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Clinton Crushes Sanders Again, Continues Her March Toward Winning Democratic Nomination

Clinton Sanders Debate

After last week’s loss in Michigan, Hillary Clinton once again faced the prospect that Bernie Sanders could pull off a surprise win in at least one Midwestern state that would slow her momentum toward winning the Democratic nomination, with Ohio and Missouri being the most likely states where the Vermont Senator could pull off yet another of his upsets. Instead, Clinton came out of last night winning four out of the five states up for contention and holding on to a narrow lead in fifth. More importantly, Clinton but further distance between herself and Sanders in the delegate count that should signal that this contest is largely over at this point.

Hillary Clinton swept major primaries in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio on Tuesday, rebounding from her upset loss to Bernie Sanders in Michigan a week earlier and securing a political and psychological victory for her campaign.

The results were a significant setback for Mr. Sanders, who was counting on his fiery arguments against free trade to help him prevail across the industrial Midwest. He spent heavily trying to win Ohio, as well as Tuesday’s contests in Illinois and Missouri, but he came away with his presidential bid looking increasingly hopeless, since Mrs. Clinton is far ahead in amassing delegates needed to win the nomination.

Early Wednesday, The Associated Press declared Mrs. Clinton the winner in Illinois, too. Votes were still being counted in Missouri.

For Mrs. Clinton, Tuesday’s double-digit victories netted her so many delegates that her lead over Mr. Sanders is now about three times what Barack Obama’s was over her in 2008. On a personal level, too, she and her advisers were reassured that regardless of her Michigan defeat, her political arguments about jobs and the economy had potency in states that will be major battlegrounds in November.

The top issue for Ohio Democratic primary voters was the economy, and most of them favored Mrs. Clinton. A majority of voters also said that trade with other nations takes away American jobs, and more than half of them supported Mrs. Clinton. In Michigan, Mr. Sanders captured this group by double digits.

Mrs. Clinton was bullish and beaming at her victory party in West Palm Beach, Fla., after the first three states were called in her favor. “We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November,” she said to cheers from a rowdy crowd of 1,300 people.

More than in any other primary night speech, Mrs. Clinton aimed her remarks in South Florida at the leading Republican candidate, Donald J. Trump, who boasted of his own victory just miles away.

“When we hear a candidate for president call for rounding up 12 million immigrants, banning all Muslims from entering the United States, when he embraces torture, that doesn’t make him strong — it makes him wrong,” Mrs. Clinton said, as she called on all Americans to fight against “bluster and bigotry.”

Mr. Sanders, speaking at a campaign event in Arizona, which holds its contest next week, stuck to his scathing assessment of the American economic system and promised to overhaul campaign finance rules. He criticized Walmart as not paying living wages, but also repeated his creed against global trade that has particularly hit the Midwestern industrial belt.

“I say to corporate America, you want us to buy your products, start manufacturing those products here in America, not in China,” Mr. Sanders said.

Mr. Sanders also used the evening to criticize Mrs. Clinton for having a “super PAC” and relying on large donations. “She has received money from the drug companies and the fossil fuel industry,” he said to loud hisses and boos from the crowd of 7,200 people. “She has given speeches on Wall Street for $225,000 a pop.”

Ohio was the prize that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders coveted the most, a bellwether state in American politics that would bestow not only delegates but also a new political story line for the winner: a Clinton comeback or a Sanders surge, given that he was a long-shot there until recently.

After her loss in Michigan — and Mr. Sanders’s persistent criticism of her record on global trade — Mrs. Clinton’s aides seemed exasperated that her detailed policy positions to bring jobs back to the hard-hit Midwestern states were a harder sell than what they said were the unrealistic promises offered by her opponent. They huddled to retool her economic pitch so that it resonated better in Midwestern states in hopes of competing more strongly with Mr. Sanders.

“After having lost Michigan, we came into, particularly, Ohio with a renovated plan,” said her spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri.

At a rally in Youngstown, Mrs. Clinton addressed union members packed onto a factory floor at M7 Technologies, reminding them of the work she had done as a senator from New York to bring jobs back to the depressed upstate areas.

“I stood up for our companies in New York,” she said. “I will stand up for our companies in Ohio and across America,” Mrs. Clinton said. “It’s exciting for me. I am really totally committed to bringing back manufacturing.”

