Bernie Sanders swept the vote in Saturday’s (March 26) Democratic caucuses, touting the wins as “momentum” for his trailing campaign. But the path for Sanders to win the nomination against Hillary Clinton remains a very tough one.
Sanders won by large margins in Hawaii (69%), Alaska (81.6%) and Washington (72.7%), but this only netted him around 35 delegates, giving him a total 975 to Clinton’s 1,243. (A number of Washington’s delegates have yet to be apportioned, and he will probably win at least 60 from the combined contests).
But as National Journal’s Ronald Brownstein points out, ”scale matters:” the number of votes cast in Cook County, Illinois (where Clinton won) was 20 times higher than in Alaska and Hawaii put together. The city of Chicago itself cast more votes than all three states.
All three of the Democratic contests this weekend were caucuses, in which Sanders does exceptionally well. The problem for his campaign is there are only two remaining state caucuses.
There is some good news for the Sanders camp, however. The predominant narrative of this election claims that Sanders does particularly well among white, rural voters, whereas Hillary Clinton does better in more diverse states.
While Clinton’s advantage is undeniable in states with a large African-American population, such as South Carolina or Alabama, this weekend’s contests showed that Sanders can win in very diverse states as well. (Clinton, for her part, has also won in mostly white states such as Ohio (80.1%) or Iowa (87.9%), noted Shaun King of the New York Daily News.)
Irked by media generalizations that Sanders does well among white voters, and less so in more diverse areas, Leslie Lee III started a hashtag #BernieMadeMeWhite that quickly took off.