Below I have listed the total delegates, and my targets for Bernie, for the 18 smallest states, excluding Mississippi, Nevada, and New Hampshire, and adding Oklahoma. This is a total of 399 delegates, roughly identical to California’s total. These states account for 10.68% of total delegates. I have listed the targets in terms of delegates and not the popular vote. Delegate results can vary wildly from the popular vote depending on who fails to break 15%.

State Delegates Bernie’s Target 2016 % Date/Format
Oklahoma 37 80%+ (30) 55.3% March 3rd/Primary
Kansas 33 80%+ (26) 69.7% Unknown/Caucus
Arkansas 31 60%+ (19) 31.3% May 19th/Primary
Utah 29 70%+ (20) 81.2% Unknown/Caucus
New Mexico 29 70%+ (16) 47.1% June 2nd/Primary
Nebraska 25 80%+ (20) 60.0% Unknown/Primary
Maine 24 80%+ (19) 68.0% Unknown/Caucus
West Virginia 24 80%+ (19) 62.1% May 12th/Primary
Hawaii 22 80%+ (18) 68.0% Unknown/Caucus
Rhode Island 21 80%+ (17) 54.2% April 28th/Primary
Idaho 20 80%+ (16) 78.3% Unknown/Primary
Delaware 17 80%+ (14) 42.9% April 28th/Primary
Vermont 16 100% (16) 100.0% March 3rd/Primary
Montana 16 100% (16) 52.4% June 2nd/Primary
Alaska 14 100% (14) 81.3% Unknown/Caucus
North Dakota 14 100% (14) 72.2 Unknown/Caucus
South Dakota 14 100% (14) 50.0% June 2nd/Primary
Wyoming 13 100% (13) 50.0% Unknown/Caucus

If you do the math you see that I have Bernie’s target at 321 out of 399 potential delegates. That’s almost exactly an average of 80%. This would be equivalent to winning 77.25% of delegates in California. Getting 80% in these 18 states is actually far more plausible than scoring 77% in California. Bernie is assured of 100% in Vermont for one thing. There will be basically 0 competition in any of these states, perhaps excepting Delaware for obvious reasons. 7 states have caucuses which are a huge boost for Bernie, especially in a wide field.

The most significant factor in Bernie’s chance to hit these states hard is volunteer time and cash. If he gets started early in these states and articulates his strong positions on rural issues and plays up being from Vermont he will be unstoppable. A majority of the other candidates will be scrambling for votes in early states while Bernie already has immense power in Iowa and New Hampshire, and even perhaps Nevada. His rivals will not have the time or money to branch out and, Biden aside, they will not have much demographic or policy pull in these states.

Bernie can pick up 8.52% of the total delegates with the numbers I’ve set for his targets. That is 17% of the total he needs to win. That puts him way ahead of any other candidates. A 13% lead in a 1 v 1 race, as the remaining 78 delegates are 4% of the total needed to win. The advantage gained here can counter poor numbers in other competitive states. For instance if Bernie was to average 40% of the delegates in California, Texas, New York, and Florida, 1087 total delegates, against an opponent who hit 60% of the delegates, he would be behind 217 delegates. But he would have a net lead of 243 delegates from these 18 small states. That would put him at a combined lead of 26 delegates.

The 18 small states and 4 largest states account for 1486 delegates, 39.44% of the total. As noted in the previous post on medium to large mid west states, that is another 861 votes. That brings our total to 30 states and 62.28% of the delegates. With his net 26 delegates from the 18 and 4 states and a net of 205 delegates from the 8 medium to large states he sits at 231 net delegates. This means he only needs 596 or 41.94% of the remaining 1421 delegates to win. The remaining 21 states, counting Puerto Rico and the 4 early states, will be discussed in a future post.

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