 51.9%
Mississippi 36 16.6%
Nevada 35 47.3%
Kansas 33 67.7%
Arkansas 31 30.0%
Utah 29 79.3%
New Mexico 29 48.5%
Nebraska 25 57.1%
New Hampshire 24 60.1%
Maine 24 64.3%
West Virginia 24 51.4%
Hawaii 22 69.8%
Rhode Island 21 54.7%
Idaho 20 78.0%
Delaware 17 39.2%
Vermont 16 85.7%
Montana 16 51.6%
Alaska 14 79.6%
North Dakota 14 64.2%
South Dakota 14 49.0%
Wyoming 13 55.7%

These 21 small states account for 494 delegates, approximately 13.1% of all available delegates. California at 416 delegates accounts for 11% of all delegates. The top 4 states, adding New York, Texas, and Florida, account for 28.8% of all delegates at 1087. Sanders would need to get 84% of the vote on average in the 21 smallest states to offset a total wipe out in California. He would need 72% of the vote to balance out getting only 15% of California's vote. This is a bit misleading though because at any vote share greater than 70.5% Sanders could theoretically sweep the state. At 75% of the vote with one other candidate breaking the 15% threshold Sanders would accrue approximately 83% of the delegates. Unfortunately he needs a minimum of 30% in California and ideally 80% or so on average in these states to balance out the fact that he faces stiff competition in the other large states.

Averaging 35% in the largest 4 states puts Sanders behind the combined total of all other candidates by 327 delegates. This value could be slightly altered if 1 or more candidates failed to hit 15% but the difference is relatively marginal. Perhaps a 10% drop in the difference depending on the exact numbers. This is easily made up for by Sanders hitting 70-75% in the 21 smallest states. But we want Bernie to do even better, to offset more difficult states. Bernie is likely to be looking at 35-55% in the South counting the Outer South noted in my previous post. The Swing South is contained within the top 4 states so we can ignore that.

The Core South, discounting Mississippi since its within the 21 small states, is worth 261 delegates. The Outer South, discounting states in the small state list, is worth 398 delegates. This puts the South minus small states at 659 delegates total. My delegate projections for the Outer South have Sanders being at a net of -6 delegates discounting small states. He is down 173 delegates for the Core South. So in total the South discounting small and huge states has Bernie down 173 delegates. All in all Bernie's Big State + South State voter discounting small states has him down a shockingly round 500 delegates. His maximum gain from small states is 494 delegates. Using my Mississippi delegate project he loses 22-14 or 8 more delegates. 508 delegates behind vs a potential 458 delegates.

At 65% average in small states with 2 candidates breaking 15% and no wasted votes Sanders goes 298 to 160. A gain of 138 delegates. At 75% with no wasted votes he goes 343 to 115 or a gain of 228 delegates. With 84% of the vote and nothing wasted he gets 385 to 73 or 312 net delegates. A total sweep gains him an obvious 458 net delegates. 312 net delegates is the most likely scenario especially when you account for his poor 2016 showing in some of the relevant states. With a proper resource allocation strategy and a proper message I consider 312 delegates to be total reasonable. Bernie then needs to gain only 196 delegates in the remaining 17 states.

Those states are Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, Puerto Rico, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts and Indiana. Those states collectively account for 1505 delegates. He needs 851 delegates or 56.5% of the votes in those states on average. I will be writing a separate post tomorrow on those states. I wanted to finish a couple other posts before the AMA tomorrow but I got injured and then sick and I have to move to an apartment on the 25th so things were hectic. Below I will outline a potential policy and priority platform that would help boost Bernie to the numbers he needs to win 84%, on average, of the vote in the 20 smallest states(because we discount Mississippi).

Sanders apparently won 810 of the 1621 delegates available in these states in 2016. Some of these states, especially Pennsylvania, at 189-153 or 36 net, lost a lot of delegates because of their Trump vote share. Ohio lost 7. Michigan lost 5. Etc. In any case he would be on track to hit the 56.5% goal if he got 84% of the small state vote.

