For those of you unaware of American political goings on, March 2nd our time was Super Tuesday, when twenty four states had either primaries or caucuses for one or both parties. On the Republican side, Donald Trump swept across the country, adding Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee to his pocket, while Ted Cruz carried his home state of Texas as well as neighbouring Oklahoma and Marco Rubio carried Minnesota. While all this was going on, one certain anxious new university student in Auckland wondered to himself if a GoFundMe campaign to help his close friends in the US escape a Trump presidency wasn’t such a bad idea after all. On the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton carried seven further states, including Alabama and Texas. She also one Massachusetts in a very tight win, as there was strong support for Bernie Sanders across the state, including from a good friend in Pittsfield whose county went for Bernie. Sanders himself carried his home state Vermont, Minnesota, Colorado and to many people’s surprise, Oklahoma. While it’s clear Clinton had a good night, Sanders’ momentum did not burn out and it’s clear, even in states he didn’t win, there is strong support for him.
A few days after, I found an article on the Guardian and, like Jeremy Corbyn before him, it was an article talking him down. The article proudly claimed the game was over and that it was best for him to suspend his campaign to save him from embarrassment. While I generally rely on the Guardian for getting information on goings on in the UK, it made me, and other Bernie backers, very angry. Since Sanders began gaining momentum across the country, his ‘electability’ has been constantly called into question by media figures and by Clinton. I do not like it when people try to play the “unelectable” card on the likes of Sanders and Corbyn, I think it’s detrimental to debate, party unity and important discussion on significant issues, which Sanders is trying to address throughout his campaign. But I won’t go into massive details about it, I’ll dedicate a further post to the issue later.
To claim Bernie Sanders is as good as defeated by now is sheer folly and ignorance. Of the fifty six primaries to take place, 16 have taken place and over forty still need to happen first. While I won’t rubbish the victory Bernie had in Oklahoma, most of the Super Tuesday states were conservative, a good number of them returning Republican Congressmen, Senators and Governors in the 2014 midterm elections with six Clinton states having voted Romney in 2012. I don’t think Super Tuesday is a fair indicator, therefore, to prove whether or not Sanders has the capability to win the nomination.
Polling across the country still has Sanders in a good position in numerous states. The latest polling in Maine, home of Stephen King and setting of one of my personal favourite TV shows, is predicted to go Bernie, making New England Sanders’ fortress. Ohio, another state that is home to a friend of mine, is also a possible target for Sanders, with polls showing him in close range to challenge Clinton. I live in hope too that Pennsylvania, home to my best friend, will go Bernie too. While Pennsylvania has been strong ground for the Clintons, with both Bill and Hillary winning the state in 1992 and 2008, one poll has shown Clinton leading with only 7% and furthers my hope.
So, Richard Wolffe, no, the game is NOT over for Bernie. It was very true what Gandhi said. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Bernie won’t be giving up anytime soon and I’ll be backing him to the hilt throughout the remainder of the primary season. If Clinton does win, I will, begrudgingly, back her for president, but I know Sanders can win this election. If he honestly believes Sanders is going to give up, right here, right now, after coming so far, he hasn’t seen anything yet.