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Super Saturday For Bernie Sanders May Fuel a Midwest Comeback

Super Saturday For Bernie Sanders May Fuel a Midwest Comeback

Super Saturday For Bernie Sanders May Fuel a Midwest Comeback

For the first time during the 2016 election cycle, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont won more state contests than his Democratic rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on ‘Super Saturday’ March 5th. Sanders won in Kansas by over 30 percentage points and in Nebraska by double digits. After an unexpected loss in Nevada, and record defeat in South Carolina, Sanders’ detractors expected his campaign to be suspended by this point. With sizeable victories in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Minnesota on Super Tuesday, Sanders’ campaign appears primed to close the delegate gap with Clinton and mount a historic comeback.

A stronghold over the South may not represent the true test of a Democratic candidate’s worth. After serving as First Lady of Arkansas, Clinton was expected to perform well in Southern states, which she has. But unfortunately for her, and the party, the South has traditionally not voted Democratic since World War II and the segregationist Dixiecrats, led by notorious racist Strom Thurmond helped flip the parties with the Republicans adopting segregationist propaganda. Clinton must demonstrate an ability to win outside of Republican citadels like South Carolina and Texas in order to convince the Democratic Party she is best suited to defeat the Republican nominee.

Sanders’ recent victories seem to display a new trend. If he is able to win in Swing State territory, the industrial Midwest, Clinton must amend her strategy going forward. In the first contests Clinton secured comfortable leads among African-American voters. But if she expects to stop Sanders’ momentum, her campaign will have to figure out how to appeal to a broader range of the electorate.

Clinton currently enjoys a 640-delegate lead over Sanders with her 1,121 compared to his 481. However, the bulk of her lead was amassed via Super Delegate commitments. Clinton currently has 458 Super Delegate commitments with Sanders only accumulating 22. But it should be noted that Super Delegates are not obligated to remain committed to a candidate throughout the entire process. Unlike Pledged Delegates, the Super Delegates are free to vote for whichever candidate they believe would best represent the party. Thus, if the race reaches the convention, the Super Delegates will have an opportunity to change their commitments if the will of the voters has changed dramatically since their respective state’s primary or caucus.

Bernie Sanders will have an opportunity this evening to speak directly to an important Midwest audience. The Democratic Party will host a debate in Flint, Michigan. To best reach this constituency Sanders and Clinton need to explain detailed plans for helping Flint residents overcome the manmade water crisis caused by Republican Governor Rick Snyder. To date, the candidates have only addressed the issue marginally; tonight they will be expected to cover the 'Flint Water Crisis' in more depth. Thoughtful discussions on infrastructure can offer a surefire way for Sanders to continue his momentum.

Sanders Delivers Another Victory in the Northern Midwest

Sanders Delivers Another Victory in the Northern Midwest

Dominating Clinton Victory Forces Sanders to Regroup

Dominating Clinton Victory Forces Sanders to Regroup