By Art Friedson
Let’s be very clear: Donald Trump has won the Republican nomination, and Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination.
According to the Associated Press Delegate Tracker which is as close to the “official count” as you get, Hillary now has 2,293 pledged delegates. She needs 2,383 to win. On June 7th, six states will hold primaries. Sanders is expected to win North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. Even if he gets 100% of their delegates (which he won’t), he’ll only pick up 75 total delegates. Hillary, on the other hand, is expected to win California, New Jersey, and New Mexico. And when I say “expected,” I’m working from Nate Silvers’ fivethirtyeight primary forecasts projections that Hillary has a 93% probability of winning California with its 548 delegates and a 97% chance of winning New Jersey with its 142 delegates, plus New Mexico with its 43 delegates.
Even if she wins each of those contests by only one vote (she won’t…she’s dominating), she’ll pick up a cool 374 delegates that night. That will put her at over 2,667 delegates. Vote counts tell the same story, with Clinton at about 12.5 million votes to Sanders’ 9.4 million. It’s over. Period. End of this part of the story.
Clinton is winning fair and square according to rules that have been in place since Day #1. WaPo‘s Alexandra Petri takes a great tongue-in-cheek look at what would happen if Sanders’ supporters applied the same logic they are using to express umbrage at the primary results to other contests like Scrabble, Tennis and Monopoly. The common refrain: I’m not a sore loser. The system is RIGGED!
What’s frightening right now is while Trump is trying to re-cast himself as a normal person, making nice with Roger Ailes and Megyn Kelly and suggesting that he’ll nominate reliable dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives to the Supreme Court (perish the thought!), Bernie Sanders is taking over Trump’s role as the crazy old man in the room, giving just a brief, perfunctory apology for the violence and obscene death threats made against Nevada delegates and harassment of Democratic Party officials like Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz then screaming about an unjust system in the same sentence. What on earth is going on?
WaPo‘s Dana Milbank askes the right question: Does Bernie Sanders Want To Be The Ralph Nader of 2016? He notes that Sanders has toned down his attacks on Hillary Clinton, while simultaneously fueling a storm of outrage directed at the Democratic Party that will hurt Democratic candidates up and down the ballot. Sanders’ new argument is, in essence, that the Democratic Party is no better than the Republican Party, which is the same message that drove Nader’s supporters and which may explain why Sanders has less support from his Senate colleagues than even Ted Cruz got from his caucus.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are both running campaigns based on anger and alienation. Both are failing, thank goodness, because there are simply not enough angry white men (in Trump’s case) and alienated white kids (in Sanders’ case) to carry them. But, sadly, there are enough of them to be a real cancer in the body politic. We can only hope that President Obama’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative will eradicate The Donald and The Bern as well; but short of that, we have great confidence that Hillary will handle it.
Thanks to Nancy Kohn Consulting