One thing is absolutely clear: Saturday was an absolutely disastrous day for Hillary Clinton. The former First Lady was utterly demolished in each of the three states – Washington, Alaska and Hawaii – holding their caucuses. In Hawaii, Sanders won in a 70-30 landslide, in Washington, Sanders pulled 73 percent of the vote to Clinton’s paltry 27 percent, and in Alaska, Sanders won by a whopping 82 to 18 percent margin. These weren’t races, these were statements.
And if you need further proof that the Democratic electorate isn’t exactly thrilled to settle for Hillary Clinton, look no further than the fundraising. Typically, insurgent candidates like Bernie Sanders are beloved by the media for helping them add drama to the race, but are ignored by voters and donors. But Sanders stunned Clinton in January by outraging her $20 million to $15 million. Clinton, undeterred, oiled up her machine and raised $30 million in February only to find that Sanders brought in $43 million.
Sanders not only has the money, he has the momentum to stay in this race for a long time. That clearly annoys Hillary Clinton, who lashed out at a campaign even in Washington.
“And here’s what I want you to know,” she said, “I have, as of now, gotten more votes than anybody else, including Donald Trump. I have gotten 2.6 million more votes than Bernie Sanders,” and “have a bigger lead in pledged delegates, the ones you win from people voting, than Barack Obama had at this time in 2008.”
And then, the cheapest shot of them all.
“I am no person new to this struggle. I am not the latest flavor of the month,” Clinton said, implying that Sanders’ was just a flash in the pan. “I have been doing this work day in and day out for years.”
That is what entitlement sounds like. She’s always felt as though she’s deserved to win. Now that she’s in the driver’s seat she feels as though that the attention devoted to Sanders is undue. And with plenty of primaries left to come, including an important one in her adopted home of New York, she feels as though she shouldn’t have to slog it out.
This was supposed to be a coronation, not a competition.
But Sanders, however improbably, has turned it into a real race. The socialist-democrat from Vermont has remained a viable competitor with the wherewithal to fight until the end. More than that, he’s demonstrated that he currently has the momentum, especially among bellwether voters. ABC News reports:
Sanders told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Sunday morning that he remains the “underdog” but that the campaign believes they “do have a path to victory.”
“What we showed yesterday is in fact the momentum is with us,” Sanders said. “We think we’re going to do well in Wisconsin. We think we got a real shot in New York. And then we go out to California. You go out to Oregon. That’s the most progressive part of America.” . .
Sanders’ landslide victories not only mean that the Clinton campaign will have to continue to run primary races in Western states, but also that they still have a significant amount of work to do to bring progressives on board for a general election, should she win the nomination.
Washington in particular has been a bellwether of change for the Democratic Party and progressive policies . . .
More importantly, it may serve as a signal that Clinton isn’t a candidate capable of exciting much of the Democratic base. And if that’s the case, Democrats have a big, big problem.