Brokered convention gets close 2nd place in FiveThirtyEight's Democratic nomination forecast

Kathryn Krawczyk

Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) closest presidential rival is no one at all.

After Sanders' win in Tuesday's New Hampshire primaries, FiveThirtyEight's projection bumped his chances of winning the Democratic presidential nomination up to 37 percent, or about one in three. Former Vice President Joe Biden is the next closest candidate with a distant 17 percent chance — but the possibility of a brokered convention is actually giving Sanders a run for his money. That outcome, which leaves the Democratic National Convention with no clear headliner, has a 36 percent chance of becoming reality, FiveThirtyEight forecasts.

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg follows Biden and the brokered convention with a five percent chance of winning. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who hasn't even competed in a primary yet, gets a four percent chance.

Then again, the "confusing" Democratic primary leaves FiveThirtyEight's forecast "a little confused, also," Nate Silver writes in an analysis of the projection. It's giving heavy credence to New Hampshire and Iowa's results, which were largely split between candidates but put Sanders narrowly on top, because there isn't much polling for the next primary states of Nevada and South Carolina. "So we'd encourage you to take the model with a large grain of salt until some of that post-New Hampshire polling comes in," Silver writes.

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