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Sabato’s Crystal Ball predicts Hillary Clinton will still get Democratic nod

in 2017/Top Headlines by

A University of Virginia-backed political blog predicts former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will still win the Democratic presidential nomination.

According to a report released Thursday, Clinton’s prospective victory would be despite lingering controversy over her use of a private email account for official business or the possibility of Vice President Joe Biden entering the race.

The report, put out by Sabato’s Crystal Ball, combines recent polling data with Democratic Primary turnout statistics from the 2008 election cycle.

Fox News’ most recent poll shows Clinton leads Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders 49-30 percent, with Biden capturing 10 percent. The numbers continue a downward trend for Clinton, who had 63 percent support among Democrats in Fox’s May poll.

Clinton’s support among minority voters, however, hasn’t wavered. When reported in polls, the former first lady gets more than 60 percent support among nonwhite Democrats compared to Sanders’ 14 percent and Biden’s 12 percent. The data puts Clinton in a strong position in states with large nonwhite electorates.

“What it really comes down to is this: There is no Barack Obama in this cycle’s Democratic field,” report author Geoffrey Skelly said. “Neither Joe Biden nor Bernie Sanders are likely to fill that role.

“Clinton’s solid support among nonwhite voters may endure even if Biden throws his hat in the ring, positioning her to remain the favorite in the long run.”

Coupled with 2008 primary statistics, population trends indicate 77 percent of presidential delegates will come from states with nonwhite electorates over 20 percent, with 45 percent coming from states with nonwhite electorates over 35 percent.

While Sanders’ rising support among white Democrats should help him do well in Iowa and New Hampshire, where he leads Clinton. As long as she remains reasonably competitive among white Democrats, she should come roaring back after the Southern states, nearly all of which have nonwhite electorates over 50 percent, have their say.

Florida, which has 238 delegates, has a nonwhite Democratic electorate of 34 percent. In 2008, Clinton defeated Obama by 17 points in Florida though the DNC stripped the state’s delegates before any votes were cast.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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