Sanders' formula for delegate victory evaporating in March

Sen. Bernie Sanders admits that Tuesday's contests hurt him from a delegate point of view

WASHINGTON -- Bernie Sanders' mathematical path to winning enough delegates for the Democratic nomination is rapidly disappearing.

“Last night obviously was not a good night for our campaign from a delegate point of view,” Sanders told reporters Wednesday in Burlington, Vermont.

Both delegate allocation math and voting history show how unlikely it is for Sanders to overtake Biden.

While there are still more than two dozen delegates to be allocated from California’s ongoing vote count, trends would give both Biden and Sanders 10 more with the rest going to other candidates. That means that Sanders is unlikely to gain much more on Biden from the California delegates that have not yet been allocated, according to The Associated Press delegate count.

The intricate arithmetic of how delegates are won makes it even tougher for Sanders. Delegates are given out proportionally to candidates who get at least 15% of the vote. And in most cases, that’s both Biden and Sanders and no other candidates, except statewide in Mississippi, where Sanders just missed the mark statewide.

When there are an even number of delegates up for grabs in a district or statewide and a race is fairly close, the two candidates often split the delegates. It takes a big margin in votes to pick up an extra delegate.

That makes it rather difficult for the candidate trailing, in this case Sanders, to catch up to the front-runner. After next Tuesday, more than half of the delegates up for grabs will be in these districts with an even number of delegates.