The Clinton campaign dispatched former President Bill Clinton to Akron and Toledo, two predominantly white working-class cities that Mr. Sanders also campaigned in. Mrs. Clinton also racked up delegates in heavily black areas of Ohio, including courting voters in Cleveland.

Mrs. Clinton’s victories in Florida and North Carolina were due in large part to minorities: black voters in both states, and Hispanics in Florida as well. The Sanders campaign had been expecting to lose Florida, given that only Democrats could participate in the primary and he tends to perform better when independents are in the mix. But Mrs. Clinton was also broadly popular in the state, which was reflected in exit polls by Edison Research.

Mrs. Clinton drew support from about seven in 10 Hispanic voters and nearly eight in 10 black voters. She was backed by a slim majority of white voters, who accounted for about half of the electorate — down from two-thirds in 2008. She was favored by voters who put a high priority on experience or electability, and she was the solid choice when voters were asked who had the better chance of defeating Mr. Trump in November.

In Ohio exit polls, Mrs. Clinton was far ahead among black voters, but she and Mr. Sanders ran closely among white voters. As in Michigan, Mr. Sanders was drawing huge support from independents and voters under age 30, while Mrs. Clinton was popular with Democrats and voters over 45.

Given the polling prior to yesterday, these results were by and large unsurprising. Clinton had large leads in both Florida and North Carolina that had been consistent for months, and she was also ahead in both Ohio and Illinois albeit by smaller margins. When Bernie Sanders won the Michigan primary thanks to his concentration on the issue of international trade deals, though, many analysts, and apparently the Sanders campaign as well, saw Ohio as a potential target for a surprise victory over Clinton. As noted, though, the Clinton campaign targeted the Buckeye State just as much as Sanders did and managed to prevent a surprise there. More importantly, though, Clinton also appears to have blunted a Sanders effort to pull off what seemed like a likely win in Missouri, and at the very least will walk away with a sizable enough chunk of the delegates to win the nomination.

The Sanders campaign, though, seems to think otherwise:

Sanders advisers, while acknowledging they were far behind in the delegate count, said that the race was now shifting to their advantage and that they expected to win more delegates than Mrs. Clinton in the coming primaries and caucuses. They argued that Mrs. Clinton’s best states were behind her — the primaries across the South and in Texas where her popularity among blacks and Hispanics resulted in troves of delegates.

Looking ahead, Sanders advisers predicted success in states with large liberal populations, like Wisconsin and California, and those with caucuses, a format that rewards voter enthusiasm and turnout and has favored Mr. Sanders recently. Mr. Sanders has even talked about prevailing in New York, Mrs. Clinton’s home state, given the high numbers of progressive voters and working-class Democrats who share his disgust with Wall Street.

“We’re now entering a period where we think we’ll win most if not all of the contests before the April 19 primary in New York,” said Tad Devine, a senior adviser to Mr. Sanders. “Regardless of how much momentum we have after Tuesday, the calendar is shifting in our favor. Now we just have to win some major showdowns, like in New York and New Jersey, to raise questions about whether she can really win the presidency.”

Looking at the delegate count, this seems to be clear puffery on the part of the Sanders campaign. To date, and not including the Superdelegates, Clinton has won 57.98% of the delegates that have been awarded, while Sanders has won 47.34%. Going forward there are some 2,133 pledged delegates left to be awarded. Of those, Clinton would need to win 59.54% of the remaining delegates, while Sanders would need to win 73.87%  of the remaining delegates. This puts Clinton in a far more favorable position than Barack Obama was at this same point in 2008, and Sanders at a far less favorable position than Clinton was at the same point. While one can certainly understand why the Sanders campaign would be want to be optimistic in its public comments, the truth of the matter is that it is essentially impossible for him to do what would need to be done to either deny Clinton her majority or win a majority on his own. This is due both to the manner in which Democratic primaries allocate delegates and the fact that, notwithstanding the representations of the Sanders campaign, the calendar going forward is far more favorable to Clinton than it is to Sanders. Add the Superdelegates into this calculation, and Clinton’s victory becomes even more likely and more impossible to stop. This is only going to become more true with each primary from now going forward, and Sanders will either recognize reality at some point or he and his supporters will start to look increasingly foolish.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I hear a rather portly soprano doing voice exercises.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    said that the race was now shifting to their advantage and that they expected to win more delegates than Mrs. Clinton in the coming primaries and caucuses.

