Aaron’s 2016 Primary Timeline


February 19 Bernie Sanders announces he is running for president. The announcement leads to a $6 million fundraising number in 24 hours.

April 12 Via YouTube video, Hillary Clinton announces she is running for president.

September 15 Rep. Kevin McCarthy appears on Hannity. He essentially admits that the Benghazi hearing was meant to do political damage to Hillary Clinton. Hannity agrees this is a good thing.

October 22 Hillary Clinton testifies before the Benghazi Committee for 11 hours.

November 2 The Benghazi Committee hearing was good for Clinton’s numbers. Specifically, fewer voters are concerned with the email issue. Fewer voters also are expressing dissatisfaction with Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi incident.

December 16 A data breach gives the Bernie Sanders campaign staff access to some of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s voter information.

January 7 Planned Parenthood Action Fund announces it will endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. This is the first time in the organization’s history that it has endorsed a candidate in a presidential primary.

January 20 In an interview with Rachel Maddow, Bernie Sanders addresses Clinton endorsements from groups such as Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign. He says:

“We’re taking on not only Wall Street and the economic establishment, we’re taking on the political establishment. So, I have friends and supporters in the Human Rights Fund [sic], in Planned Parenthood. But you know what, Hillary Clinton has been around there for a very, very long time, and some of these groups are in fact part of the establishment. I will challenge anybody with regard to my record on LGBT issues. I was one of the few, relatively few, to oppose and vote against DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act], et cetera. In terms of women’s rights, I believe we have a 100 percent lifetime pro-choice record.”

To Bernie, Clinton’s PP endorsement was because she’s “establishment.” Not because she is the most-likely-to-win candidate ever who also is the owner of a uterus. Not because of her bold declaration of September 1995 before the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing that “women’s rights are human rights.”

February 1:
Hillary Clinton wins the Iowa Caucus. Pledged delegates TTD: Hillary, 23; Bernie, 21.

Martin O’Malley leaves the race.

February 9 Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire Democratic primary, the first primary and the second nominating contest in the election. Pledged delegates TTD: Bernie, 36; Hillary, 32.

March 1 Super Tuesday. States voting include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, American Samoa. Pledged delegates TTD: Hillary, 606; Bernie, 415. Clinton leads by 191 delegates.

March 5 Louisiana, Kansas, Nebraska. Pledged delegates TTD: Clinton 653, Sanders 467. Clinton leads by 196 delegates.

March 8 Michigan and Mississippi. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 765, Sanders 556. Clinton leads by 209 delegates.

March 15 Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio. Pledged delegates TTD: Clinton 1,166 Sanders 852. Clinton leads by 314 delegates.

March 22 Arizona, Iowa, Utah. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 1,219, Sanders 930. Clinton leads by 289 delegates.

March 26 Alaska, Hawaii, Washington. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 1,257, Sanders 1,034. Clinton leads by 223 delegates.

April 5 Wisconsin. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 1,295, Sanders 1,082. Clinton leads by 213 delegates.

April 19 New York. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 1,141, Sanders 1,197. Sanders leads by 56 delegates.

April 24: The date of an e-mail from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, responding to an article describing the ways Sanders felt the DNC was undermining his campaign. She wrote back, “Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do.”

She’s not wrong.

April 26 Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 1,667, Sanders 1,364. Clinton leads Sanders by 303 delegates.

May 2: Sanders says there will be a contested convention and that the system is “rigged.”

May 3: Sanders wins the primary in Indiana. This is seen as a surprise victory in the Indiana primary, as he won by a five-point margin despite trailing in all the state’s polls. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 1,706, Sanders 1,408. Clinton leads Sanders by 298 delegates.

May 5: The date of a leaked Democratic National Committee email suggesting that, at least in some regions, Bernie Sanders’ faith might be a vulnerability to exploit.

“It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”

The email was from Brad Marshall, then CFO of the DNC. Marshall’s Wikipedia article From 1976 to 1980, Marshall held positions at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche in Lexington, followed by some time as a CPA. So he may have figured he knew the territory.

Later that day, Marshall responded to the email thread he had started: “It’s these [sic] Jesus thing.”

There was a reply from DNC CEO Amy K. Dacey, who simply replied, “AMEN.”

That was the end of this e-mail thread. This was a single brain fart from the DNC’s money guy that went nowhere. A single person threw this idea against the wall one day, and it did not stick. The DNC did not call Bernie Sanders out on his faith.

But you’d better get ready if he’s the nominee because you can bet your Gideon’s Bible that the Republican Party will.

May 6 Let’s clear up some confusion about the superdelegates and Bernie Sanders (Vox)

May 14-15 Nevada. Nevada, Nevada, Nevada.



May 17: Date of a leaked e-mail from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who took exception to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver’s defense of his candidate’s supporters.

“Damn liar,” she wrote. “Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and
threatening behavior that occurred.”

Weaver had said:

“There was a horrendous breakdown, where the leadership there in Nevada hijacked the process on the floor, created a tremendous amount of angst among people who were there attending the convention, who were supporters of Sen. Sanders, by ignoring the regular procedure and ramming through what they wanted to do.”

Politifact flagged this claim as “false.”


Jeff Weaver was a “damn liar.”

May 18: The New York Times reports:

“Advisers to Mr. Sanders said on Wednesday that he was newly resolved to remain in the race, seeing an aggressive campaign as his only chance to pressure Democrats into making fundamental changes to how presidential primaries and debates are held in the future.

“Tad Devine, a senior adviser to Mr. Sanders, said the campaign did not think its attacks would help Mr. Trump in the long run, but added that the senator’s team was’œnot thinking about’ the possibility that they could help derail Mrs. Clinton from becoming the first woman elected president.”