The strategy for the small state sweep states isn't too different from the core strategy I would advocate for. There are 2 main things to understand. One is that as we learned in the 2016 primaries and for the Midwest and Great Lakes in the general similar states swing together. What this essentially means is that if you campaign in Pennsylvania and Michigan and Minnesota then Ohio and Wisconsin will consider that to be campaigning there. Voters absolutely have strong regional identities. Every Core South State votes for McCain in 2008. Obama also carried every Great Lakes and Midwest state except Missouri which many people may not remember he lost by only 1 percent. West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee went with the Core South. North Carolina went with Virginia and Maryland. So maybe the Outer South has Coastal and Appalachian subdivisions. The Big Swingy South predictably split. Texas Red and Florida Blue. Like Missouri the common wisdom about Texas is a bit off. Obama did .5% better in 2008 than Clinton did in 2016 and in 2012 he did about 2% worse. Only Indiana and North Carolina swapped between 2008 and 2012 despite a 7.2% vs 3.9% popular vote meaning 3.3% swing red. Clinton lost Florida and 5 West/Lake states from 2012 Obama.

Whenever Bernie campaigns in small rural/red states he will gain both a primary and general boost in all of these states. These effects should stack. A strong tour through 4-5 state groupings of relevant states plus good ad spend and potentially a deal with Democratic leadership should allow a relatively strong sweep.

The second factor is that people see where you campaign generally. Clinton pushed California and New York hard and ignored most of the Midwest and Great Lakes. A smart democratic candidate who campaigned in relevant states strongly in the general but also hard in the primaries could swing most of the states Democrats lost from 2012 to 2016. They could also pick up Indiana and Missouri as well as North Carolina. West Virginia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma are possibly on the table for a candidate who campaigns strongly in the Outer South and Midwest and in rural red states. This would involve a brilliant general election campaign but its doable.

Those are both general campaign concerns for all states in the primary and the general. As far as the small states specifically you need an effective message but you also don't want to turn off more urban and non-white voters. You don't need to carry the Greater South to win but you need to be averaging 40-50% there. What you probably want to do is be open and honest. Talk about your plans for non-white and urban voters in rural white states. Do the reverse in more urban and less white states. Campaign on issues that don't conflict and don't be caught giving different messages in different places. As Mayor Pete says its a season for boldness. As a candidate who is an unapologetic social Democrat Bernie should be able to handle radical honesty in what his plans are.

As far as the issues themselves the best option is obviously the New Deal. A greener New Deal than FDRs. Preach infrastructure, highways, etc. Talk about national parks and conservation. Discuss wind and solar farms and so forth. These issues play to millennial climate change and environmental concerns and they promise investment long term in white rural states that have national parks, monuments, and conservation areas. South Dakota has the Badlands. I went there as a Boy Scout. Nature tourism plays well in the Ozarks, in the white water rivers of North Carolina, in Florida and Texas. Philmont Scout ranch is a beautiful property in New Mexico. Again, Scout trip there when I was young. My family has made multiple trips to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Don't spout bullshit about retraining as coders. All that will do is suck away the young talent. And it won't help 40-70 year olds. Voters aren't stupid.

Talk about causes championed by activists in the state. West Virginia was famous for unions in the past and they do good work on prison reform now. Oklahoma was the home of both Black Wall Street and the American Socialist Party which worked to unite black and white share croppers, homesteaders and farmers. There are all kinds of ways to show respect for states and voters.

Another critical issue is also about respect. Saying that people who voted for Trump are not bad people. Some of them are of course but many bad people voted for Hillary, too. Sanders should be working to salvage the people and votes that can be salvaged.

One powerful reason to go to this trouble is that guess what, not only do these states have 2 Senators and admirable histories as progressive and Democratic states that embodied the frontier spirit of early America, but they can also ratify constitutional amendments. And a Sanders administration would want to be passing amendments and getting bills through the Senate that need 60 votes. Even if you write off the older generation, which I don't advise, you can connect with the young voters who will soon be the political leaders in these states. You don't have to flip them all blue in one 4 year term.

