If you listened to corporate media, the same media that said Bernie never had a chance to begin with, you would think Bernie’s path to the nomination is now closed. Of course it would have been better for Bernie to have won Nevada this past Saturday, but the truth is Bernie did get some very good news out of Nevada.
According to the entrance polls, Bernie won Nevada’s Latino vote by a margin of 53%-45%. The Clinton campaign and the New York Times were quick to reject that, but bear in mind this is coming from a publication which its own editor admitted was dismissive of Bernie, and has continued to be in Clinton’s corner throughout this election. How could Bernie have won the Latino vote, asked the Times, when Hillary carried heavily Hispanic precincts? Simple, answered Nate Silver’s outfit Five Thirty Eight: Latinos who live in ethnically mixed neighborhoods carried the Latino vote for Bernie. Notice that while Team Hillary poo poos the entrance polling data that she lost Latinos, they are quick to point to the same data for their claim that they carried African Americans. In other words, they are cherry picking and spinning, which is not a surprise.
We here try not to do that, which is why we must come clean. In our article prior to the caucuses, we predicted that Hillary Clinton’s “firewall” with non white voters wasn’t real. Well, we were partially wrong, because Black voters went 76-22% for her. However, Bernie did manage to break through in the Latino vote, which makes perfect sense since the median age of Latinos is lower than other ethnic groups, and Bernie has been dominating with younger voters.
So what kind of a path to the nomination can Bernie put together? Nationally, a terrific one, because any candidate who can carry a majority of White and Latino Democrats should beat the one carrying a majority of Black Democrats. This is, after all, how Michael Dukakis beat Jesse Jackson in 1988 to win the nomination. Hillary’s people know this, which is why from now on until Super Tuesday you will hear her mouthpieces in the establishment media tell you that the race is effectively over. Hillary Clinton will attempt to land the knock out punch in seven out of the next 12 states, which have a high percentage of African Americans who participate in the Democratic primary.
Bernie’s Path in Specifics
Simply put, Bernie has got to play to his strengths, which is white liberals, and since the Nevada Caucuses, Latinos. Given all the time in the world, Bernie could no doubt pull even with black Democrats in this race. But the truth is, he only has 10 days, and campaign resources such as money, candidate time and infrastructure are very limited. As a result, he must go where the votes are.
South Carolina – February 27
Forget it. Concede it. Do as much damage control as you can. Bernie will not win there being down in the polls by an average of 24 points, and where over 50% of the electorate is likely to be Black.
Super Tuesday – March 1
A great deal of media attention is being paid to the fact that six of those states are in the South, where African Americans will likely be a significant part of the electorate. What is less frequently mentioned is that five of the remaining states will not. Bernie must consolidate his resources and pull those into his column. Vermont, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado and Oklahoma are all states where Bernie is either ahead in the polling or within striking distance. By concentrating on those states, he makes sure to walk out not only with plenty of delegates, but a talking point for the media that he walked out with five out of 11 victories and effectively split Super Tuesday. Just as importantly, he will be able to raise a ton of money off the back those victories to remain competitive in states beyond. In addition, a sixth state is the most delegate rich prize on this day – Texas. Texas has as many delegates as Georgia and Virginia put together.
This is where Bernie can take solace in the Nevada results, and why Clinton wants so badly to have people believe that she won the Latino vote. The Texas Democratic primary is going to be even more heavily Latino. If Bernie can remain competitive there and snag a very large portion of the delegates, maybe even tie Hillary, he will walk out of Super Tuesday with a great deal of momentum.
After Super Tuesday for the rest of March
In the week following Super Tuesday, there are only two southern states on the schedule (Mississippi and Louisiana), compared to three other non southern states (Kansas, Nebraska and Maine), with a couple of dozen more delegates. This could help Bernie make up some ground with pledged delegates that he may have ceded in the Super Tuesday contest or, in case he comes up just short in the big prize that week – Michigan. While Michigan does have a 14% African American population, Bernie may be able to increase his share among both white and black voters there due to his uncompromising stances on free trade, which have hurt states in the former industrial rust belt. NAFTA is a four letter word in Michigan, and Hillary Clinton must own it because both she and Bill Clinton supported it.
In the week of March 15, Bernie can once again remain competitive in mid-western states like Illinois and Ohio, and use his advantage with the Latino vote to even out the count in Florida, while Hillary concentrates on the southern states of North Carolina and Missouri.
In the final week of March, Bernie has a great schedule. In Arizona, which is not only heavily Latino, but where he actually enjoys establishment support of prominent and influential congressman Raul Grijalva as well as other Latino leaders, he can compete and win there. Finally he is coming across some very demographically friendly states for him like Alaska, where he is polling ahead today, Utah, Idaho and Washington, all caucus states where white liberals dominate. (Don’t ask us what will happen to Hawaii’s caucus because literally nobody knows)
April, May and June
Should he win big in the final week of March, Bernie starts April off with a tailor made state for him like Wisconsin, the birthplace of the progressive movement. Should he carry the momentum, the democratic primary schedule takes the candidates to states which are mostly in the west, Rocky Mountains and the Midwest, whose electorate will favor the groups Bernie has been able to claim thus far, making New York and California the biggest prizes. While Hillary may enjoy some home state advantages in New York, and she does have one more southern state (Kentucky), the remaining states including delegate rich California are where Bernie can not only compete, but run the table.
Bernie’s path to the nomination is not only plausible, but also very clear. This is why you should look for the corporate media, the establishment, and every other force that favors Hillary Clinton to tell you that the race is over, because the only way Bernie loses is if his supporters begin to believe that, stop donating, stop turning out to vote, and stop volunteering. We as his supporters have to take responsibility for the fact that turnout in Nevada was low, and that is why we lost there. Maintaining the momentum is key, and should Bernie’s army stay strong, it can and will win the day.