    Classic (and desperate) spin. 956 of the remaining 1,991 delegates – fully 48% – are in closed contests, including all of the large delegate pools other than California and New Jersey, which are themselves semi-closed. 3 more states with significant delegate pools are also semi-closed. Among the remaining states, Sanders leads Clinton in the polling in only two – West Virginia and Idaho, which between them have 51 delegates to award.

    Clinton will almost certainly win NY, PA, MD, AZ, CT, DE, NJ and either tie or win CA. I admire the desire to keep believing, but this contest is over. Sanders is dead in the water, and NY will be the last nail in his coffin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  3. C. Clavin says:

    I’m not a huge Clinton fan, and I could certainly live with Bernie.
    I just do not see him as electable.
    And that’s coming from a native Vermonter who has actually met the man.

    Having said that I believe the biggest mistake Clinton could make is to alienate Bernie or his supporters. If I were her I would be embracing him and many of his views, especially on the economy and inequality. I would also be tapping into the anger that Trump is flaming. Some tough triangulation, for sure…but she is a Clinton and they invented triangulation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  4. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    To date, and not including the Superdelegates, Clinton has won 57.98% of the delegates that have been awarded, while Sanders has won 47.34%. Going forward there are some 2,133 pledged delegates left to be awarded. Of those, Clinton would need to win 59.54% of the remaining delegates, while Sanders would need to win 73.87% of the remaining delegates.

    I’d say the interesting number is getting to 2026 pledged delegates, at which point the other candidate can only win the nomination by having the superdelegates throw the primary. AP currently has Clinton at 1132 pledged delegates and Sanders at 818, which means that Clinton needs to win 42.55% of the remaining pledge delegates and Sanders needs to win 57.50%.

    Sanders isn’t going to win 57.5% of the votes in New York and California. For anyone who believes that, I’ve got a nice bridge to sell.

    But let’s say that Sanders pushes major upsets in those states and actually is able to split the pledged delegates with Clinton.

    Now Sanders would need 61.42% of the remaining pledged delegates….

    It’s over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Going forward there are some 2,133 pledged delegates left to be awarded

    My math says 2,020, which changes the closed primary/caucus allocation percentage above to 47.3%. Sanders base of support will be shut out of awarding almost half of the remaining delegates unless they decide to register as Democrats. Given their oft proclaimed dislike of parties, I’m not sure how many of them will do so. I’m betting not enough to make a difference, given that they haven’t done so thus far.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Obama nominates Merrick Garland to the SCOTUS.
    Moderate, centrist, and whip smart.
    No way Republicans want that on the court!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  7. HarvardLaw92 says:


    AP currently has Clinton at 1132 pledged delegates and Sanders at 818, which means that Clinton needs to win 42.55% of the remaining pledge delegates and Sanders needs to win 57.50%.

    They tend to hold back a bit. My calculations, based on the delegate allocation rules & the vote margins reported by the various state boards, has Clinton at 1,172 and Sanders at 846. His performance threshold going forward to tie is 58.02%.

    I’m predicting C 1,257 and S 905 after March 21st, which will push his required performance level up to 59.32%. It just keeps going up from there.

    April 26th will be what probably kills him. Clinton can be expected to take all 5 of the contests that day, and based on the polling that will push Sanders to a 75.17% required performance target in the remaining states (including California). He’s dead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  8. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I was frankly disappointed in the choice. I like Merrick, but at 63 he’s far older than I’d prefer. We need to be strategizing our choices to lock a liberal majority on the court for as long as possible. Srinivisan, at age 49 and as the first Asian-American justice, would have been the better option IMO.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  9. PJ says:

    Might be that Srinivisan didn’t want to be nominated with the probability of getting confirmed likely being zero and that Merrick was happy with it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  10. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Could be – I’ve considered the possibility that Merrick agreed to be a decoy duck. I can’t really stake an opinion there either way. If that’s the case, then I agree that he was the perfect choice for that role.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  11. C. Clavin says:


    We need to be strategizing our choices to lock a liberal majority on the court for as long as possible.

    Without a doubt…and it’s why this is the most important election of our lifetimes…if Donald Trump, or even Kasich, is allowed to nominate any number of justices…the damage done will be yyuuuuuggge!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. Jeremy R says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Here’s the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s opening salvo:


    .@CNN: “Dem Senators very happy” that Garland “has a liberal, more progressive bent in his background” #SCOTUS

    1) In 2014, the Americans spoke loud and clear, rejecting Barack Obama’s vision for the country and electing a GOP majority in the Senate.

