Bernie Sanders had a big win in the Wisconsin primary yesterday, beating Hillary Clinton by a wide margin of 56.5% to 43.2%. This handily beat the latest poll projections taken just before the vote that had him winning by a narrow margin of around 3-4%. Sanders won 69 of the 72 counties in the state.
What is more remarkable is when you look at the trend over time. Clinton started with a huge lead in Wisconsin and Sanders has been steadily narrowing it down, with a late surge in support that gave him the large margin of victory at the end.
Because of the superdelegate system, a candidate in the Democratic party has to win close to 60% of the actual elected delegates if these establishment politicians do not support him. That is pretty much the case in this race where 94% of these superdelegates currently support Clinton. But if Sanders does manage to win a majority of the elected delegates and yet the superdelegates give the nomination to Clinton, that will glaringly expose the undemocratic nature of the system.
Meanwhile, the entire Republican and mainstream media establishment is hoping that Ted Cruz’s win over Donald Trump by a margin of 48.3% to 35.1% signals the beginning of the end of the latter’s campaign. Oddly, Cruz’s margin of victory is almost identical to that of Sanders but the media are reporting the former’s win as ‘crushing’ but are downplaying Sanders’ victory and not using those same terms to describe it. This is also despite the fact that pre-election polls showed Cruz winning easily but Sanders having only a very narrow lead. So it is Sanders’ margin of victory that was more newsworthy but you would never guess that from the way the results are being reported.
Here’s an example from the Cleveland Plain Dealer website that illustrates the way that the two wins are described.
Cruz stormed to a commanding victory in Wisconsin, denting front-runner Donald Trump’s chances of capturing the GOP nomination before the party’s convention in Cleveland. Sanders carried the Democratic race over Hillary Clinton, a win that still leaves him with a mathematically difficult path to the White House. [My italics-MS]
On Saturday, Wyoming has Democratic caucuses and after that on April 19 New York has both Democratic and Republican primaries. New York is Clinton’s ‘home’ state (the state she represented as a senator and where she currently lives) and she must be hoping for a big win there to counter the narrative of Sanders gaining ground. But even there, like in Wisconsin, Sanders has been steadily whittling away at her lead.
Sanders has won all of the last six contests making it harder for the media to dismiss his candidacy as hopeless, though they keep trying.