“Swing States,” Swing Sanders’ Way
Two “swing states” which were up for grabs on Super Tuesday went to Presidential Candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Secretary Hillary Clinton did as expected. she won big in the SEC Primary. Clinton carried Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and Arkansas.
Her southern firewall held up but may have produced a hollow victory. Clinton’s southern states victories will lack much of a punch the remainder of the campaign season. The bulk of her Black voting bloc is in the books. This voting bloc will have little impact as the campaign season swings out west and into the nation’s heartland.
Moreover, the Southeastern United States traditionally are red states controlled by Republican governors and state legislatures. Clinton’s firewall of Black voters represents 51 percent of the Democratic vote in the South. However, their numbers are miniscule when compared to white conservative voters in this region. These conservatives will have a say in who receives their state’s electoral votes in November.
Sanders won the “swing states” of Colorado and Minnesota. These are two must win states for any contender who hopes to win the General Election in November. Also, Sanders won over the white conservative Democrats in the Oklahoma Presidential Preference Primary. This will bode well for Sanders as he shifts his focus to the March 8 Presidential Preference Primary in Michigan.
Clinton won Massachusetts, which is not a “swing state,” by a very tiny margin. The two candidates will virtually split the Massachusetts delegates.
Following Clinton’s Shermanesque march through the South, the actual pledged delegate count is approximately the same. Since Democratic Party rules permit Superdelegates to switch their vote from a one candidate to another, at this stage of the campaign, it is ludicrous to count any of them. The race for the Democratic nomination remains in a dead heat.
Sanders is expected to do well in delegate rich California and the Northwestern Pacific corridor of the country where he spent much of his time early in the 2007 pre campaign season. Despite the fact that he was unable to receive a sizable portion of the Black vote in the South, Sanders pathway to victory is mirroring the 2008 playbook of then Senator Barack Obama.
In the coming weeks, look for the “swing states” to start swinging Sanders way.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.