Democrats may find that there are a lot of voters ready to vote for the right candidate over Trump. We must not subject our citizens to the tyranny of low expectations. Just as many on the left argue that we should not treat black students or black urban youth that way, young white and even older white people are not deplorable, or worthless, or lost to us.

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The Bernie 50 State Strategy Series: South Carolina, The Black Vote, And Victory

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TL;DR Sanders needs to campaign heavily and spend hard but he only needs to hit an average of 30-35% in Southern states to win. Also jump below the break to avoid the 2016 facts recap and skip right to 2020.

Its times to talk about one of the most divisive issues from the 2016 election. Bernie Sanders and the black vote. Bernie Sanders received approximately 28% of the black vote in the Democratic primaries. This caused him to fall behind in the Southern states as they voted early in the primary and never recover. Hillary Clinton organized the entire black establishment, with help from Barack Obama who not only endorsed her but frog marched Joe Biden into the Rose Garden, staying by his side the whole way so he wouldn't change his mind, to announce that he wouldn't run. Its highly like that in a 3 candidate race, sorry Martin, Bernie would have ended up with 20-25% of the vote and endorsed Joe Biden for some serious concessions to the progressive agenda.

90% of all black voters vote Democratic, 95% in the case of Barack Obama's historic 2008 victory. That means that a large majority of conservative black voters vote Democratic while a large majority of white conservatives vote Republican. Meanwhile we see a far larger proportion of Hispanic and Latino as well as Asian voters vote Republican. This neatly explains a lot of the variance between the support of black voters for Sanders and Asian and Hispanic voters. For obvious reasons Clinton received something like 95%+ of conservative non-white votes. Sanders for obvious reasons picked up a large percentage of progressive, leftist and liberal non-white votes. They then competed for the votes of liberal and moderate non-white voters. A similar divide occurs among white voters. 90% of conservative white voters and some smaller percentage of moderate white voters vote Republican. As such the white vote was stacked in the favor of Sanders even more than the non-black, non-white vote. Of course this is obvious, boring, doesn't support the centrist corporate narrative and doesn't generate clicks online. And most "neutral" political outlets lean towards the moderate side of the Democratic party. Whether the staff was ordered from on high doesn't matter because their personal prejudices came into play. 538 for instance was on the ball about demographics as far as votes and polls but as usual their attempts to be pundits failed totally. I choose not to name names but most of the people who added to this dynamic are pretty obvious even to a casual observer.


However the point of this post is not to re-litigate the 2016 primaries. Here is a table of delegate/vote share targets in the states I'm counting as Southern. Certain states are excluded as I'm putting them in other categories. In fact this post will briefly discuss the other states that many people might consider part of the South and what category I'm including them in instead and why.

The Core South:

State Delegate Total Bernie Delegate Target 2016 Delegate Total
Georgia 105 35%+ (40) Bernie 29[28.2%] (Hillary 73) 102 Total
South Carolina 54 25%+ (14) Bernie 14[26.0%] (Hillary 39) 53 Total
Louisiana 50 35%+ (17) Bernie 14[23.2%] (Hillary 37) 51 Total
Alabama 52 30%+ (17) Bernie 9[19.2%] (Hillary 44) 53 Total
Mississippi 36 35%+ (14) Bernie 5[16.6%] (Hillary 31) 36 Total

As you can see Bernie will have to significantly improve his totals to meet my delegate targets. You may wonder why South Carolina has the lowest delegate target and share of the vote, pretty much identical to 2016. That is because although unlike Iowa and New Hampshire Bernie can't pretty much ignore South Carolina it is an early state and will be heavily focused on. He will need to finish above 15% there so as not to get shut out of delegates but it would be way harder to push up his vote totals in South Carolina compared to other states. By campaigning in states he barely visited last time and especially focusing on Georgia, Bernie can efficiently contact voters who won't be inundated by negative ads and dealing with an overload of candidates showing up at the door. As I mentioned in a previous post, there is a decent increase in vote share available if you are one of one or two candidates that actually makes contact with most voters. And the other candidates won't be prepared for a large and active volunteer network with actual funding and campaign support behind it.

