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Bernie vs. Hillary: The Real Popular Vote Count

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Hillary Bots and Bernie Bros can both agree that Sec. Clinton’s Democratic Primary lead of 3 million votes cannot be considered accurate if it does not include caucus voters’ results. So what would the vote count be if caucuses were included? After Shaun King’s recent (and mostly correct) proclamation that “NONE of those [caucus state] votes count in the ‘popular vote totals’“, the Broke-Ass Big Data Lab decided to take a crack at analyzing what the popular vote totals of the Democratic primary would be if caucus states’  votes were included.

As an undecided voter (yes, STILL. I have another 12 days!), the vote count in the primaries thus far is absolutely a factor in my decision. If the vote count is wrong because the caucus states aren’t included, I want to know that. So which candidate is ahead — and by how much — if you do include the caucus states?  


There are 15 states and US territories that held caucuses thus far. Indeed, many of these votes are not included in Sec. Clinton’s widely reported 3,031,245 vote lead. Those that did not report raw vote totals are Iowa, Nevada, American Samoa, Maine, Northern Marianas (!), Alaska, Washington and Guam.

But there are 7 caucus states that did report raw vote totals (Utah, Nebraska, Minnesota, Kansas, Idaho, Hawaii and Colorado), and these are included in Hillary’s 3 million vote lead. So it’s not like all the caucuses are excluded, but about half of them are.


NOTE: These are just some back-of-the-envelope projections where in some cases we took “rounded numbers” of reported voters (real numbers are not available for all caucuses!) and multiplied that by the reported percentage totals for each candidate. It’s not entirely accurate, but it’s the best we got. If anyone knows a better way to calculate this, let us know in the comments!

IOWA:186,000 Democratic votes

Clinton: 49.9% (92,814)

Sanders: 49.6% (92,256)

Clinton +558

NEVADA: 84,000 Democratic votes

Clinton: 52.6% (44,184)

Sanders: 47.3% (39,732)

Clinton +4,452

AMERICAN SAMOA: 223 Democratic votes

Clinton: 68.4% (162)

Sanders: 25.7% (61)

Clinton +101

MAINE:3,463 Democratic votes

Clinton: 35.5% (1,232)

Sanders: 64.3% (2,231)

Sanders +999

NORTHERN MARIANAS:167 Democratic votes

Clinton: 54% (102)

Sanders: 34.4% (65)

Clinton +37

ALASKA:10,610 Democratic votes

Clinton: 20.2% (2,146)

Sanders: 79.6% (8,447)

Sanders +6,301

WASHINGTON: 26,314 Democratic votes

Clinton: 27.1% (7,136)

Sanders: 72.7% (19,135)

Sanders +11,999

GUAM: 1,305 Democratic votes

Clinton: 59.5% (777)

Sanders: 40.5% (528)

Clinton +249


By this analysis, Sen. Sanders has cut into Ms. Clinton’s popular vote lead by 19,299 votes. She’s still well ahead, for now.

This total is negligible compared to what’s at stake on June 7. Nearly 5 million Democrats voted in the California 2008 primary, and turnout like that could completely change the math this year. Make sure you turn out at your polling place on June 7 and to be sure that your vote is included in the “real vote count”.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.