    2) That check and balance is never more important than it is now, as a lame duck president attempts to re-shape the #SCOTUS.

    3) Reshaping it for a generation with a liberal judge who will only act as a rubber stamp for the very agenda voters already rejected.

    4) Merrick Garland is a liberal, an activist, and one of Obama’s most reliable allies in the judicial system. #GiveThePeopleAVoice

    5) For years, Garland has been identified as an ideologue who would loyally stand with the court’s liberal wing & bolster the Obama agenda.

    6) It’s no accident that Garland is Obama’s choice to protect his own legacy on his way out the door, with an unprecedented power grab.

    7) No doubt this power grab would fundamentally alter the balance of the #SCOTUS. We must #GiveThePeopleAVoice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @Jeremy R:
    So very predictable.
    That’s the very same thing they were saying last week, only then they didn’t have a name.
    This alleged mandate thing annoys the fwck out of me. Obama won two elections by comfortable margins. Republicans only won the Senate because of gerrymandering and incumbencies. And because of the nature of the Senate, it is not the majority of the people speaking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Jeremy R says:

    And Grassley’s statement:


    “When they structured our nation, the founders placed trust in three separate but equal branches of government. Co-equal authorities are throughout the Constitution, including Article II, Section 2, where the power to nominate an individual to the Supreme Court is granted to the President and authority is given to the Senate to provide advice and consent. Nowhere in the Constitution does it describe how the Senate should either provide its consent or withhold its consent.

    “Today the President has exercised his constitutional authority. A majority of the Senate has decided to fulfill its constitutional role of advice and consent by withholding support for the nomination during a presidential election year, with millions of votes having been cast in highly charged contests. As Vice President Biden previously said, it’s a political cauldron to avoid. Judge Bork learned even after being unanimously confirmed for a circuit court judgeship, the confirmation process for the Supreme Court is unlike any other.

    “It’s also important to remember the type of nominee President Obama said he’s seeking. He says his nominee will arrive at ‘just decisions and fair outcomes’ based on the application of ‘life experience’ to the ‘rapidly changing times.’ The so-called empathy standard is not an appropriate basis for selecting a Supreme Court nominee.

    “A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice. Do we want a court that interprets the law, or do we want a court that acts as an unelected super legislature? This year is a tremendous opportunity for our country to have a sincere and honest debate about the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system of government.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Scott says:

    @C. Clavin: Small point of fact: there is no gerrymandering for senate seats.

    Now if you wanted to argue will of the people you could add up votes from Democratic Senate seats and compare them to votes for Republican Senate seats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  16. bookdragon says:

    @Jeremy R: This would be from the same NRSC that didn’t see anything wrong with a tweet that stated that a double amputee who’d lost both legs in combat wasn’t “standing up for veterans”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  17. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    More importantly, it is a message that doesn’t resonate with a majority of voters

    Note that I selected the WSJ poll for a reason – it’s likely to present the most supportive scenario for the Republicans. Even in that fertile ground for the GOP, 55% of those it queried disapprove of the strategy – 4 out of 5 of those strongly disapprove.

    For reasons passing understanding, the GOP has willingly allowed itself to be held hostage by its crazy wing – people who were never going to vote ANYTHING BUT Republican. It baffles the mind that any party would allow locked voters to force it into an agenda which alienates and repels swing voters.

    That having been said, though, speaking as a Democrat, I couldn’t be any happier that they did. It’ll be what eventually kills the GOP as a viable national party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  18. bookdragon says:

    @HarvardLaw92: otoh, I very much liked the take of a commenter over on Balloon Juice:

    “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Can we hold out for someone better?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this primary excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being as this is an election year for the most powerful position in the world, and the next president is going to be either Hillary or Trump, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jeremy R:

    “A lifetime appointment that could dramatically impact individual freedoms and change the direction of the court for at least a generation is too important to get bogged down in politics. The American people shouldn’t be denied a voice. Do we want a court that interprets the law, or do we want a court that acts as an unelected super legislature?