Now lets move on to the other states people might argue should be classified as in the South. First we'll do Texas and Florida. Delegate rich states that are technically in the South. However they have vastly larger Hispanic/Latino populations and are also much more likely to be swing states.

The Big Swing South:

State Delegate Total Bernie Delegate Target 2016 Delegate Total
Texas 228 40%+ (95) Bernie 75[33.2%] (Hillary 147) 222 Total
Florida 219 40%+ (90) Bernie 73[33.3%] (Hillary 141) 214 Total

Bernie contested these states much more heavily than any of the core Southern states. He did much better here due to his stronger Hispanic/Latino support and because he spent big and had lots of volunteers and he set up early on. Typically I am requiring Bernie to make up far less ground here than in Core Southern states because he started higher. These 2 states are where he has the most room for growth from my delegate targets. Since my targets put him 76 delegates short of a first round majority he'll need that expansion opportunity. Furthermore although there are potentially two strong Texas contenders I do not advise the same path as I did for California. These states vote later, are more friendly to Sanders and are also cheaper, though only in comparison to Florida. On top of that Florida is a certified swing state and Texas is trending strongly blue. The Democratic candidate who is a good fit for Texas and Florida gains a lot of credibility as a general election candidate. Also aside from Texas favored sons most candidates won't be able to spend freely like Sanders will or have the organization to power volunteer canvassing. Now we move to the last grouping.

The Outer South:

State Delegate Total Bernie Delegate Target 2016 Delegate Total
North Carolina 110 50%+ (60) Bernie 47[41.0%] (Hillary 60) 107 Total
Virginia 99 40%+ (40) Bernie 33[35.2%] (Hillary 62) 95 Total
Maryland 79 40%+ (30) Bernie 35[33.8%] (Hillary 60) 95 Total
Tennessee 64 60%+ (38) Bernie 23[32.5%] (Hillary 44) 67 Total
Kentucky 46 60%+ (28) Bernie 27[46.3%] (Hillary 28) 55 Total
Oklahoma 37 60%+ (24) Bernie 22[51.9%] (Hillary 18) 40 Total
Arkansas 31 50%+ (17) Bernie 10[30.0] (Hillary 22) 32 Total
West Virginia 24 70%+ (18) Bernie 18[51.4%] (Hillary 11) 29 Total

These are states I address in different places. I include Oklahoma and Arkansas in my Iowa post. However I didn't have the delegate targets when I wrote it so I'll talk about them here. The other states I sort of group together as Appalachia. That's why you see West Virginia included. Maryland is a little less Southern than Virginia but its a state with a large urban metro area, Baltimore, and quite a lot of black voters relative to New England. So its similar demographically to the other states. As you can see unfortunately based on the 2016 vote many states where Bernie did better and where I have him improving decently took hits to their delegate counts because they went hard for Trump. Bit self-defeating to disenfranchise states that went red since blue states already support you but that's the Democrats for you.

I have Bernie picking up a lot of the vote in the Outer South states and although nearly every single one lost total delegates after 2016 he will get a decent delegate share as well. In fact as Bernie campaigns there I would advise him to mention how their states lost representation and why, because Hillary was a bad candidate for them. With Bernie at the helm in 2020 most of these states would see quite an increase in vote share based delegate count. An important factor is that establishment candidates are quite split while Bernie voters so far really only have him and Warren and I wouldn't expect Warren to get passed the early states in a primary campaign where Bernie is doing well. That means that a lot of their votes will be wasted in these states, as none of them use a caucus. I'd expect to see splits between Harris, Booker, Gillibrand, Castro and Beto that would put a few of them below the 15% line. In fact unfortunately in the very high share Bernie states I'm actually relying on this phenomenon to cushion Bernie and perhaps if he campaigns super well get him the last 76 delegates he needs to get to 50%+1.

