Bernie Sanders has delivered what the media is calling a crushing loss to Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. She went all out to try to reduce the defeat to single digits, but not surprisingly her latest smear campaign, even with the use of Bill, failed miserably. First Read describes how terrible a defeat was for her, and how big a nightmare it was for the establishment:
…if Clinton supporters were hoping to reduce the final margin to single digits, they didn’t come close. Bernie Sanders bested Clinton by 22 points (!!!) in a state she carried in the 2008 presidential contest. And the exit poll numbers seem even worse, even among the groups Clinton is supposedly strong with: Sanders beat her among women by 11 points (55%-44%), Democrats (52%-48%), and moderates (58%-39%). He crushed her among his core groups, winning young voters (83%-16%), independents (72%-25), and liberals (60%-39%). And then there are these terrible numbers: Clinton lost among Democrats caring the most about honest and trustworthiness by 86 points (91%-5%), and she even lost among the Dems who want their candidate to care about people like them by 65 points (82%-17%). Warning sign: Caring about people like them is the Bill Clinton brand, folks!!!
This disputes all the arguments from the pundits as to why Sanders cannot win. The Sanders campaign is not a replay of Howard Dean, who lost in both Iowa and New Hampshire. It is not a futile left wing insurgency, with Sanders winning among almost the same margin among moderates as liberals. This is not a campaign which is destined to go down to defeat in a general election like George McGovern. It was Sanders who brought in the independent vote which will be necessary to win the general election.
Clinton’s base is increasingly limited to older, hard line Democratic voters. Sanders creates the big tent needed to win a general election, and to change the composition of Congress.
Clinton’s loss is largely because voters do not trust her, but that is not the only reason. If voters wanted an honest but conventional Democratic candidate this year, this would be a race between Martin O’Malley and Hillary Clinton, with Bernie Sanders far behind.
It will still be a tough race for Sanders considering the degree of establishment support for Clinton. He has one advantage which insurgent candidates lack–money. Sanders raised $5.2 million dollars after the polls closed in New Hampshire. The average contribution was $34, and these contributors can continue to contribute numerous times without approaching the limit. There was talk on social media of everyone contributing to match the amount of Sanders’ victory. Fortunately many contributors went beyond that.
Clinton is still considered the favorite by many pundits due to her support among minorities. As I discussed recently, her firewall is no guarantee. Sanders does not need the overwhelming support among minorities which Obama received due to picking up other groups, such as white working class voters who tended to vote for Clinton in 2008. Minority voters did not switch from Clinton to support Obama until after he showed that his campaign was real with early primary victories.
Even worse for Clinton, many are now looking back at how devastating Bill’s policies, which she supported, were for minorities. Articles on the topic have suddenly popped up all over. The Nation writes,Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote. Mother Jones reports, Two Prominent Black Intellectuals Just Delivered More Bad News for Clinton. The news extends to the mainstream media with The Washington Post reporting, Author of ‘The New Jim Crow’: Hillary Clinton doesn’t deserve the support of black voters.
The video of Sanders’ victory speech follows: