About the California Primary

california-flag-bear-flagThere’s a smattering of talk about the uncounted votes in the June 7th California Primary with some even claiming that Bernie Sanders is the actual winner.

Let’s look at the math, one more time.

The first place to start is with the vote count. Here are the numbers per the Associated Press (AP).


To win California, Sanders would need an additional 438,538 votes.

Here’s a screen print of the Estimated Unprocessed Ballots as of the end of day, 9 June 2016. And here are the corresponding numbers.

  • Total Unprocessed (uncounted) votes:  2,586,331
  • Mail-In Ballots: 1,801,216
  • Provisional ballots: 705,489
  • “Other”: 79,026

There is a possibility that Sanders could win with over 2.5 million votes outstanding.

Let’s look at a breakdown of Uncounted votes by Precinct. Here are the seven precincts with the highest number of outstanding votes.

  • Los Angeles: 616,056
  • San Diego: 285,000
  • Orange: 206,285
  • Alameda: 151,853
  • Sacramento: 136,632
  • Riverside: 128,415
  • Santa Clara: 107,500

Significantly, Hillary Clinton won all seven of these precincts, and by double-digit margins in all but one.

  • Los Angeles :  Clinton 57% – Sanders 42% (+15)
  • San Diego: Clinton 55.1% – Sanders 44.1% (+11)
  • Orange: Clinton 57% – Sanders 42% (+15)
  • Alameda: Clinton 53.7% – Sanders 45.8% (+7.9)
  • Sacramento: Clinton 56.9% – Sanders 42.1% (+14.8)
  • Riverside: Clinton 59.9% – Sanders 39% (+20.9)
  • Santa Clara: Clinton 60.5% – Sanders 38.8% (+21.7)

If the past is a predictor of the future, it seems unlikely that Sanders could overturn the trending popular vote. But even if he did, it is a moot point. Clinton had already reached the required number of pledged delegates to be called the presumptive Democratic nominee before the California primary.

The only path forward for the Sanders campaign, in the unlikely event it won the state, was to use it as leverage to flip super-delegates. After yesterday’s major endorsements by President Obama, Vice President Biden and Senator Warren, and the closing of party ranks, that strategy is useless.

Hillary Clinton IS the Democratic nominee for President. Game over for Sanders.







  1. Grace, sorry but when you wrote # of votes Sanders needs to win, did you leave out a few numbers? 438,538 seems low. Possible that I just read wrong, so sorry if that’s the case.


    1. Hi Sadie, I edited this by including a few words to show an additional 438,538 votes would be needed for a win. Thanks for pointing this out.


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