    Orwell himself would have been proud of that doublespeak masterpiece.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  20. gVOR08 says:

    Looking at age, Hillary isn’t likely to get a chance to appoint someone who represents a real swing, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kennedy being oldest. This is the chance to lock in a less conservative court. But Obama is very pragmatic. He plays small ball, doesn’t swing for the fences. He’ll go for what he thinks is the best he can actually get. And so far he’s been a very good vote counter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  21. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I think it plays out like the Senate will successfully prevent any nominee from being confirmed. Democrats, IMO, expect this and fully intend to use that scenario to 1) wreck Republican Senate campaigns via constant quorum calls, and 2) drive Democratic turnout in November.

    The strategy is likely to be effective, especially with the DNC and the DSCC reminding voters ad infinitum through November in states holding Senate elections of what’s at stake if Republicans hold the Senate. It’s likely to drive Democratic turnout up, and that favors both a hold for the White House and a potential flip of the Senate.

    Assuming we do take the Senate, the Republicans will have written the script for justifying the invocation of the nuclear option for Supreme Court Justices, which Dems should absolutely do at their earliest opportunity. Scalia’s seat would be filled, and Ruth would retire at the end of the term (of that I have good reason to be certain). This would give us a 5-4 solid liberal lock for a generation, regardless of whatever shenanigans Republicans tried to pull if they won the Senate back in 2018. The culture war would be over and won.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  22. Jeremy R says:

    Some odd messaging from Sen. Pat Toomey:


    Should Merrick Garland be nominated again by the next president, I would be happy to carefully consider his nomination… #SCOTUS

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  23. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I honestly do not expect the Senate to confirm any Obama nominee. It’s to their peril not to, but they are locked on this course now. I tend to agree more now with PJ’s observation – if Obama expected to get a nominee confirmed, his choice probably wouldn’t have been Merrick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  24. stonetools says:

    On Twiitter, the Sanders supporters are going through the Stages of Grief. They’re now at anger-one Sanders supporter I follow is busily re-tweeting Jill Stein, as if the Green Party is some kind of viable alternative. Hopefully, they’ll come to their senses by the general.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  25. stonetools says:

    Yup. I’ll add that Hillary will most likely get 2 picks- Breyer will likely retire before the 2018 elections.
    I think what will see is this- the Senate stonewalls, and Obama makes this a big a deal as possible , playing this as both as a violation of the spirit of the Constitution but also as as a conservative effort to deny a black Democratic President his right to choose a Supreme Court Justice. (Toomey’s quote will do wonderful service there). It’s interesting that the Republicans have virtually conceded that Garland is qualified, so there is no way for them to defend this anything but a partisan power ploy.
    If the politics works out as it looks most likely, HRC will crush Trump in the general election, bringing in the Senate on her coattails.At that time, the Democrats will trim back or get rid of the filibuster, leading to Garlands’s confirmation. I suspect HRC will nominate Srinivisan to take Ginsburg’s seat, and Watford to to take Breyer’s. And that’ll be the ball game. Garland will be the center of what will be a (moderately )liberal SCOTUS for the next 15 years.
    Also significant too, Kentanji Brown Jackson will be Garland’s replacement on the DC Circuit. If Kennedy dies/retires before 2024…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  26. Jeremy R says:



    “It seems clear President Obama made this nomination not, not with the intent of seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election,” McConnell said.

    “I believe the overwhelming view of the Republican Conference in the Senate is that this nomination should not be filled, this vacancy should not be filled by this lame duck president,” McConnell said.

    “The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice. Let’s let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that might be,” McConnell said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. Andre Kenji says:

    Merrick is the most Conservative Justice to be nominated by a Democrat for the High Court since Byron White. It´s a bargain for Republicans, they would be stupid for not taking it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  28. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I’m more inclined to believe that Merrick’s nomination will die at the end of Obama’s presidency. I expect that Clinton’s nominees will depend on what a Dem controlled Senate did with the nuclear option. If they invoke it, she’ll select more liberal justices than she otherwise would have.

    I don’t think her nominee for Ruth’s seat would be Watford, impressive as he indeed is.

    Nina Pillard (IMO) is probably a more likely choice, closely followed in second place by Patty Millett. Trying not to walk down what may be a sexist path with this, which is absolutely not my intention, but I think the fact that both Clinton and Ruth are women, combined with the enormous impact Ruth has had on the law with respect to women’s rights, makes it almost certain that Clinton would select another woman to replace her. I’ll go further, given how much I adore Ruth and the role that she’s played in my life, to say that I think Clinton SHOULD select another woman to replace her. I generally try to stay away from “like for like” selections, but in this case I think it’s merited and then some.

