Speed Reads

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Bernie Sanders tells Larry Wilmore the Democratic primary calendar 'distorts reality'

On Wednesday's Nightly Show, Larry Wilmore reminded guest Bernie Sanders that while he has won eight of the last nine Democratic caucuses and primaries, he's still pretty far behind Hillary Clinton in race for the nomination. "You have momentum right now," Wilmore said, "but it seems like Hillary has — I guess I would describe it as mathmentum. So do you have a path with the math, or is your path without the math?" Sanders said he has a math path, then explained why he believes he is trailing Clinton in delegates.

"You know, we started off this campaign having to run in the Deep South," Sanders said. "We didn't do all that well — it's a conservative part of our country. But since we've been out of the South, we're doing pretty well," and expect to do well in the "more progressive" states in the Northeast and West. "I think we have a real chance to win the pledged delegates," he said, and then the superdelegates will come his way.

Wilmore made a "superpredators" joke — a not-so-subtle dig at Clinton — noted that "Morning Joe" Scarborough said the primary system is "rigged," and asked Sanders, "What is your feeling on that?" Sanders replied: "Well, one can argue — people say, Why does Iowa go first? Why does New Hampshire go first? — but I think that having so many Southern states go first kind of distorts reality as well."

Clinton did build up her lead by beating Sanders by wide margins in Southern states like Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia, but some observers were puzzled at how Sanders' victories in conservative states like Idaho, Utah, and Oklahoma fit into his theory. Slate's Jamelle Bouie suggested that the big difference in the Southern states was their large black representation in the Democratic electorate, then asked this question:

He added in another tweet that "on the area most salient to Sanders, economics, black voters are collectively the most liberal group in America." If you want to follow that fight, scroll through Bouie's Twitter feed.