No one expected it. All the polls had Hillary winning big time.Like many Sanders supporters, I spent the weekend bracing myself. And not in a good way. The most recent poll had Clinton ahead by 27 points. The RealClearPolitics average had her winning by 21 points. Even the most optimistic poll had Sanders trailing by 13 points.
Hillary, to her creditresponded early and effectively to the lead poisoning crisis in Flint. It looked like it was going to be a tough day for Bernie.
But instead of Clinton’s megaphones singing “Let’s bury Bernie!” this morningwe have a vivid reminder of how much the Sanders message matters. And why it remains far too early to declare the nomination contest over. To find an upset on the same scale as what Sanders achieved in Michigan you’d have to go back over 30 years. Those polls that put Illinois and Ohio out of Sanders’s reach look a lot less reliable today. And if Sanders wins in those states, it won’t be his viability as a candidate that is in question.
Hillary still has a big lead in pledged delegates. She picked up a pile of delegates by winning big in the south – she was the victor in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, neither she nor any other Democratic Presidential candidate has a prayer of carrying these states in the general election in November.
Notwithstanding, these delegates carry equal weight in the party’s nomination process.
One the other hand, Bernie has won in states that are traditional Democratic strongholds or states that can be swing states with the right candidate – Colorado, Minnesota and most surprisingly Michigan. Democrats in red states like Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Maine also came out for Bernie rather than going with the “safe” choice.
ut the legs of corporatist business as usual because the longer Sanders stays competitive, and the more delegates he brings to the convention, the harder it will be for any nominee—or Democrats further down the ticket—to “pivot” away from pledges to break up big banks, tear up TPP, block pipelines like Keystone, end voter suppression, prosecute both Wall Street fraud and police violence, and prevent corporations from stashing their profits in overseas tax havens.
Which, though it may not add up to a political revolution, wouldn’t be a bad start.
Clinton is currently riding high on the strength of victories in states she can’t deliver in November and the unelected “super delegates,” party regulars many of whom supported Hillary before they were super-delegates. These delegates should not decide the nominee.
Hillary supporters need to stop denigrating Bernie as a racist or sexist when he clearly isn’t, stop condescending to his supporters for wanting fundamental, rather than cosmetic, change to our rigged economy and corrupt politics, and stop using the kind of underhanded, Nixonian tactics that seem designed to keep Sanders voters home in November.
Onward to the states where it really matters –Ohio, Illinois, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and to California. I mean, how viable is Hillary if she can’t carry New York, Ohio and California against a 74 year old, Brooklyn Jewish socialist?
“It ain’t over ’till it’s over”. – Yogi Berra.
Thousands line up to see Bernie in Ypsilanti, Michigan. See for yourself.