Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Potentially New Ball Game

Sanders' win in Michigan has to worry Clinton some.  She's still the favorite for the nomination, as last night she once again led the delegate count.  Sanders continues to eek out narrow wins, while Clinton - when she wins she wins big - amasses a delegate lead.

But if Michigan represents a trend, where Sanders can pick off Midwestern states, then Clinton will need to scramble to carry western states.

Next up are Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.  Given her strength among African American voters and Southerners, I think we can safely give her North Carolina and the lion's share of its 121 delegates.  However, Sanders could run stronger in the Research Triangle and prevent the sort of romp Clinton has enjoyed in other Southern states.

Clinton runs better among Democrats than independents.  Florida is a closed primary, so that - combined with large populations of African Americans, Hispanics and elderly Jewish voters - should give her an advantage there.  The Missouri Democratic party is also heavily African American which should help her there.

The tricky part is Illinois and and Ohio.  Those are open primaries.  While some independents might turn out in Ohio to support Kasich in the GOP primary, Ohio shares enough similarities to Michigan (don't tell them I said so) that it presents Sanders' best opportunity for a signature win.

That leaves Illinois.  It will be interesting to see if Obama gives Clinton another bump going into his home state's primary.  One opportunity will be at Nancy Reagan's funeral.

This race presents a fascinating mirror image of 2008.

In that race, you had one candidate widely perceived as inspirational and authentic against the seasoned technocrat.  Except in 2008, the inspirational candidate had mastered delegate math.  This time the technocrat seems to have a firmer grasp on that crucial question, not to mention a stranglehold on super-delegates.

Ultimately, as in 2008, a long primary season can be beneficial, as long as it doesn't get too nasty.  So far it hasn't.

This is the first day where the Democratic race is more interesting than the Republican.

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