With Clinton’s victory in Nevada, lead in South Carolina, and odds to win at least 6 or 7 of the 11 contests on Super Tuesday, and the big states, Sanders’ path to the nomination is now an obstacle course.
Today he visited Brooklyn Baptist church in South Carolina and received what might generously be described as a luke warm response. The New York Times called it “muted.” With 6 days to turn the polls in SC around, it’s not looking like South Carolinians will be feeling the bern.
Sanders is blaming his loss in Nevada on low voter turnout. Since his entire electoral strategy rests on generating massive voter turnout–a political revolution–that’s an admission that things aren’t exactly playing out as he planned. In fact, voter turnout in each of the Dems primaries/caucuses thus far is lower than it was in 2008.
During his concession speech Sanders went for an upbeat tone and claimed “the wind is at our backs.” He went on to point out that Clinton’s lead in the Nevada polls had shrunk since his win in New Hampshire noting “We have made some real progress.” He added: “I believe on Super Tuesday we have got an excellent chance to win many of those states.”
Notably, he didn’t mention the upcoming primary in South Carolina.
The loss in Nevada was a turning point in Sanders’ campaign. It proved he doesn’t have much support among people of color, something Clinton and her supporters have been saying for months now. Coming in a close second in Iowa and a blowout in New Hampshire resulted in the impression that Sanders was the candidate voters wanted. But wins in states that are predominantly white won’t necessarily mean wins in states whose demographics are much more diverse.
FiveThirtyEight has Clinton leading Sanders in all the March 1st contests:
- Arkansas: Clinton 99% chance of winning
- Georgia: Clinton 99% chance of winning
- Massachusetts: Clinton 57% chance of winning
- Oklahoma: Clinton 77% chance of winning
- Tennessee: Clinton 98% chance of winning
- Texas: Clinton 98% chance of winning
- Virginia: Clinton 97% chance of winning
Certainly these races will tighten a bit over the next week, but I doubt they’ll tighten enough to give Sanders the votes or the delegates he needs to continue.