Its relevant to note that he needs to spend his campaign time and money very well and get strong on the issues and avoid major gaffes in order to crack the first round win threshold. Its highly unlikely other candidates would side with him if he was at 40% of delegates or even 45%. The establishment absolutely does not want him to win.

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The Bernie 50 State Strategy: The 30/40/50/60/70 System: How Bernie Win More Than 50% Of All Pledged Delegates(2020 Primary Delegate Tables Inside)

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This post is about the core strategy of the 50 state system. I've already discussed how to allocate resources in smarter ways to get the most out of each dollar and donor and volunteer. Now I'm going to talk about actual delegate math.

According to my numbers Bernie will get 1806 delegates. As 1885 pledged delegates are required to win the ballot in the first round we'll need to make up some delegates somewhere. I have Bernie doing his worst in large diverse states and in the South. Part of this is that the 50 state strategy advocates allowing the huge mass of other candidates to expend tons of money and time in California while Bernie just tries to stay in the top 3 and above the 15% cut off. Its similar in New York. Its also relevant to note that all of the 3 highest delegate count states have home state Senators/political leaders running for the nomination. Harris and potentially Garcetti in California, Castro and potentially Beto in Texas, and Gillibrand in New York. I do advocate that Sanders campaign hard in Florida and Texas, which results in their slightly higher target percentages. The ideal place to make up a 79 delegate shortfall is in these large states.

I have Sanders sweeping the delegates in a lot of small states and/or rural and/or Northern Red states. Indeed he is above 70% in every state with fewer delegates than Nevada. All of these states have demographics that strongly favor him and also without a single powerful opposing candidate most candidates won't have volunteer operations or even funding to compete in these states. The second frontier for Bernie is to head to his 60% states and try to gain enough vote share to knock a few more candidates below 15% freeing up their potential delegates. However given the field and certain sort of laws about politics its a lot harder to make up votes in states where you are already doing very well. The third and final option is a stronger push in the South.

I have not yet written my Southern System article about how Sanders can improve on his numbers among these voters. This is probably his best shot. Unfortunately Southern states, excluding Florida and Texas, as well as Oklahoma and Arkansas, don't have a lot of delegates to offer. He'll probably need a mix of all three strategies to come out with enough delegates for a first round victory.

To some degree we also need to consider who has the other delegates in his best states and who he is competing with in the Midwest and the Rust Belt. Potentially Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown could be holding onto Iowa and New Hampshire delegates and maybe some delegates from big North Eastern, Great Lakes, and Midwest states. They are the only two candidates likely to be willing to break with the party and put Bernie over the top, although I know many people still hold some resentment for their choice not to endorse Bernie in 2016.

On another note I am looking into making an interactive page with maybe maps and interactive tables so people can fiddle with delegate counts and percentages themselves.

State Delegate Total Bernie Delegate Target
California 416 30%+ (135)
Texas 228 40%+ (95)
New York 224 35%+ (70)
Florida 219 40%+ (90)
Illinois 155 55%+ (80)
Pennsylvania 153 60%+ (80)
Ohio 136 60%+ (75)
Michigan 125 60%+ (70)
North Carolina 110 50%+ (60)
New Jersey 107 40%+ (45)
Georgia 105 35%+ (40)
Washington 101 60%+ (60)
Virginia 99 40%+ (40)
Massachusetts 91 50%+ (48)
Maryland 79 40%+ (30)
Wisconsin 77 60%+ (48)
Minnesota 77 60%+ (48)
Indiana 70 60%+ (44)
Missouri 68 50%+ (38)
Arizona 67 30%+ (20)
Colorado 67 40%+ (24)
Tennessee 64 60%+ (38)
Connecticut 64 45%+ (32)
South Carolina 54 25%+ (14)
Alabama 52 30%+ (17)
Oregon 52 70%+ (40)
Puerto Rico 51 45%+ (24)
Louisiana 50 35%+ (17)
Kentucky 46 60%+ (28)
Iowa 44 30%+ (14)
Oklahoma 37 60%+ (24)
Mississippi 36 35%+ (14)
Nevada 35 35%+ (14)
Kansas 33 60%+ (23)
Arkansas 31 50%+ (17)
Utah 29 60%+ (20)
New Mexico 29 40%+ (14)
Nebraska 25 70%+ (20)
New Hampshire 24 45%+ (12)
Maine 24 70%+ (18)
West Virginia 24 70%+ (18)
Hawaii 22 70%+ (16)
Rhode Island 21 80%+ (18)
Idaho 20 80%+ (17)
Delaware 17 70% (12)
Vermont 16 85%+ (16)
Montana 16 80%+ (14)
Alaska 14 80%+ (14)
North Dakota 14 80%+ (14)
South Dakota 14 80%+ (14)
Wyoming 13 80%+ (13)

