Stick a fork in the Revolution!™, it’s done. Not that it had much of a chance from the get go. To illustrate this point, in Vermont, which by virtue of being Bernie’s home state should be the perfect proving ground for said revolution, turnout in the Democratic primary was down 13% over 2008. In Vermont. Where is that army of millennials and anti-Establishment types who will sweep Sanders into the White House and march in the streets of D.C. until Congress bends to his/their will? Must have taken a wrong turn at Burlington.
So the revolution was destined to be short-lived anyhoo, but Tuesday night killed it. History, finito, Dandy Don is singing, even Yogi Berra sez it’s over. The Sanders faithful probably won’t admit it, but if you look hard enough there’s probably a 90-year-old Japanese soldier on some remote island in the Pacific still fighting for the Emperor. Lord knows there are people in certain parts of this country who are still contesting the outcome of the Civil War. Those who fight for lost causes are always the last to know they’re lost.
After Super Tuesday the delegate count stands at somewhere in the neighborhood of 1005 for Hillary and 373 for Bernie. 2383 are needed to win the nomination, so it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon or a brain scientist to figure this one out.
And yes, I count the evil superdelegates. I know they are party leaders and elected officials of the Democratic Party, aka the (shudder) Establishment, and they overwhelmingly support Hillary. Why wouldn’t they? Hillary has spent decades in the Party fighting for Party candidates and Party causes. She is not some Bernie-come-lately who never wanted anything to do with Democrats until he wanted to run for president.
What killed the revolution? For one thing, the Sanders campaign’s great misunderestimation of the abiding strength and cohesion of the Obama coalition. You know, the one that decisively won the last two presidential elections. According to exit polls on Tuesday, 51% of Democratic voters said they want a continuation of Obama’s policies, 31% want a more liberal direction. So in hindsight it probably wasn’t a good idea to adopt a platform of running away from the Obama legacy and overturning his major accomplishments. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to call for Obama to be primaried in 2012, either. Ya think, Bern?
The Obama coalition? The voters without which no Democrat can win the nomination and without which no Democrat can win the General. Women, Latinos, Blacks. Women voted for Hillary in every state except Vermont. As was the case in South Carolina last Saturday, the Black vote went in the neighborhood of 85% for Hillary. In Texas, the Super Tuesday state with the largest Latino representation, 2/3 voted Clinton. Hillary also did well among White voters 45 and over. You know, the people who tend to show up on Election Day.
By contrast, Super Tuesday one again exposed Sanders’ greatest shortcoming—he doesn’t get minority support. It appears that he’s even stopped trying. Bernie put his major effort into and pinned his hopes on 5 Super Tuesday states—Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Colorado, Minnesota, and of course Vermont. Coincidentally, or maybe not, the 5 whitest states on the board. He won 4 of those.
The latest rationalization from the Sanders diehards just cracks me up. ‘Well, yeah….. Hillary won all those states, but she has no chance to get any of them in November, so there.’ So what? It’s called the Democratic Primary. Check out the list of states where Obama won primaries and caucuses in 2008. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming. How many of those did he win in the General? How about zero.
It. Is. Over. And I could hear it in Hillary’s victory speech Tuesday night. She’s moved past Bernie and on to going after the presumptive Republican nominee, The Donald. Sanders has promised to keep going until the convention and I’m sure his faithful will follow. Why I don’t know. Better ask that Japanese soldier and the ‘South shall rise again’ crowd, I suppose.