Saturday night’s results in South Carolina were the start of something special for Hillary Clinton.
After a close to 50-point victory there where she garnered the support of over 80 percent of African-American voters, Clinton showed that her tough time in Iowa – where she won by less than half a percentage point – and New Hampshire where Sanders won by over 20 points, are a vague and distant memory.
How distant that memory is was clear Tuesday evening where Clinton won Super Tuesday handedly.
Sanders had been running ahead in his home state of Vermont throughout the last two months and his big win there is no surprise. He also won Oklahoma and Colorado. He had been hoping to make a play for Massachusetts.
So what does this mean for the future of the Democratic race?
Not a whole lot in terms of what you’re going to see in the day to day.
Bernie Sanders has made it clear that he will keep going until the convention this summer. He certainly has the money to make good on this promise – Sanders raised an astounding $43 million in February alone – and I have no doubt that he’ll continue raising funds at this level. Like Trump, Sanders has been successfully tapping into voter dissatisfaction and his populist message of addressing income inequality and reining in Wall Street has been deeply resonating with voters.
This isn’t apt to change and the media will continue to report that the momentum is on Sanders’s side as he draws huge crowds and raises millions.
It’s extremely unlikely that Clinton will start winning the youth vote back from him and she will instead focus on keeping the female vote and maintaining her support with the African- American community.
By the looks of it, and the turnout patterns we’ve seen thus far, this is going to be enough for Clinton to continue to on her path to the nomination. And much of this really comes down to the math.
To this end, when Sanders declared Tuesday evening that the contest has only begun because we still have 35 states left to vote, he’s not telling the whole story.
Clinton is amassing a big delegate lead and we know that she’s already far ahead with the Democrat superdelegates where she has the support of over 60 percent of them.
Sanders’s team knows what a tremendous advantage this is for Clinton as they’ve been reportedly trying to persuade superdelegates to reserve judgment until the popular vote totals are in. (This hasn’t been a particularly effective approach thus far).
It follows that, although it isn’t the glitziest way to win an election, Clinton is making it mathematically impossible for Sanders to win the nomination.
The #FeelTheBern movement was a powerful one, but it doesn’t look like it can go all the way.