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The Bernie 50 State Strategy: What To Do Instead Of Camp Out In New Hampshire

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New Hampshire, like Iowa usually sees massive investment from candidates. But not only did Bernie win decisively but its next to Vermont and very friendly to him.

Sanders, as noted in the Iowa post, spend about 50 days and 20 million dollars in New Hampshire. Given the chance he raises significantly more money its really the 50 days that are most valuable.

Sanders can count on 40-50% in New Hampshire even if he doesn't campaign hard there.

Instead he should be heading out to the delegate rich Great Lakes states. Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are worth ~500 delegates total. Sanders should be looking to spend strong here and make lots of stops. Specifically he should focus his stops mostly in midsize and small towns. He'll want to reach voters in areas that receive little attention. Also voters from working class rural areas are his base for these states. Of course you don't want to ignore the big cities but he already has strong and organized volunteer groups here. A big rally in each major city ought to be good enough to beef up volunteer activity.

For the purposes of the 50 state strategy I've divided states into 5 groups. 30/40/50/60/70. He needs to hit each of those percentages in 20 percent of states to get 50% of the vote. He will over perform 70% in a lot of states. Especially small white states, and especially in caucus states.

In the 20 smallest states I expect Sanders to land 85%-100% of the delegates. This is because other poorer candidates with a focus in the early states and in large states like California don't really have the time, funding, or volunteer support and organization to canvas these states. Also a lot of them are very rural, white, and they tend to be Republican. Also they are pretty similar to Vermont. A couple of these states are southern so his average might be dragged down. These 20 states out of 51(Puerto Rico counts) are worth 494 delegates. That is 13% of all delegates. Sanders will probably be able to grab 420 delegates here, 85% of the total when you account for doing a bit worse in Mississippi and Nevada but he is going for 86% in Vermont and ND and SD and a couple others, shutting out any competition. 420 delegates is 11% of the total he needs to win so this will be a big help and cost him relatively little financially and visit wise.

The previously mentioned delegate rich great lakes states are in the 60% category. He needs to end up with 300 of the ~500 available delegates from those states to be on course to win. All of these states are not caucuses which means any other candidate who gets 14% of the vote or less is doing Bernie a big favor. If he was to get 50% of the vote he could easily wind up with 60-70% of all the delegates.

Indiana, 70 delegates, Illinois 155 delegates, and West Virginia 24 delegates are also on the list for getting resources that most candidates would waste in the Life Free Or Die state. Sanders needs to break 60%, or get 60% of the delegates at least. Sanders did very well in these states in 2016 but not quite 60%. However because these are not caucus states the same rules apply. A Cory Booker/Kamala Harris split of the black vote could put Bernie in a position to achieve his goals with only 50% of the vote if Beto and Gillibrand split the white party loyalist vote and especially if Bernie can get a good chunk of the Hispanic/Latino vote and keep Castro below the 15% delegate minimum.

Min-maxing the minimum vote threshhold is going to be key to Bernie picking up a decent early lead. Ideally the hodgepodge of party backed candidates stays in at least until Super Tuesday to split the fundraising and the vote.

Bernie will have to put in some serious work to make sure he never drops below 20% of the vote in any states but he is in the cat bird's seat right now.

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