The Bern is over

Results in South Carolina plus current polling make it awfully clear.  Unless there’s some totally unforeseen external shock to the race, the nomination will be Hillary’s.  Credit to Bernie– he’s made far more of a good run then I expect he himself ever believed he would.  He’s kept Hillary honest and forced her to organize and run hard and probably pulled her to the left.  But the revolution will not be happening.  Here’s Nate Cohn on the SC results and what currently polling has to tell us:

She did it the same way that Mr. Obama did: with overwhelming support from black voters, who favored Mrs. Clinton over Bernie Sandersby a stunning margin of 87 to 13, according to updated exit polls — a tally that would be larger than Mr. Obama’s victory among black voters eight years earlier. They represented 62 percent of the electorate, according to exit polls, even higher than in 2008.

The result positions Mrs. Clinton for a sweep of the South in a few days on Super Tuesday and puts the burden on Mr. Sanders to post decisive victories elsewhere. If he does not — and the polls, at least so far, are not encouraging — Mrs. Clinton seems likely to amass a significant and possibly irreversible lead. [emphases mine]

For Mrs. Clinton, the path to the presidential nomination is straightforward: fight Mr. Sanders to a draw among the nonblack voters who dominate the party’s contests in many Northern and Western states, and win by huge margins among black voters, who represent about a quarter of Democratic voters nationally. They represent the majority of Democrats in the South, which will play a crucial role on Super Tuesday…

As a result, the Sanders campaign has effectively conceded the South on Super Tuesday. The campaign is not airing advertisements there, according to NBC News data. It’s instead concentrating resources in five states with far fewer black voters and far fewer delegates: Oklahoma, Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts and Vermont. It is a strategy that aims to maximize Mr. Sanders’s chance of winning states, but it doesn’t necessarily prevent Mrs. Clinton from running up huge delegate leads from the South.

The likelihood of a Clinton landslide in the delegate-rich South means that Mr. Sanders can’t compensate with a few narrow, feel-good wins outside the South. The thing to watch on Tuesday night is whether Mr. Sanders can win by big — even double-digit — margins in states like Minnesota or Massachusetts. The margins matter, because delegates are awarded proportionally in the Democratic nomination contest…

The polling, at least for now, says Mr. Sanders is not positioned to win by these sorts of margins. He’s in a tight race in Massachusetts. He’s in a tight race in Oklahoma, a state with a below-average black population and a large number of working-class Democrats. There is not much polling in Colorado or Minnesota, but there isn’t much evidence of a blowout there or in neighboring Wisconsin.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, predictwise agrees, as Hillary has moved from the 80’s to 95% chance of winning, which strikes me as about right for the circumstances.

predict

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to The Bern is over

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    It seems that Hillary has won the white vote in SC as well.

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