clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Election results 2016: Bernie Sanders wins Wyoming caucuses

Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

Another caucus, another win for Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator has been called the winner of Wyoming's Democratic caucuses by multiple media outlets, continuing a recent winning streak.

However, the exact amount of Wyoming's 14 delegates Sanders will come away will depend both on his final margin of victory — since Democratic contests all allot their delegates proportionally — and on the final outcome of the state Democratic convention next month. And early indications are that this isn't a complete blowout win for Sanders, like several other recent caucuses that he won by around 50 points.

Overall, though, 14 delegates aren't very many, so Wyoming's result won't change the overall delegate math very much. Sanders will remain about 200 delegates behind Clinton, and will need to win over 56 percent of the remaining pledged delegates to catch up to her.

Sanders has a winning streak going — but it's almost entirely from wins in caucus states

Sanders has now won seven of the last eight Democratic contests, surprising some political elites who had assumed the Democratic race was already over.

Yet this streak may mainly be an artifact of the calendar. Importantly, six of those seven victories came in states that were holding caucuses, not primaries. (In the two states that have held primaries since March 15, he won Wisconsin but lost Arizona.)

That matters because Sanders has dominated the caucus format so far, in which turnout tends to be low and campaign organization and enthusiasm can be crucial. He's won all 11 caucuses in US states since narrowly losing the first two in Iowa and Nevada.

Furthermore, he's often managed to win these caucuses by enormous margins, which has helped him haul in delegates and gain some ground on Clinton in the delegate chase. After the March 15 elections, Clinton led Sanders by over 300 delegates, now her lead is down near 200.

Unfortunately for Sanders, though, there is only one remaining caucus in a US state (North Dakota on June 7). Three caucuses in territories — Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands — do remain, but the preferences of the local Democratic machine there will likely hold sway. Clinton won the territorial caucuses (American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands) held in March.

So to have any hope of catching up to Clinton, Sanders is going to have to do very well across the board, but he especially needs to rack up wins in big primary states like New York (next up on April 19), Pennsylvania (a week afterward, on April 26), and California (June 7, the final day of voting). We'll see whether he can pull it off.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.