March 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s Awful Weekend

Hillary Clinton got trounced in the Western Saturday primaries, losing by massive margins in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii. Clinton’s poor performance has given Bernie Sanders’ campaign “critical momentum” going into big states like Wisconsin and New York.

Hillary Clinton’s poor showing on Western Saturday underscored many of the reasons she struggled against Bernie Sanders.

One of Clinton’s biggest problems is that her numerous ethical scandals, like her private email server and her secret Goldman Sachs speeches, have engendered a deep mistrust in “young and liberal voters”:

“Yet the results also highlighted the uphill climb Mrs. Clinton would face in winning over the young and liberal voters who have flocked to the Vermont senator, and who often express concerns about her fund-raising and speechmaking practices.”

Additionally, Bernie Sanders’ victories in the Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska once again exposed the fallacy that Hillary Clinton is the only Democratic candidate that appeals to minority voters. All three of Sanders’ Saturday victories were in states that are in the top ten most diverse states in the country:

“Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders won his three contests in ultra-diverse states — Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington — with 81.6%, 69.8%, and 72.7% shares of the vote, respectively. In all three states, Sanders exceeded expectations dramatically. Polling website FiveThirtyEight.com had predicted 8-point wins for Sanders in Hawaii and Alaska, and a more generous 17-point win in Washington.”

After Clinton’s terrible weekend, it now appears she ducking a New York debate with Bernie Sanders. On Sunday, Sanders voiced “concern” that Clinton would decline to debate in the state she represented in the Senate:

“Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that he wants to have a debate with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ahead of the April 19 New York presidential primary, but he is worried that Clinton, once the state’s senator, does not.”

And now today, Clinton, perhaps recognizing her own enthusiasm problem, is taking Senator Chuck Schumer’s advice and focusing on the Supreme Court fight in a speech at the University of Wisconsin. This weekend, Schumer said what everyone else is thinking when he noted that the Supreme Court fight isn’t about Merrick Garland, it’s about electoral politics:

“’It’s really smart of Hillary Clinton to put this issue front and center,’ Schumer told POLITICO in a statement. ‘This issue unites Democrats and excites our base, while also appealing to independents and Republicans.’”

USA Today put it best when they pointed out that Clinton needs to do something to prevent more “mammoth losses,” like this weekend, among progressives:

“Coming off a weekend of mammoth losses to progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton is going to try to leverage the battle over the Supreme Court majority to sway more progressives to her side.”