It is not Bernie who lived to fight another day with his Michigan victory; It is Hillary who now has to produce and produce big on March 15 or else she is toast.
Let’s count the reasons:
First, the Superdelegate issue is a red herring. Even the New York Times is now acknowledging that Hillary cannot include Superdelegates as sure things; if Bernie wins the most elected delegates, he will get the nomination.
Second, almost all of Hillary’s lead in elected delegates comes for extremely low turnout southern states that have always voted Republican this century and will vote Republican in November. Those eight states are all in the books now. Every state from here on out Bernie has a shot at winning, and he will be a favorite in a majority of them.
Third, in particular, the schedule turns decidedly in Bernie’s favor after March 15. There are eight states between March 15 and the April 19 primary in New York state. Bernie will likely win at least six of them, and has a decent shot at seven or all eight.
Fourth, Bernie does spectacularly well with independents. Vastly better than Hillary (or most other Democrats). Although this point is strictly forbidden in corporate news media/NPR, it is why he is such a strong candidate in a general election. If one looks at the support Bernie has generated from independents and Republicans in Vermont over his career, this should be no surprise.
Fifth, where Bernie has won so far, he has done so by usually winning in states with record turnouts of new and inspired voters. This is going to continue form here on out, and bodes very poorly for Hillary. It bodes extremely well for Bernie in the fall. This is also why Nate Silver and the pollsters need to consult their nearest proctologist. These guys always assume the voting base in the USA is restricted to the relatively puny existing pool of voters and if one does that the case for Hillary is plausible. But once one realizes Bernie is bringing an entire new generation to the polls, the algorithms are of little value unless they are adjusted.
Sixth, the more people see and hear Bernie, the more they like him. The more they see and hear Hillary, the less they like her. It is why Bernie is doing endless rallies. It is why after March 15 when Bernie will have time to do plenty to visits and rallies in every state thanks to the spread-out schedule, that his campaign will thrive.
It is also why Hillary does few public events that are not controlled photo-ops, and spends most her time doing private fundraisers with rich people to fatten her SuperPAC coffers. It was striking that for two young African-American women to confront Hillary about her “super-predator” comment and her support for the prison-industrial complex, they had to pay $500 each to get inside one of her events.
Seventh, this is true for all people, including people of color. The Hillary “firewall” with Latino voters has crumbled. It is beginning to crumble with African-American voters as the campaign leaves the low-turnout South. Bernie made real strides in Michigan, especially with younger African-American voters. That should continue. What was striking from the focus groups I saw that even Michigan African-American voters who remained loyal to Hillary liked what they saw of Bernie. When he gets the nomination he will be able to count on massive support in the African-American community in November.
Eighth, Bernie is getting unusually high levels of support from poor white people in rural areas and from working-class white people. He is doing this while running on a militantly anti-racist, anti-white supremacy platform. He is appealing to our angels and our hopes, not our fears. And if you want to know why the establishment is scared of him, you need look no further than this point.
Ninth, young people are with Bernie in a way they have supported no other candidate statistically, as far as I can see, in American history. If Hillary or any other mainstream candidate had youth support like this, it would be considered the most important political story in generations. Because it is Bernie, it is a footnote. But it truly is a yuuuge deal.
Tenth, and finally, Hillary has nothing to run on against Bernie except identity, experience and connections. That works with pundits and insiders and people looking for jobs in her administration, but it does not really solve or address the great problems in the nation. To the extent Hillary appeals to voters on issues, she increasingly mimics Bernie. Then, when confronted with her obvious ties to Wall Street and corporate America—and the great fortune she has made during her career in “public service”—rather than tell the truth, Hillary resorts to the establishment politics “gotchya” game of changing the subject and manufacturing some idiotic drama, like the lie that Bernie opposed the auto bailout. This may work with the pundits and her hard-core supporters, but it does not work with voters, especially young voters. If slinging slickly produced mud is the best Hillary can do to stop Bernie’s momentum she is going to lose. She has to do better…and apparently she can’t.
And in the remote chance she can win the nomination by dragging Bernie into the sewer to fight with her and Davvid Brock, it will cost her the election. Bernie supporters are already so unimpressed with her baseless and offensive criticism of Bernie that 33 percent of them now say that will not vote for her in a general election should she be the nominee. That may change—Trump is a very scary figure—but if Hillary tries to scorch the earth with Bernie to get the nomination, she is going to alienate millions of voters, especially young voters.
This leads to three lessons.
First, Bernie is in command. He needs to do well on March 15, but even in the worst case scenario and he loses all five states, if he gets 45 percent of the delegates he is still poised for victory.
Second, if Hillary loses two or three states on March 15, it will be a sign that her campaign is collapsing and she is in an all but hopeless position for the reasons above. CNN, MSDNC and the corporate news media/NPR will spin this until the cows come home, but the people of the country will have voted with their feet. And that are not taking their cues or their marching orders from the corporate news media.
Third, March 15 is a massive opportunity for Bernie. If we take three or more states, we will have a commanding and arguably insurmountable lead in the race. That should inspire us and motivate us to do what we did last week in Michigan in a grand scale.
This is the time—right now, this second—to donate every single penny you can because right now we need to run ads in the five states because Bernie will not have anywhere enough time to do rallies across all of them.
Likewise this is the time to canvass, phonebank and facebank. Eat and sleep Bernie activism until the last poll closes on March 15.
Let’s make these 6 days that shake the world. We can sleep on the 16th.