Okay, so I was wrong. Again.
Before we start, let’s get the Republican side of this out of the way. We already know the story—Drumpf wins a bunch of states, Kasich wins his home state, Rubio was rejected by nearly EVERYONE in his home state and Cruz remains a smug, sweaty, chinless weasel. There. No need to talk about them anymore.
Ahead of tonight’s (rather undramatic) installment of America’s favorite reality show, Super Tuesday, I predicted Sanders would win Illinois and/or Ohio, but Clinton would carry the big prizes of the night: Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.
I was wrong.
Much to the chagrin of Sanders supporters—and shock, I’m assuming—it was all Clinton tonight. She locked down big wins in crucial swing states Florida, North Carolina and Ohio early Tuesday night, sparing a considerable amount of drama and taking the wind out of Bernie Sanders’ sails that were deflated of all that Michigan wind he gathered at his back a week ago. Clinton then went on to claim a close victory in her home state of Illinois and is clinging to a scant 1,500 vote lead in Missouri. We won’t call it a clean sweep, but it is a decisive night for Clinton. And one thing is perfectly clear: Hillary Clinton is going to win the Democratic Party nomination. Fair and square.
After the polls betrayed Clinton in Michigan last Tuesday, nobody knew what to expect tonight. Could the polls be believed after being so completely inaccurate in Michigan? Turns out, yes. The polls are to be believed.
Michigan was the outlier, not the beginning of a trend.
So, moving forward, what does this mean for the Democratic race to the nomination? It means Sanders is pretty much down to one bullet in the chamber. I don’t expect him to bow out of the race—and I don’t want him to do that—but would need to win every state by wide margins from this point forward. Even he knows the likelihood of that happening now is slim to none.
Make no mistake, though; Sanders still has a powerful voice in this campaign and can still motivate many people to champion his cause, but the million dollar question is will Sanders motivate them to get behind Clinton or not? He has said all along he would support Clinton if she wins the nomination. She hasn’t won it yet, so he should continue to fight the good fight, I say. But he and his supporters need to gear up for the inevitable. That doesn’t mean the Sanders message gets lost, though. In my mind, he’s already won the primary season. Sanders forced Clinton and the Democratic Party to pay attention to the left wing of the base; something party leadership seems wont to ignore and tamp down, sometimes.
No, party leadership did not rig the system against Sanders, so let’s put that one away for good. By my count, Clinton has pulled in about 2.5 million more votes than Sanders, thus far. I won’t call that a mandate, but it tells me the people have spoken.
That being said, I hope the Sanders and Clinton supporters can form a coalition come November and recognize their goals are closer than some realize. You say you want a revolution? Good. Then put it to work and carry the message forward, if not the candidate.
EDIT: According to MSNBC, here’s the delegate breakdown from last night.