[Content Note: Racism; regionalism.]
Yesterday, the Republicans held primary contests in Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, and Mississippi, and the Democrats held primary contests in Michigan and Mississippi. Here's how everything shook out:
Donald Trump won Hawaii, Michigan, and Mississippi. Ted Cruz won Idaho. Bernie Sanders won Michigan. Hillary Clinton won Mississippi.
The Republican nominee needs 1,237 delegates. Trump now has 458. Cruz is second, with 359.
The Democratic nominee needs 2,383 delegates. Clinton now has 1,221 including superdelegates (who are free to change their votes). Sanders now has 571 including superdelegates. Without the superdelegates, Clinton has a lead of 200+ pledged delegates: 759 to 546.
So, basically, the Republican primary continues to be a shitshow.
Meanwhile, the media's fascination with Trump shows no signs of waning. Last night, Trump and Clinton gave their addresses at the same time, and not a single major network or cable news outlet gave Clinton any airtime: "All of the major networks and cable news outlets stayed glued to Donald Trump as he gave a rambling victory speech—which also featured pitches for Trump brand steaks and wine—even after the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, took the stage to address her supporters in Cleveland."
On the Democratic side, Clinton came away with the most pledged delegates from Michigan and Mississippi, because they are proportionally allocated and she won big in Mississippi and came a close second in Michigan. Overall, she won the night with 86 delegates. Sanders won 69 total.
The narrative, however, is that Sanders may have lost the delegate count, but got the "psychological victory" by winning a big state like Michigan.
Michigan has a larger black population than the other states Sanders has won, but it's still 80% white. (Mississippi, by comparison, is only 60% white.) And last night, on CNN, Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver, outlined their strategy for winning moving forward (which, of course, is the same thing we've heard before): "After the 15th, the calendar changes radically in our direction. The second half is tipped heavily in our favor. ...All the southern states were front-loaded. After the 15th, there are no more southern states."
Naturally, Weaver was not indelicate enough to straight-up say that their strategy relies on white voters, but that's the long and the short of it.
Once again, I'll just note that even if a modern Democratic presidential candidate could win exclusively with northern white votes, I'm quite hostile to the idea that anyone would want to.
As following every huge Clinton win in a state with a large black population, there was an enormous amount of "low-information voter" bullshit being used to explain (and delegitimize) her victory.
Which, apart from being rank racist shit, underlines the profound misunderstanding a lot of northern white liberals have of the importance of the Democratic Party to lots of voters in southern and/or red states.
I had a few things to say about that last night, and I have Storified those tweets.
The long and the short of it is this: If you really imagine that people for whom the Democratic Party is often the only thing standing between Republican Party state majorities and the annihilation of their basic rights are voting for Clinton because they're "low-information," instead of because they depend on the Democratic Party and recognize that Clinton has been a Democratic Party champion for decades, then I regret to inform you that the "low-information voter" is you.
[CN: Racist violence; murder] Meanwhile, Sanders supporters started a #MississippiBerning hashtag on Twitter yesterday. Yes, for real. If you don't know the context: "Mississippi Burning" refers to a trial in which three civil rights workers, one black man and two white men, were murdered after investigating a black church burning and mass beating done by the KKK. The appropriation is staggeringly insensitive.
In summation, I'll say again: I don't begrudge Bernie Sanders fighting for the nomination. But I have serious concerns about the way he's doing it. And I don't still don't see any evidence that his most fervent supporters are prepared to lead, or even participate in, a progressive revolution.