Also, CNN reports that a Sanders spokesman indicated the campaign would ask for a recount in Kentucky.

May 21: The date of a leaked DNC e-mail suggesting a narrative could be used to show that the Sanders campaign is a mess. The idea is nixed. National Communications Director Luis Miranda responds to the idea: “…the chair has been advised not to engage. So we’ll have to leave it alone.”


May 26: The Associated Press announces that Donald Trump achieves 1,237 delegates required to guarantee his nomination for the Republican Party.

Sanders tweets that he is willing to debate Trump. Very funny.

The Democratic National Committee and its cyber response team publicly announces that Russian hackers had compromised its computer network. (The Mueller Report)

June 1: The New York Times reports:

SPRECKELS, Calif. — Bernie Sanders signaled Wednesday that he would continue his presidential campaign beyond the California primary next week, saying he had the money to keep running until the Democratic National Convention next month.


While Mrs. Clinton is just 71 delegates shy of the 2,383 needed to clinch the nomination, Mr. Sanders said he was “feeling pretty good” about his campaign and hoped superdelegates would realize that he was the best candidate to beat Donald J. Trump in the general election. He also said he hoped the next week would bring victories that could help him make his case at the party’s convention in Philadelphia.

June 4 By now, there were recent contests in Guam, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, and the Virgin Islands. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 1,781, Sanders 1,492. Clinton leads Sanders by 289 delegates.

June 6: The Associated Press and NBC News state that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee.

June 7: California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 2,185, Sanders 1,833. Clinton leads Sanders by 352 delegates.

Sanders marks the occasion by shitting all over the Democratic Party.

“The message to the Democratic leadership is that if the Democratic Party is to be the party of working people and young people and the middle class, they’ve got to open up the doors,” said Sanders, noting the strong support he’s received from young adults. “You are the future of this country … and the Democratic Party has got to be a party that is more than its candidates going to wealthy peoples’ homes to raise outrageous sums of money.”


Also: Why the media were ready to call Clinton the ‘presumptive nominee’ (CNN)

June 9: Sanders meets with President Obama. After the meeting, he pledges to “…work as hard as I can, to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States.”

This does not apparently include conceding to the presumptive nominee.

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren formally endorse Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile on this date: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort meet with a Russian lawyer, ostensibly to get opposition research on Hillary Clinton.


June 16: Sen. Bernie Sanders declines to concede the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton.


July 6 Politico reports that Sanders met with House leaders and is cagey with them about if and when he intends to concede and endorse Clinton. At one point, he tells them: “The goal isn’t to win elections, the goal is to transform America.”

The House contingent booed Sanders.

July 12: Bernie Sanders finally concedes and endorses Hillary Clinton in Portsmouth, N.H.

Days between Clinton’s win as presumptive nominee and Bernie’s concession: 36. Hillary Clinton led by 200 to 300 delegates in most every voting event, and yet Bernie Sanders stayed in the race for 36 days after she was declared as the presumptive nominee and 47 days since the Republicans have declared DJT as their nominee. What a waste of resources for the Clinton campaign, to have to continue fighting off an adversary who was no longer mathematically able to achieve the nod for 36 days. This was an act of political malpractice on the part of the Sanders campaign that certainly contributed to Clinton’s loss, IMHO.

Bernie Sanders helped to get us Trump, like it or not. 

Candidate Trump holds a political rally in Westfield, Indiana. Introducing Trump, Stephen Miller tells the crowd that Sanders’ concession to Clinton means that “the system is rigged from top to bottom.”


July 22: Wikileaks releases its e-mails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. Many of these e-mails are referenced in this timeline.

July 25: The Washington Post reports on some of the worst revelations to come out of the DNC e-mail dump. Many of these references are included in this timeline. The Post’s reporting acknowledges, yet couches, an important point:

“Basically all of these examples came late in the primary — after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory — but they belie the national party committee’s stated neutrality in the race even at that late stage.”

July 22 WikiLeaks releases online tens of thousands of messages leaked from the e-mail accounts of seven key DNC staff. In her book What Happened, Clinton notes the timing of this release was meant to cause the most damage, released the week of the Democratic National Convention.

July 25-28The Democratic National Convention is held in Philadelphia.

July 25 The Democratic National Committee releases a statement apologizing to the Sanders campaign and to the Democratic Party for some comments revealed by the Wikipedia email dump.


And by the way his “let’s go get ’em” speech to his own supporters at the DNC convention was pathetic.

July 31
The FBI opens an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump campaign were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities. (The Mueller Report)

Oct. 7
The Washington Post publishes a video and accompanying article about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and television host Billy Bush having “an extremely lewd conversation about women” in 2005.

30 minutes later, WikiLeaks begins publishing thousands of emails from John Podesta’s Gmail account.

Oct. 28: FBI Director James Comey announced in a letter to Congress that the FBI learned of the existence of emails that appeared to be pertinent to the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email server and that the FBI would take steps to allow investigators to review these emails “to determine whether they contain classified information as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

Nov. 6 FBI Director James Comey writes a second letter to Congress: “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July.”

Nov. 8Election Day. Hillary Clinton wins the popular vote by 2.8 million but loses the electoral vote 304 to 227.

Aug. 25, 2017. A federal judge in Florida dismisses a class-action lawsuit brought by supporters of Sanders against the DNC. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/08/25/florida-judge-dismisses-fraud-lawsuit-against-dnc/?utm_term=.6665d8128efb

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