Well Hillary Clinton crushed Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina Democratic primary election last night, winning 73% of the votes and a proportional number of delegates to the Democratic Convention which will pick the nominee.
Clinton won on the strength of the black vote which constitutes a majority of the vote in South Carolina. She polled over 80% of black votes while Bernie carried a majority of the white voters. Bill Clinton was in the state supporting Hillary and he remains popular in the black community of this most “southern” state.
Bernie’s positions on Wall Street, NAFTA, criminal justice reform and TPP do not sell here although Hillary has picked up and now supports criminal justice reform.
It was her husband who passed the “tough on crime” legislation which has resulted in the United States incarcerating more of it’s citizens than virtually any other country.
Bill also brought us “financial reform,” the demise of Glass Steagell and NAFTA, which has cost massive job loss in the industrial sector.
Yea, I’m for that. Not,
While Bernie may still have some traction in the industrial heartland, the “super Tuesday” primaries will make or break his campaign. More than a dozen states and territories will hold primaries on March 1 and it’s do or die.
The southern states, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia and Arkansas are expected to go for Hillary while Vermont, Massachusetts and possibly Minnesota are probably Bernie’s. Up in the air are the likes of Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Alaska although the polls indicate a big lead in Texas for Hillary. Bernie probably needs to win at least one or two of these, Colorado or Oklahoma, to continue a modicum of momentum and have a much better chance in Ohio, California and New York.
Meanwhile, this past week conservative donors have engaged a major GOP consulting firm in Gainesville, Florida to research the feasibility of mounting a late, independent run for president amid growing fears that Donald Trump could win the Republican nomination.
A memo prepared for the group zeroes in on ballot access as a looming obstacle for any independent candidate, along with actually identifying a viable, widely known contender and coalescing financial support for that person. The two states with the earliest deadlines for independent candidates, Texas and North Carolina, also have some of the highest hurdles for independents to get on the ballot, according to the research.
“All this research has to happen before March 16, when inevitably Trump is the nominee, so that we have a plan in place,” a source familiar with the discussions said. March 16 is the day after the GOP primary in Florida, a winner-take-all contest that Marco Rubio supporters have identified as a must-win to stop Trump’s early momentum.”
The document, stamped “confidential,” was authored by staff at Data Targeting, a Republican firm based near University of Florida. The memo notes that “it is possible to mount an independent candidacy but [it] will require immediate action on the part of this core of key funding and strategic players.”
Trump continues to win primaries with 35 -40% of the primary vote as Rubio and Cruz split the rest. Many of the states thus far award delegates proportionally thus giving Trump a delegate lead (not insurmountable) but Florida is a winner take all state -a Trump win here (and he is leading) would be disastrous in the view of many party regulars.
Would the party stalwarts run Rubio, Cruz or even Romney or McCain against Trump in a third party campaign rather than see him as the standard bearer?
The risks are clearly (a) Hillary (assuming she beats Bernie) as President or (b) none of the three candidates wins a majority of the electoral college and the election goes to the House of Representatives. A plurality in the popular vote would not mean election victory. A majority of the vote would probably translate into a majority in the electoral college however a majority would be more difficult to achieve with three candidates.
Well it’s early but there is plainly much agita among the Republican establishment.