Per a nice overview piece by Vox, whether we go by "pledged" delegates plus "publicly committed" superdelegates, as the AP did in calling Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee, or by "pledged" delegates only, or by popular vote count from Democratic primaries and caucuses only, Hillary Clinton has the lead — with an outright majority — on Bernie Sanders.
Sorry, but period and end of story.
Maybe we could count left-handed Albanian-American independents who voted in open primaries and find that Sanders won, but that's not the way things work.
Whether by the AP's nose-counting, per the one method that does matter, or the two reasonable surrogates, Hillary Clinton is the winner.
As for the idea of clawing away superdelegates? Barack Obama did that eight years ago, yes, but AFTER he took a lead in pledged delegates, something Sanders has never had.
Even if he wins California, he's not likely to swap superdelegates to his side if he loses New Jersey by 15 or more. That's especially true since New Jersey, like California is a "mixed" primary. No, not totally "open" but closer to "open" than to "closed." Losing it will undercut his campaign's claim about his strength among independents.
Beyond that, in general, a California split plus a clear loss in New Jersey will not be a strong selling point. And, given that New Jersey has more delegates on tap than all the "lesser" primaries tonight, I expect Clinton to expand her lead in "pledged" delegates by 50 or so.
So, the lead Clinton already in election-derived delegates I expect will only increase tonight. Holding your breath until your face turns blue won't change that, Sandernistas. And, you know what? In 2008, Obama didn't have a majority of total delegates from only his elected delegates total; he, too, needed superdelegates to go over the top.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders' other biggest enemy is Donald Trump. Yes, Sanders may still poll better against the Donald than does Clinton, but, as Trump enters new rounds of self-destructiveness, Clinton too is expanding her polling lead against him. That, then, undercuts one of his last claims to try to get superdelegates to move to him.
I love Sanders as a disruptor of the current Democratic Party establishment, to the degree he is. I love the enthusiasm of Sandernistas, even while deploring the willingness of some to engage in conspiracy thinking. (That includes Glenn Greenwald. Note to Glenn: private phone calls, emails or whatever by AP writers to ascertain superdelegate voting plans is NOT "secret conversations," except in conspiracy-land.)
But, even if I feel the need to state it ever more bluntly, as part of my selling the need to vote Plan B, Green Party in the general election, Sandernistas need to start facing reality.
Bernie Sanders will not be the Democratic nominee. Period and end of story.
As for you, you can decide if you want to actually try to revolutionize American presidential politics or not, see friend Brains' latest installment on this issue for some good thoughts. I hope you do — but, to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if, in the end, there is no huge surge to the Green Party. Sad but true.