Quantcast
Connect with us

After a night of sweeping victories, Bernie is back

Published

on

Sanders needs to win big states by big margins to have a shot at the nomination and on Saturday, in Washington anyway, he did just that .

On what was arguably the best night he’s had since the New Hampshire primary, Sanders addressed an enthusiastic crowd in Madison, Wisconsin, hammering home all the major themes of his campaign from financial reform on down and emphasizing that finally, “We have path toward victory.”

ADVERTISEMENT

His barnburner of a victory speech came at the end of an overwhelmingly positive night for Sanders. His wins in three Democratic caucus states – Hawaii, Washington state and Alaska – are on a par with Barack Obama’s victories over Clinton back in 2008.

Those are precisely the kinds of comparisons Sanders has been wanting to make. Now he finally has the opportunity.

When it comes to delegates, Washington constitutes the fifth largest state remaining on the primary calendar, and Sanders landslide victory there is a significant embarrassment to Clinton at a time when she’s been trying to act like she’s in a general election by aiming her fire at Donald Trump.

Sanders’ wins will also erode her substantial delegate lead, and set the stage for battles in states where he could further derail her frontrunner status.

The next such test is on April 5 in Wisconsin, a state where, while Clinton is polling slightly ahead, team Sanders is hopeful it can pull off an upset. After all, Sanders won handily in the neighboring states of Michigan and Minnesota (the former came as a big surprise). And Wisconsin in particular, with its reputation as a sort of cradle for the labor movement, plays in no small measure to Sanders’ strengths.

ADVERTISEMENT

And while Saturday’s wins don’t constitute a massive sea change in the math of the primary election of course – Sanders still needs roughly twice as many delegates as Clinton to clinch the nomination – it does play into Sanders’ argument that the momentum is on his side and that he may yet be able to sway the minds of superdelegates who have been breaking overwhelmingly for Clinton.

“We knew from day one we were going to have a hard time in the deep South,” Sanders told a cheering audience in Wisconsin. “That is a conservative part of our country. But we knew things were going to improve as we moved west.” He also drove home the notion that, as he put it: “Our campaign has the momentum.”

To increase that momentum, Sanders plans to take on Clinton not just in Wisconsin but also in New York, the former first lady’s adopted home state and the place her team has been counting on to put an end to Sanders’ western victory streak. (As Sanders’ chief strategist Tad Devine put it in a conversation with the Washington Post: “We’re going to make a real run for it.”)

ADVERTISEMENT

The momentum argument, while it makes for a good soundbite, is not the totally convincing upon closer inspection. Consider for instance, that the “momentum” Sanders enjoyed after a virtual tie in Iowa and a win in New Hampshire was followed up by a crushing defeat in South Carolina. And the “momentum” of his big surprise upset in Michigan, after much speculation about what good things this might mean for his prospects in other parts of the midwest, was followed by a solid beatdown in Ohio (to say nothing of defeats in North Carolina, Florida and beyond).

A more powerful argument for Sanders than momentum then, might be that he’s proven he can reach certain demographics that are vital to the Democratic coalition. Aside from his stunning popularity with young people, however, he hasn’t been able to demonstrate convincing appeal among minority groups that are vital parts of his party’s constituency (though the win in Hawaii may help him make the case).

ADVERTISEMENT

Even his all important win in Washington tonight, while exciting for his supporters and important as he continues to justify his decision to stay in the election at a time when many in the party are looking to unite against Trump, is also telling in a way. Sure his message resonates in a state where the patently progressive Seattle – with its $15-an-hour minimum wage and socialist council member (the only on anywhere in the US) – sets the tone. But Washington is also overwhelming white, and a caucus state, which means it has relatively low (read: undemocratic) turnout.

But it’s also a reminder that Sanders supporters are passionate enough to show up for him. And that is a key difference Sanders hopes to highlight, between his campaign and Clinton’s – “that one of our campaigns has created an enormous amount of enthusiasm and energy that will lead to a large voter turnout in November.”

He still can’t argue the math is on his side; it isn’t. But there’s a good case to be made that enthusiasm really is. If enthusiasm is contagious – and the Sanders variety does show sings of that – that means time may well be on his side. No wonder he keep trying to run out the clock.

ADVERTISEMENT

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2016


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

American Airlines ordered passengers to stop social distancing — because they hadn’t paid for exit seats

Published

on

On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that the flight crew on an American Airlines trip ordered two passengers to stop social distancing and move back to their seats.

The reason? The empty row they moved into cost slightly more.

"On a June 30 flight on American Airlines from Dallas to Newark, Joy Gonzalez, an aviation engineer based in Seattle, found herself seated at a window with two older passengers beside her in the middle and aisle seats," reported Elaine Glusac. "In order to gain more social distance, she and the aisle passenger both moved to seats behind them where two rows were empty. But before takeoff, a flight attendant ordered them back to their assigned seats, telling them they had not paid for those exit row seats, which are more expensive."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Joe Shapiro’s wife disputes Mary Trump’s claim her husband took SATs for Trump

Published

on

Mary Trump's upcoming tell-all book alleges that President Donald Trump's sister did his homework and friend and fellow University of Pennsylvania graduate, Joe Shapiro, took his SATs for him.

ABC News reported Wednesday that Pam Shriver, Shapiro's widow, said that he would never have done something like that.

"He always did the right thing, and that's why this hurts," said Shriver.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Kayleigh McEnany says she has no ‘data’ on whether Tulsa rally increased COVID — but city official says it likely did

Published

on

At Wednesday's White House briefing, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was confronted with the fact that President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma led to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. Her reply was to plead ignorance: "I have no data to indicate that."

However, according to a health official in Tulsa, the pattern of cases indicates it is "likely" that it did just that.

"President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa in late June that drew thousands of participants and large protests 'likely contributed' to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Wednesday," reported Sean Murphy for the Associated Press. "Tulsa County reported 261 confirmed new cases on Monday, a one-day record high, and another 206 cases on Tuesday. By comparison, during the week before the June 20 Trump rally, there were 76 cases on Monday and 96 on Tuesday."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image