After two weeks of sometimes acrimonious campaigning, New Yorkers finally voted on Tuesday, and chose their former senator Hillary Clinton over former Brooklynite Bernie Sanders in a big way.
Nate Cohn writes Realistically, Bernie Sanders Cannot Afford Losses (well duh!):
To the extent that Mr. Sanders’s supporters envisioned a path to a majority of delegates, it hinged on the assumption that he would prove strongest in the most heavily Democratic states, like New York and California.
The assumption was not consistent with the results leading to today. Mr. Sanders lost the states most similar to New York or California, like Illinois and Florida, even Massachusetts. In truth, there has been no relationship between Mr. Sanders’s strength and the Democratic leanings of a county. The stronger predictors of Mrs. Clinton’s strength were diversity and affluence — which augured well for her in New York.
In the end, Mrs. Clinton won New York thanks to big support from nonwhite and affluent voters in New York City and its suburbs.
She swept the Upper West Side, Chelsea, Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope. These places voted strongly for past liberal challengers, like Zephyr Teachout in the 2014 primary for governor, but not for Mr. Sanders.
She also swept majority black and Hispanic precincts, as she has for most of the cycle.
And she fared well in the suburbs, winning by nearly a two-to-one margin in Westchester County, where she lives.
Mrs. Clinton’s affluent and diverse coalition sets her up for a string of wins next Tuesday along the Eastern Seaboard, and later in New Jersey. After next Tuesday, Mr. Sanders could need 63 or 64 percent of the remaining delegates.
He will be hard pressed to make up this deficit. He has thrived in caucus states, but there is only one of those left: North Dakota. Mr. Sanders could win 64 percent of the vote in a couple of mostly white Western primaries, like Oregon or Montana. But he’s unlikely to win by much more. He could win in Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, but is not likely to do so by 64 percent.
Mr. Sanders could be competitive in California, where there are fewer black voters. But the affluence of the Bay Area and Los Angeles will hurt him there, just as it did in New York City’s liberal bastions. It is hard to imagine a two-to-one victory.
It is more likely that Mr. Sanders has reached the stage of the campaign where even feel-good victories — like repeats of his genuinely impressive win in Michigan — will leave him too far behind.
The next big block of delegates is next Tuesday, with Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Deleware and Rhode Island.
Real Clear Politics Polling Average for Pennsylvania (210 delegates) includes data from three polls. The FOX News poll conducted April 4-7, the Quinnipiac poll conducted March 30-April 4, and the Harper poll conducted April 2-3.
Real Clear Politics does not have recent polling for Deleware (31 delegates) and Rhode Island (33 delegates).
Looking ahead, there are only two big prizes left in the primaries: New Jersey (142 delegates) and California (548 delegates). In New Jersey, the Rutgers-Eagleton poll (4/18/16) has Clinton leading Sanders 51-42, and in California the Gravis poll (4/20/16) has Clinton leading Sanders 47-41.
There is no path to victory for Bernie Sanders. The flipping super delegates strategy is a fantasy that borders on delusional. It is time for Bernie Sanders’ supporters to accept reality, and math.
Martin Longman writes at the Political Animal blog, Post-Sanders, What Binds Progressives Together?
I mostly liked Jamelle Bouie’s article on Bernie Sanders and his campaign or “movement” or whatever you want to label it. The piece is largely accurate, and it’s realistic and filled with solid advice for Sanders’ supporters. He does completely drop the ball on one thing, though, and it’s critically important.
Bouie begins by looking at the campaign rhetoric of prior liberal presidential candidates, Howard Dean, Bill Bradley, and Jerry Brown, and identifying similar rhetoric about the importance of “getting money out of politics.” But then he forgets about that message and he fails to pick up on any other similarities between previous progressive challengers to the status quo of the Democratic Party.
The result is an analysis of how progressives can leverage their progress in the Sanders campaign to do something similar to what conservatives did in the Republican Party after their bruising losses in the 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign, but without spelling out what progressives would really be seeking to accomplish.
There are some things that connect Sanders to previous candidates, for example Bill Bradley was skeptical about NATO-expansion into the former Soviet Union, and Sanders is eager for European countries to pay more of their freight to keeping the NATO deterrent funded and operational. There are other things that seem unique to Sanders, like his proposal for free state college tuition. Does anything really unite progressives outside of wanting less money in politics?
What would bind them together? It seems to me that the glue that held conservatives together was a series of losses, both political and judicial, but progressives are making incremental progress across the board in nearly every area except reversing the trend towards greater income inequality.
In any case, people need to be motivated, and it’s hard to predict which parts of Sanders’ platform will be picked up by the next progressive champion and how much their appeal can expand to attract other pieces of the Democrats’ coalition.
Bouie does a good job of explaining how progressives may lose the battle but win the long war, but he doesn’t do a good job of telling us the “what for.”
And I think the lack of a “what for” is the biggest impediment to making that “how” come true.
I’ve cautioned you before, stop all this useless whining about presidential politics and focus on what really matters in your lives: taking back the U.S. Senate, closing the gap in the House of Representatives, and here in Arizona, kicking lawless Tea-Publicans out of the state legislature and the Arizona Corporation Commission. There are a number of ballot measures that desperately need your time and effort: the “dark money” initiatives, the minimum wage initiative, the solar power initiative, and the coming referendum on SB 15 16 (“dark money on steroids” bill), for example.
Building a political movement requires building a political bench at state and local offices, not top-down from the presidency. Now stop all this useless whining and get to work!