    In any case, Clinton would be faced with replacing Scalia first, and that one is a much more difficult horse race to pick. Garland would be too old, which is a crap reason not to select him, but one that exists and will have impact nonetheless. Watford is a good choice, likewise Patty if she’s not selected for Ruth’s seat. I fully expect Clinton will zero in on young, spry liberals who currently serve in an appellate circuit seat. That list at the talent level required for a nomination of this gravity isn’t exactly huge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  29. Mikey says:

    @Jeremy R: The level of pure gall McConnell has to even make this statement boggles the mind. He’s accusing Obama of politicizing the nomination for the sake of the election? That’s exactly what McConnell and the GOP are doing! He’s talking about “giving the people a voice?” They already have one, and they exercised it in 2012 by re-electing President Obama.

    And of course the stupid GOP re-definition of “lame duck” has to show up, too.

    How these hypocrites and goons can stand to look at themselves in the mirror also boggles the mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  30. Jeremy R says:

    Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who’s up for reelection in NH, pledges to meet with Merrick to give him the “courtesy” of explaining why she won’t even consider his nomination:


    New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who’s facing a tough reelection fight, said that while she still opposes moving on a nomination ahead of the presidential race, she would take the time to explain her position to Garland. When the nomination was still conceptual, Ayotte had said she would not meet the nominee.

    “He’s a current appeals court judge and out of courtesy and respect we will certainly meet with him if he would like to meet with me,” Ayotte said. “I would want to explain my position to the nominee…I would want to give him that courtesy.

    Ayotte is gearing up for a close reelection race against New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat who has been hammering Ayotte as obstructionist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  31. Pch101 says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Nowhere in the Constitution does it describe how the Senate should either provide its consent or withhold its consent.

    Er, some of these clowns must not have heard of the Federalist Papers. Which is odd, considering how they love to regard themselves as federalists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  32. Jenos Idanian says:

    This week, Hillary said she didn’t know where Sanders was when she was pushing HillaryCare in the 90’s. Sanders responded with a picture of them together for that failed cause, video of her thanking him for his leadership, and a thank-you note she sent him.

    Couple this with her proclaimed inability to recognize classified documents unless they’re clearly marked as such in BIG LETTERS, and her inability to operate the simplest communication devices, and it’s clear that she is obviously mentally unqualified to be president.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 23

  33. stonetools says:


    I think Garland’s willingness to “take one for the team” plus the fact that he was Obama’s choice, is going to pull him across the finish line should the Democrats win the Senate. Also too the new Senate begins it’s term 12 days before the next inaugural. That’s more than enough time for the Senate to nuke the filibuster and confirm Garland on a majority vote after a minimal hearing. I think Obama and the Democrats will feel an obligation to push through Garland’s confirmation, especially if the Republicans put him through the wringer, as they have threatened to do :

    Roll Call reports that the RNC is vowing to launch a major campaign against that nominee, once Obama has selected one:

    Republicans aren’t waiting for President Barack Obama to name a Supreme Court nominee before laying the groundwork to turn him or her into a piñata.

    The Republican National Committee is teaming up with America Rising, a conservative political action committee known for particular expertise in opposition research, to go on the offensive against any Obama nominee.

    “This will be the most comprehensive judicial response effort in our party’s history,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. “If the president wants to break with decades of precedent by pushing through a nominee in an election year, we’re going to vet that person and put their real record on display.”

    The RNC effort will involve a fully array of tactics, from radio and digital commercials to robocalls to surrogate efforts in key states, according to an RNC official.

    Should all this happen, it’s a certainty that the Democrats will renominate and confirm him should they gain the Presidency and Senate. It would be the right thing to do.
    On second thought, you might be right about Clinton replacing Ginsburg with a woman. Jane Kelly might be ahead of your choices on the shortlist, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  34. stonetools says:

    Duplicate deleted.

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  35. Andre Kenji says:

    If the matter is giving the people a voice, McConnell should propose a Constitutional Amendment creating direct election for SC Justices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  36. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I’m doubtful that Jane Kelly would be nominated. She’s had two clerkships with unknowns, and then spent virtually her entire professional career as a public defender in the middle of nowhere, which, while noble, isn’t a background that gets much traction when considering nominees for the court. I get why people think that it should, and I’m not umsympathetic, but it is what it is.

