Sanders Delivers Another Victory in the Northern Midwest
Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator from Vermont has dominated the northern Midwest. He won a surprise victory in Michigan, dominated in Minnesota, and won convincingly in Wisconsin. With his thirteen percent victory in the Democratic Wisconsin Primary on Tuesday, Sanders, has now won six consecutive contests. This string of victories includes wins in: Idaho, Utah, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska.
Though Wisconsin was not Sanders’ largest margin of victory, it may be his most important of the streak. Wisconsin is a general election battleground. The combined total of votes cast in the Democratic Wisconsin Primary was 1,003,904. Not too dissimilar from their Republican counterparts. In the Republican Primary election the total number of votes cast reached 1,101,123. The difference between the two parties was less than 100,000 votes. Thus, Wisconsin is a legitimate swing state.
Sanders amassed substantial victories in Utah, Idaho, and Alaska, however there is no real mathematical path to any Democratic candidate winning in those states. Sanders supporters view this recent streak of caucus and primary victories as momentum. If he is able to capitalize on this presumed momentum and make a serious push for New York, the complexion of the race will change dramatically. Both candidates can theoretically consider New York their “home state” — Sanders was born in Brooklyn, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, served as U.S. Senator for New York and her campaign headquarters are in Brooklyn. This is a home going for both candidates in many respects, and the stakes could not be higher.
New York is not only important to Sanders because it is a delegate rich state. New York is central to Sanders proving he can win in states with racially diverse constituencies. Thus far, Hawaii is Sanders’ lone claim to success in diverse states but even that charge is suspect. Hawaii is the eleventh least populous state in the union, the most difficult to earn employment, the most expensive to live, and has virtually no African-American or Latin American residents. However, yes, it technically does have the lowest white population. But it should be noted, simply being "not white" does not equal diverse. When discussing diversity, socioeconomics cannot be ignored.
Based on the demographics of Wisconsin, Clinton made a strategic decision not to spend much time or money in the state. Whether this decision affected the outcome is unknown. But what is known, Sanders is riding a wave of momentum that will only be stopped with a sizable victory in the Empire State.
Alicia Keys acknowledged, ‘New York is a concrete jungle where dreams are made of’ and for both candidates, their dream of becoming the next President of the United States requires a victory on April 19 in the New York Primary.