The Super Tuesday primaries did not bode well for Bernie Sanders.
Of the 11 states that casted ballot on Tuesday, the Vermont senator scored big wins in his home state of Vermont (which was rather easy) along with Oklahoma, Colorado and Minnesota. Rival candidate and Democratic Party front-runner Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, clinched huge victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
The make-or-break primaries were supposed to narrow down the playing field and pave the way for the presidential nominee. Unluckily for Sanders, who until recently was a worthy competitor for Clinton, the night was a complete disaster.
For months, his presidential campaign counted on a big performance on Super Tuesday. He lost to the former secretary of the state by razor-thin margins in the Iowa and Nevada caucuses, while scoring a big win in New Hampshire. However, his catastrophic loss in South Carolina changed things a little.
Soon after his NH defeat, the candidate pointed out that on March 1, voters “will pick 10 times more pledged delegates on one day than were selected in the four early states so far in this campaign.” However, things didn’t turn out as well as he had probably hoped.
Despite all the criticism and her past racial remarks, Clinton won five states where African-American voters made up a large portion of the electorate. In Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Arkansas, the former first lady won by a massive margin, whereas in Texas, where the majority of Democrats are non-white, she left Sanders behind with a lead of 30 points.
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Meanwhile, the Vermont senator won the states he targeted, although his loss down South set his campaign way back.
After all, it is not the number of states that determine who win the presidential nomination — it is the number of delegates that decide the outcome of the race.
Now, Sanders managed to win four states to Clinton’s seven, which might not sound that big of a loss if one doesn’t factor in the fact that the states the senator won are small, which means fewer delegates in his column.
In the primary elections, people select delegates assigned to their particular district to vote for their chosen candidate at the Democratic National Convention over the summer. Since a candidate only wins the regions that voted for them instead of every delegate, scoring 50 percent of success in a huge state sometimes fares better than winning with high margin in a tiny state.
Since Sanders won 284 delegates compared to Clinton’s massive 453, it is safe to assume that the senator’s path, from now on, will not be an easy one.
Of course, there is a chance that Sanders might regain his momentum as the race progresses and people get to know him, but that still remains to be seen.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters