Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are the only two Democrats running in the primaries this year, and Berni is way behind Hillary in the delegate race. That doesn’t seem to faze Bernie, because he seems to be just biding his time.
He may be behind on the delegate count, but he was hugely bolstered by his win in Wisconsin, thanks to his appeals to unions members. Conservative governor Walker handed those votes to Sanders by enacting legislation to crush the power unions used to wield because they had money from people forced to pay union dues. Those remaining in unions now are a lot less in number, but they are more committed and more active.
Sanders also smashed a record for money taken in during March. He may be trailing behind Hillary in delegates, but the people must be behind him. That is easily seen in his fundraising. He pulled in $44 million, a record, according to The Washington Post on Friday.
As the years roll by, more money rolls into elections and fundraising records are being broken all the time. There are two things really exceptional about this new record. First, it was not made by the front-runner, but by the candidate nipping at the front-runner’s heels. Second, it wasn’t forced up by corporate donations, but by a grass-roots effort of sub-$10 donations.
Looking at delegate counts, Sanders has a 300 delegate deficit compared to Clinton, and Clinto is said to have the delegates tied up, giving her a 700-delegate lead.
If 2016 was like any previous primary season, we might expect that Sanders would drop out now, but that isn’t going to happen this time.
Sanders is doing well because Americans are angry. Bernie is angry too, and he is speaking the language of the people. Hillary is only speaking the language of her rusted-on supporters and that includes big money. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are attracting tens of millions of fed-up voters who are mostly young and/or blue collar.
Joe Trippi, Howard Dean’s former campaign chairman, said, “Back in 2004, there was only 650,000 people who had given online. There was only so long you could sustain things.” How times have changed! Bernie Sanders now has the campaign war chest to last all the way to the Philadelphia convention in July, thanks to grass roots supporters for his alternative vision for liberals and progressives.
With that money, Sanders can do things he never would have thought possible when he started his campaign. He can freely invest in expensive nationwide TV commercials. You can almost feel Hillary’s growing irritation. She and her campaign managers thought she would have this race all sewn up, and the far-left socialist blowhard could be swatted away easily.
The grass-roots money donations have transformed the Sanders campaign into Hillary’s worst case primary scenario. It is still expected that she will win the nomination, as long as her FBI investigation doesn’t derail her candidacy. The big question is, what will voters think about how viable she is as president.
The Sanders strategy is to arrive at the convention in July with the most pledged delegates. His problem is that Hillary has the pledges of most of the superdelegates. The question is: are they rusted on to Hillary? Sanders argument, to those super-delegates, is that they have a responsibility to grass-roots Democrats to cast their ballots for him.
The Sanders campaign is probably hoping for an upset via the FBI criminal investigation of Hillary’s emails. If Hillary is indicted, that should kill her campaign. Even if she is not, there is a big question-mark over her judgement, secrecy, fundraising and donors.
We can see that this may already be happening with grass-roots supporters, as Sanders had a massive primary surge through the Midwestern states. That must be setting off alarm bells with Hillary’s campaign managers, her supporters and the super-delegates.
According to Hillary’s campaign staff, they have written Bernie Sanders off as nothing more than a “message candidate.”
Even Barack Obama weighed in last month, quietly promoting Hillary, when he said the Sanders campaign was “winding down.”
Doesn’t appear to be what’s happening at all. Obama and Clinton may be just spitting into the wind. No matter where you stand in politics, left, right or middle, the rise of Bernie Sanders is an amazing thing to behold!