    That her name came up at all during the recent fracas over Scalia’s seat is, IMO, due to the fact that she’s an Iowan, and Grassley advocated for her during her confirmation process. It was more about floating her as a decoy duck in order to put pressure on Chuck Grassley by making him look like a hypocrite, not about any serious intention to put her on the court.

    You may be correct about Garland, but I remain doubtful he’ll be nominated. They’re going to want justices who will last long enough to wait out an eventual Republican presidency. Garland would be hitting the age range where he would be thinking about retiring / leaving right about the time that’s likely to happen. Clinton’s too much of a strategist to waste a nomination on a justice who might have 15 years, at best, on the court, IMO. The age thing aside, he’s a moderate, not a liberal. The party is going to be screaming for liberal nominations if this all goes down like we think it will.

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  37. EddieInCA says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Oh look. SQUIRREL!!!

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  38. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Going back to the article, I noted that Clinton took 70% of the Hispanic vote and 80% of the African-American vote in Florida. That’s outstanding.

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  39. stonetools says:


    Paul Waldman thinks the Republicans might actually confirm Garland in a lame duck session if they lose big in November. In the meantime, Ayotte and Kirk are already talking about ( meaningless) meetings with Garland. While I think most liberals actually WANT Garland to be the sacrificial lamb who goes down to defeat so that Hillary will nominate a young fire breather , there is a path to Garland’s nomination.
    As to Jane Kelly, I’ll bow to your greater knowledge of female appellate judges. None of your names came up on the various shortlists, though. I’m not sure that the politicians are looking at these candidates the way you are. Still, it’s a long way to go before HRC picks Ginsburg’s replacement, so maybe things will have changed by then.

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  40. Rafer Janders says:


    Yup. I’ll add that Hillary will most likely get 2 picks- Breyer will likely retire before the 2018 elections.

    Three, if you consider the chance that Obama doesn’t get Garland through. Clinton will then be able to fill the Scalia vacancy, and also Ginsburg and Breyer if/when they retire and/or die.

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  41. stonetools says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    There could be four.If Hillary wins and brings a Senate majority, there will be sort of a Kennedy death watch:-)

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  42. anjin-san says:

    Shorter Jenos – “I’ve nothing to add…”

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  43. Jen says:

    @Jeremy R: That tweet from Toomey is just flat-out bizarre. I’m not sure under what scenario that type of admission would be considered wise or prudent.

    Thank goodness for Twitter, providing us with insights into the minds of obstructionists like that.

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  44. Tyrell says:

    It is still fairly close. All it would take would be just a hint of another scandal, even something like an unpaid parking ticket or using her influence to get into a middle school ball game for free, and her numbers and delegates would run away like fleas off a dog at a neighborhood pet shampoo !

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  45. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell: For Democrats, even if you had video, a hint of another scandal would be viewed as just one more faux scandal to add to the pile. One more made up attack by the vast right wing conspiracy. You do realize the VRWC does exist, don’t you? In fact, unlike most conspiracies, it’s right out in the open for you to look at.

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  46. Grewgills says:

    To date, and not including the Superdelegates, Clinton has won 57.98% of the delegates that have been awarded, while Sanders has won 47.34%.

    That’s 105.32%, did O’Malley and Webb combine for -5.32% of the delegates to make that possible?

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  47. Grewgills says:

    I think it’s a strategic nomination. Merrick won’t make it through the GOP gauntlet. No one Obama nominated would. His history with GOP support makes him a good candidate to bash them with and on his second try he can nominate younger and slightly more liberal leaning.
    If I were betting, I’d put my money on Clinton getting to make the eventual nomination and her pick being late 40s/ early 50s and a bit to the left of Merrick socially, but still visibly centrist.

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  48. robin cihem says:

    If Hillary wins, the country loses big time. Sanders must win or it’s time to emigrate.

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  49. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @robin cihem:

    In that case, you’ll want to ensure that your passport will be valid in November.

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  50. Robin Cohen says:

    Clinton is a tired, ugly old battle axe with no redeeming qualities.
    Her non-performance in prior jobs speaks volumes about her lack of skills as President.
    Hill and Bill are phonies who are in it for themselves only.

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