Bernie Sanders was declared the winner in the Michigan primary, which his campaign calls a “game changer” according to CBS News. Polls said Clinton was leading in the state by over 20 points before the vote; such an upset is reason enough to believe it really could be a turning point in the campaign.
Michigan is the largest, most diverse state Bernie Sanders has won so far. According to Mlive, the campaign set up a major campaign center in Flint, Michigan, which has the eighth highest percentage of African American residents in the country, at about 59 percent.
According to the Washington Post, Sanders lost the African American vote nearly 2 to 1. That’s an improvement, surprisingly enough. In South Carolina, for example, Clinton carried 86 percent of the black vote. The common assumption is that she’ll maintain that kind of lead in the critical demographic, making her path to the nomination inevitable. But the African American vote might not be as uniform as once believed.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Bernie Sanders has focused his campaign on social justice and police brutality in the recent months. He’s earned a number of high-level endorsements as a result, but his older positions are also starting to pay off.
About six weeks ago, for example, the self-described Democratic Socialist from Vermont called for Governor Rick Snyder’s resignation over the Flint water crisis. Clinton joined him eventually, calling for the Republican governor’s resignation at Sunday night’s debate, but seemed to be following Sanders lead rather than setting her own tone.
What shocked many political observers, and Bernie Sanders, is how wrong the Michigan polls were. Before the primary, they showed Clinton up – way up. Real Clear Politics‘ aggregate polling showed the former first last up by about 21 percent in the state.
That’s the kind of poor predicting that could get most people fired. Luckily for the pollsters, it’s politics.
The predictions for Bernie Sanders were so dire that the campaign had no intention of addressing the media after the primaries. Once the results started coming in, the Vermont Senator had to scramble to set up a podium in the courtyard of his hotel in Miami.
“What we have done is create the kind of momentum that we need to win. This has been a fantastic night in Michigan,” he declared.
The fact that the media was wrong is a great sign for Sanders. If he’s going to win, they will need to be wrong many more times.
After Super Tuesday, the news shifted away from the Democratic primary fight, and concentrated on the general election. Even the British Economist, one of the most respected news outlets in America, said it’s Clinton versus Trump. It might still be correct in the end, but Michigan will likely change the confident tone.
The Clinton campaign has also pivoted away from the primaries, preparing for an eventual fight with Donald Trump in the general election. Politico reported on a memo released by Robby Mook, Clinton’s top political aide, that essentially said there’s no hope for Bernie Sanders.
“With a pledged delegate lead of more than 180 and momentum on our side, we anticipate building on this lead even further making it increasingly difficult and eventually mathematically impossible for Sen. Sanders to catch up.”
Michigan is definitely not a sure sign Bernie Sanders will gain the upper-hand in the election, but it does mean that Clinton will have to pivot back to the primaries.
Even with a “game changer” night, Sanders’ campaign will have to struggle for every last delegate. The superdelegates are overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton, meaning that the senator will need a strong majority of pledged delegates to win. Bernie Sanders’ next opportunity for an upset will be March 15th, when Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio hold their votes.
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