Bernie Sanders’ upset win in Michigan hopefully foreshadows victories throughout the midwest, and the west. Super Tuesday was devised to help moderate candidates win the nomination. Clinton is running out of Southern states. She is increasingly looking like a southern regional candidate while Sanders could become a stronger national candidate. Now the map is starting to favor Sanders. Clinton still has the big lead among super delegates, but will they risk seeing the party torn apart by handing the nomination to Clinton should Sanders continue to win?
Sanders won despite trailing in the polls and surprised the pundits. While he still lost the African American vote, he showed he could do far better with urban black voters, who have been harmed by Clinton policies, as compared to the south. He might do even better in upcoming primaries as he continues to get his message out.
After Super Tuesday the pundits assumed the usual trend of a losing candidate seeing their money and support dry up. Instead Sanders’ support has continued to grow significantly–with more money coming in and more volunteers working to get out the vote.
It is dangerous to predict election outcomes based upon anecdotal evidence, but I was confident that Sanders might pull an upset in Michigan having seen so many people who are not normally active in politics express support for Bernie over the last several months–including some Republicans. Sanders’ victory in a large and diverse state like Michigan demolishes the arguments from the Clinton camp that Sanders cannot win.
Seeing Trump win big in Michigan also presents a warning for Democrats. If Trump is the Republican nominee, the midwest, along with New York, are all in play against Clinton. Democrats need Sanders to win in these areas. Clinton’s support in the southern Democratic primaries won’t help her in a general election.