Video: Why Bernie Sanders is Actually Winning by College Humor

Five states are voting today, and Bernie Sanders is not expected to do very well, so of course this morning there was a fresh conspiracy theory to explain away this pending blow against his bid for the Democratic Party nomination.

According to at least half the trending topics that were on Twitter at sunrise today, David Brock of Media Matters not only pays thousands of people to pretend to be Hillary Clinton fans online, but he temporarily took down a bunch of pro-Bernie Facebook pages last night by making false reports of inappropriate content. Shocking!

In reality, the event actually seems to have been a glitch in the server matrix, but this childish scenario has been building up on Facebook for weeks in an unacknowledged escalation. One of my Facebook friends had their account suspended for 24 hours last week; they verified that it was because a peeved Berniac had ‘reported’ their profile photo in exactly the same way.

Neither candidate has a monopoly on evil: the Sanders campaign also uses paid online messaging teams, for example, but try explaining that to his enraged supporters today.

Enthusiasm has clearly given way to negativity in Sanders-land. The ineluctable delegate math has finally begun to crush hope precisely as foreseen by the reality-based community, leading people to act out in fratricidal despair and frustration. Even as the Sanders campaign hedges its bets, the Bernie-or-bust noise grows more strident than ever. Having failed to win over voters, the new objective is to delegitimize Clinton so that her victory causes them less anguish.

Tim Robbins was tweeting accusations of voter fraud yesterday based on his deeply flawed understanding of how exit polls work; there are perhaps a million Sanders partisans echoing him online today. Thankfully, trended hashtags and memes and blog posts are not votes.

Live entries

6:45  – No results yet from any of the states voting today; Nate Silver explains that Sanders needs to win almost 60% of remaining delegates to have a shot at winning the nomination.

7:01 – The polls are closing on the east coast, and Steve Kornacki has an early snapshot of the Maryland electorate:

7:15 – We’re still waiting for the first results, but MSNBC is showing Sanders standing before a crowd touting his supposed success in head-to-head matchups against Republicans. This might just be the most annoyingly overstated argument for his candidacy because of two key points: (1) long-term polls are exactly as reliable as 90-day weather forecasts, and (2) Sanders still has high favorability ratings only because the conservative attack machine has yet to focus on the glaring weaknesses that Clinton has not deigned to exploit. If he’s so darned electable, then why isn’t he winning?

7:25 – The earliest returns from Connecticut show Clinton building a substantial lead in the urban areas of the state. Sanders is doing best in Rhode Island with just 3% of precincts counted.

7:32 – NBC is calling Delaware for Clinton. Early returns show her with a substantial lead there.

7:38 – Looks like Sanders is competitive in Connecticut so far, but I can’t wait to see what the residents of Sandy Hook think of his industry-friendly stance on gun manufacturer liability.

7:44 – Delaware returns are coming in fast, and Clinton is winning the state decisively. Connecticut looks like a squeaker.

7:51 – I watched Kornacki explain the daunting mathematics of a Sanders comeback just now, followed by Sanders supporter Sen. Jeff Merkley once again touting ‘intangible’ factors to pump up his candidate. Clearly, the Democratic nomination is coming down to a contest between wishful thinking and cruel, cold numbers.

7:57 – There was little polling in Rhode Island and lots of speculation that Sanders could win there; he’s currently leading.

8:01 – Delaware is almost done counting votes, and it’s not even close. Clinton will add 20,000 ballots to her overall popular vote lead in Joe Biden’s home state.

8:03 – Sanders is just getting killed in Pennsylvania; Clinton is winning handily by a margin in the tens of thousands of votes.

8:07 – MSNBC keeps calling Maryland for Clinton based on exit polling, but there are still no hard numbers being reported yet.

8:09 – We just got the first precinct reports from Maryland and Clinton is winning the state handily.

8:14 – Rhode Island has just been called for Sanders, and he’s leading narrowly in Connecticut, but my quick back-of-the-envelope math shows that Clinton’s overall vote lead may hit three million tonight.

8:22 – Clinton’s victory speech seems at least partially calculated to win over Sanders supporters. Without a surge of a few thousand votes, she won’t win Connecticut, but she’s still doing so well tonight that she can afford to be generous and pivot to a general election stance.

8:28 – The AP says that according to their analysis, “Clinton can lose every remaining primary by a wide margin and still capture her party’s nomination” after tonight’s victories.

8:37 – Steve Kornacki says that most of Clinton’s best precincts in Connecticut haven’t reported yet, so she might go 4/5 tonight after all.

9:03 – Berniedom is melting down across social media tonight. As I click around to look at their feeds, it’s clear that denial rules the moment. Despite an utter lack of evidence, Clinton’s huge delegate lead is now adjudged fake, while her massive wins are somehow considered fraudulent, just because people desperately want to disbelieve they are real. And guess who’s appealing to those folks? Donald Trump is giving his victory speech right now, and one of the first things out of his mouth was the hope that Sanders will get so mad at “unfair” treatment by the Democratic Party that he forms a third-party run. .

9:08 – Clinton is on track to gain at least 500,000 ballots tonight, extending her lead in the popular vote well past three million. She’s still about 800 votes behind in Connecticut at the moment.

9:13 – Clinton is almost doubling Sanders’s vote total in Maryland.

9:16 – Those Connecticut urban boxes are coming in; Clinton has just leaped 1,000 votes ahead of Sanders.

9:19 – MSNBC can never seem to break away from a Trump speech, but I notice that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie looks ashen behind him, as if endorsing the reality show star has drained the very life from his body.

9:23 – MSNBC calculates that Clinton is now 311 delegates away from clinching the nomination.

9:27 – With 75% of precincts reporting, Clinton is leaving Sanders behind in Connecticut, where her lead has increased to almost 5,000 votes.

9:34 – NBC is calling Connecticut for Clinton.

9:51 – Well, that’s a wrap. With 87% of Connecticut precincts reporting, an 11,000-vote gap, and only Clinton-friendly urban boxes left, Sanders has effectively been locked out of the nomination. He can’t achieve a majority of pledged delegates without absurdly-high margins of victory in the remaining states, but Clinton is just 280 delegates shy of clinching the entire contest.