Dan Gilmore / Mar. 16, 2016

‘Inevitable’ Clinton Extends Lead

The Bern is cooling down.

The Bern is cooling down. Hillary Clinton won the five states that held Democrat primaries March 15, raking in delegates from Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. Combined with the support of the Democrat Party’s superdelegates, Clinton extended her lead over Bernie Sanders. Currently, Sanders has about 800 delegates to Clinton’s 1,561. Last week, it appeared that the insurgent candidate within the Democrat Party was riding a surge, as he handily won Michigan in a surprise upset, calling into question Clinton’s support within the Rust Belt. After the loss, however, the Clinton campaign rethought its messaging regarding Clinton’s stance on the economy and trade and rolled into states like Ohio with retooled talking points. Sanders lost votes in places like Florida because the closed primary shut out many of his independent supporters.

With about half the delegates still up for grabs, the Sanders campaign hopes that the primaries will shift and places like California and the West will give the socialist wins with wide margins. The Clinton campaign, however, expects her support will remain consistent until the Democrat Party Convention in late July, shutting out Sanders. Already, Clinton pivoted to campaign against Donald Trump. “When we hear a candidate for president call for the rounding up of 12 million immigrants, banning all Muslims from entering the United States, when he embraces torture — that doesn’t make him strong, it makes him wrong,” Clinton said Tuesday night. It’s interesting that, thanks to party rules and structure, the Democrat Party is smoothly shutting out an insurgent candidate while the GOP faces a crisis of identity thanks to one’s aggressive rise.

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