Hillary Clinton Sweeps Four Of Five Mid-Atlantic States, Edges Closer To Delegate Majority
Another big night for Hillary Clinton, and more bad news for Bernie Sanders.
Hillary Clinton walked away from yesterday’s Mid-Atlantic primaries winning four out of five states and putting herself close enough to winning an outright majority of delegates to put the Democratic nomination well within reach:
PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton all but secured the Democratic nomination Tuesday after a long and bruising primary fight against rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, scoring decisive victories in four of five East Coast states to cast ballots.
In the last big day of multiple contests before Democrats conclude their primary voting in June, Clinton won Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware, and Sanders won in tiny Rhode Island, the only state where independents could vote in the Democratic contest.
Overall, Sanders picked up a fraction of the delegates awarded to Clinton.
While not mathematically eliminated, the liberal senator from Vermont, whose outsider campaign captured a current of Democratic discontent, remains far behind and now faces nearly impossible odds as the nominating contest draws to a close.
Clinton all but declared victory over Sanders on Tuesday, turning her sights to the Democratic National Convention, to be held here in July, and a possible general election race against Republican Donald Trump.
Before a boisterous crowd of 1,300 in Philadelphia, Clinton asked Democrats to imagine a more hopeful, compassionate country “where love trumps hate.”
Speaking to Sanders supporters, Clinton said she intends to unify the party. She appealed to their shared values, including reducing income inequality, college affordability and universal health coverage.
“Our campaign is about restoring people’s confidence in our ability to solve problems together,” Clinton said. “That’s why we’re setting bold, progressive goals backed up by real plans.
“After all, that is how progress is made,” she said. “We have to be both dreamers and doers.”
Tuesday’s performance allows Clinton to reposition her campaign for the general election fight against Republicans in ways that have been difficult to do while fending off Sanders’s persistent, well-funded and remarkably successful challenge.
Her speech Tuesday included an appeal to moderate independent voters, who Democrats believe may be looking for a home in a general election if the Republican nominee is Trump.
“If you are a Democrat, an independent or a thoughtful Republican, you know their approach is not going to build an America where we increase opportunity or decrease inequality,” Clinton said. “So instead of us letting them take us backwards we want America to be in the future business.”
Trump, declaring victory Tuesday, repeated his new epithet for Clinton: “Crooked Hillary.” will not be a good president,” he said. “She doesn’t have the strength. She doesn’t have the stamina.”
He added: “If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote.”
Sanders has pledged to remain in the race, but in a statement Tuesday night, he suggested motives besides winning the nomination, such as shaping the Democratic party’s platform, that would keep him in the campaign.
“The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be,” Sanders said. “That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast.”
He listed several issues he would like to see in the Democratic platform, including a $15 minimum wage and the kind of single-payer health-care system that Clinton has not embraced.
Sanders had rallied early in Huntington, W.Va., in a state that holds its primary in two weeks.
“This campaign is not just about electing a president. It is about transforming our nation,” Sanders told a crowd of 6,400.
Clinton’s big victory in New York last week appeared to give her a boost in Pennsylvania, the largest state in play Tuesday, with 189 delegates. Sanders aides once thought he could win there because it shares demographic and economic characteristics with majority-white Midwestern states he had captured earlier.
Clinton has routinely outpaced Sanders among registered Democrats, while Sanders — who has run as an independent in his congressional races — cleans up with unaffiliated voters.
Tad Devine, Sanders’s senior strategist, said the candidate and his top aides plan to talk Wednesday about how his path to the nomination has been affected by Tuesday’s results, but he said he sees no scenario in which Sanders drops out.
“Our path to the nomination was never narrower than the day I announced my candidacy. I will not stop fighting for an America where no one who works 40 hours a week lives in poverty, where health care is a right for all Americans, where kids of all backgrounds can go to college without crushing debt, where there is no bank too big to fail, no banker too powerful to jail, and we’ve reclaimed our democracy from the billionaire class.”
Sanders is poised to perform well in Indiana and has said he expects to outright win other states voting soon, including West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon. But there are no big prizes on the Democratic calendar in May that would allow him to capture a large number of delegates.
As with Donald Trump, Clinton outperformed her polling in the four states that she won last night, winning 55.6% of the vote in Pennsylvania, 63% of the vote in Maryland, 51.7% of the vote in Connecticut, and 59.8% of the vote in Delaware. The one exception of the night on the Democratic side was Rhode Island, but as I mentioned yesterday that was one of the states where polling was limited, and at least one poll had shown Senator Sanders with a lead in the state so a win on his part there isn’t entirely surprising. In any case, thanks to the manner in which Democrats allocate delegates Sanders’ win only garnered him two more delegates than Hillary Clinton, which will do hardly anything to cut into the former Secretary of State’s formidable lead in the delegate count. More importantly, what last night showed is that Clinton’s campaign seems to have cleared recovered from the body blows it seemed to have taken when Bernie Sanders was winning caucuses out West quite easily. This is important because, going forward, the map is much more favorable to Clinton than it is to Sanders, as is the delegate math.
Speaking of which, a look at the delegate numbers in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s largely victorious night makes clear that the Democratic race is, effectively over and that Bernie Sanders is simply defying reality if he continues to maintain that he has any chance at all of winning the nomination. Of the 384 delegates that were up for grabs last night, Clinton has clearly won at least 204, while Senator Sanders managed to pick up just 146, putting him even further behind in the race for delegates while Clinton lies just short of the finish line. If Superdelegates are included in the count, and at this point there’s no reason they shouldn’t be, Clinton has 2,151 delegates in her corner, putting her just 231 delegates short of the majority she needs to claim in the nomination on the first ballot. This means she would need to win just 20.625% of the outstanding pledged delegates in order to win the nomination. Sanders, on the other hand, currently has a total of 1,338 pledged delegates and Superdelegates and would need to win 93% of the outstanding delegates to win the nomination. In other words, while he isn’t mathematically eliminated yet, Sanders is on the verge of being so and is at least at the point where no rational person can believe that it’s likely that he will win the nomination. At this point, the ball is completely in his court, and he can either continue with a doomed campaign or begin the process of moving aside and letting his opponent prepare for the General Election.