Bernie Sanders has improved his standing in the race to become the Democratic presidential nominee after successive East Coast victories in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. The 74-year-old Vermont Senator won his latest victory in the Maine caucus by claiming more than 64% of votes. As a result, Sanders has a real chance to beat Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
The US has a political system where states commonly host a primary or a caucus to determine the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates. Fundamentally, these systems differ in that state governments conduct primaries, whereas state parties host caucuses.
A primary can be a little simpler to understand, given that the process entails voters choosing their candidate in polling stations. Meanwhile, caucuses also vote on party business, which can require much more time and even put off some voters from attending.
A common example from recent years came when Obama won the 2008 Iowa Democratic caucus despite only 4% of eligible voters turning out. Given that Sanders has called for equality in outlining his stance on US political issues, he could continue to draw support from the party-focused members who attend caucuses.
Although Sanders pulled back with three states, it would appear that he still needs to make progress to close the gap on Hillary. At present, the 68-year-old former Secretary of State is priced by Coral Sports as 1/33 favourite ahead of Sanders at 10/1 to win the Democratic presidential candidacy.
In the Democratic race, Coral Sports is only taking bets on one other candidate – current Vice President Joe Biden at 25/1. The 73-year-old Pennsylvania native is still considered to be a potential candidate despite announcing in October 2015 that he would not be running. Standing alongside President Barack Obama, Biden stated he did not have “the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination.”
For Sanders to overturn the lead, he needs to win over Democratic voters who are leaning towards Hillary. On 8th March 2016, it was revealed in an NBC News poll of Democratic voters that Hillary held a 55 to 38 lead over Sanders. Her four-point increase on the previous poll gives her a 17-point lead with voters, which could have factored into her shorter odds.
In moving further ahead of Sanders, it appears that Democratic voters took notice of Hillary’s strong performance on Super Tuesday. On 1st March, Hillary claimed Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, while Sanders took Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont.
Nevertheless, it's still too early to discount Sanders, as the poll merely outlines voting preferences. Right now, Sanders’ supporters would point out their candidate’s success in winning caucus states, as well as states that traditionally vote for a Democratic candidate over a Republican. Recent wins have come from caucuses in Maine, Kansas and Nebraska.
For now, Sanders will remain the outsider unless he closes the gap on Hillary, but he does have hope in the form of the caucuses. Considering there are 27 state caucuses in the entire race, there could be time for surprises in the months ahead.
For all the latest odds in the Hillary Clinton vs Bernie Sanders Democratic Primary race, Visit Coral Sports today!
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