Hillary Clinton Rocks Primary Day

White men are not taking Clinton’s gigantic lead well

Clinton wins all five states, is told to smile and stop screaming.

It’s pretty much all over but the screaming and gnashing of teeth.

Oh–and the pundits telling Hillary Clinton to “smile” and “lower her voice.”


There’s wonkiness of votes and delegate counts to be discussed and I’ll get to those in a minute. But one of the stories of a night when Hillary Clinton made American history, gave a beautiful, rousing, goose-bump-raising speech about inclusion and a bright future for America of working together, was that straight white male political writers told her to pipe down and smile. In 2016.


And when women objected, the men got testy.


There were many more testy tweets, of course. And lots of angry women. But it was going to get a lot worse later in the night when Bernie Sanders decided he was going to try and steal Clinton’s delegates to win the nomination, effectively disenfranchising millions of black and Latin@ voters.

White men are not taking Clinton’s gigantic lead well. Not. At. All.

I keep saying white men–because black men (as well as black women, who are perhaps Clinton’s strongest voting bloc while white men are her weakest) are among Clinton’s most passionate supporters, whether its civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis or Sen. Cory Booker or gay men who have championed her from the start.

And the big story of March 15 and Clinton’s massive win is that she is the de facto Democratic nominee, now. Period. Full stop.

Math isn’t flexible. It’s immutable. Just ask all the people who celebrated Pi Day.

Here’s what happened.

Primary Day March 15, also referred to by some pundits as Super Duper Tuesday, gave voters a preview of the de facto nominees for both the Democratic and Republican Parties and they are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the two candidates who have been frontrunners since voting began in early February.

Barring Bernie Sanders winning every remaining state by a margin of 60 percent, there’s no path to the nomination for him. With 22 races done and Clinton outperforming on March 15 by winning all five contests, Clinton is now ahead by 2.6 million votes and 320 pledged delegates. Among super delegates Clinton is exponentially ahead with 467 to Sanders’ 26.

Among the remaining Republican candidates, Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Trump has a commanding lead–673 pledged delegates to Cruz’s 411 and Kasich’s 143. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio dropped out of the race after the polls closed March 15 when he failed to win his home state.

His 168 delegates will be apportioned at some future time to be determined by the Republican National Committee, but it’s easy to see how if one candidate were to get all of them, it would alter the race somewhat going toward the convention in Cleveland in July.

There is a wild scramble on the Republican side to try and subvert a Trump nomination, especially after protests at his recent rallies. Former Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain have come out against Trump, Romney even holding a press conference to denounce the billionaire candidate.

There have even been calls for a late breaking candidacy from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who, unlike former CEO Carly Fiorina who failed to gain traction in the race, could provide a real challenge to Hillary Clinton. (Rice has thus far declined the challenge.)

And in a lovely irony because the Establishment GOP views Trump as Satan, the numbers at press time tell the story:

Yes, Trump has 666 delegates. Zieg Heil.

But while Republicans are scared of the golem they built in Trump, exit polls over the past 24 races for the Democrats have been consistent–more than 75 percent would be content with either Clinton or Sanders as the eventual nominee, although Clinton has a ten point edge in those polls, meaning the #BernieOrBust movement is more understandably hurt feelings than reality at the polls.

Conversely, just half of Republicans would be happy with Trump as their nominee and he has the highest unfavorable rating of all the candidates, including the Democrats, among his own party–meaning that many, given the choice of Trump or Clinton, will choose Clinton.

Clinton ran the table on March 15. Polls had her winning Florida and North Carolina handily, but not by the wide margins–65 percent to 33 percent and 55 percent to 40 percent–she won by. Sanders had been expected to take the other three states, particularly Ohio.

Sanders had a much-touted surprise win in Michigan in the March 8 primary, and while he only won by one percent, it was newsworthy because Clinton had been ahead in the polls. That win had left pollsters thinking Sanders would take neighboring Ohio and Illinois, because they share some of the same issues Sanders has been raising in recent weeks.

But Ohio–a must-win state for both parties in the general election–went for Clinton and it went big. She won 57 percent to Sanders 43 percent.

Illinois, Clinton’s home state, also went for her, though it was a squeaker like Sanders’ Michigan win: 51 percent to 49 percent. Missouri was ridiculously close with Clinton winning by half a percentage point. (Clinton was carried by the county in which Ferguson is situated, which says something about her interaction with the mothers of blacks murdered by police and with Black Lives Matter activists, who have not always been friendly to her.)

What made the night historic for Clinton is she beat out her 2008 record, which has dogged her personally and which the media has repeatedly raised as a question. Clinton is now further ahead in the delegate race than either she or President Obama were when the two were running in 2008.

And yet, in keeping with the way the media has covered her throughout the race–ignoring her frontrunner status in favor of both the more dramatic “outsiders,” Trump and Sanders (still can’t figure out how someone who’s been in Congress 30 years is an outsider, but the media invents these memes, I don’t), the focus was not Clinton’s history-making path to the Democratic nomination, but John Kasich winning Ohio and beating Trump.

(Kasich has no conceivable path to the Republican nomination, but was talking like the presumptive nominee in both his victory speech and on the stump in Philadelphia the morning after his win–which was his home state and his only state.)

The Democratic race likely won’t be completely over until April, when closed primaries in delegate-heavy New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania should seal the nomination for Clinton. Until then, the plodding piecemeal wins and losses will continue, as there are a half dozen small western caucuses in the next two weeks.

Unlike the Republicans, which have winner-take-all states, which is how Trump got such a masterful lead, Democrats apportion delegates according to county. So it’s conceivable, as happened to Clinton several times in 2008, for a candidate to win the state but have fewer delegates than the loser, despite having more actual votes.

If the Democrats had the same system, Clinton would already be the nominee. Her wins in Florida, Ohio and Illinois would have cinched her nomination. But as it stands, she is only two-thirds of the way to the number of delegates needed for the nomination.

And that’s where Sanders is deciding he might just change the rules. Or try to.

Sanders and his wife and paid campaign advisor Jane have been not-so-subtly trying to disenfranchise the black vote throughout the campaign. Jane Sanders has referred repeatedly on CNN and MSNBC to “low-information voters” and claimed that Southern states–which is where the majority of American blacks live–are not in play in the general election.

Forgetting that every major city in the U.S. has a significant black population–especially in blue states. My own city, the fifth largest in America, is more than 50 percent people of color.

Between now and April, Sanders hopes to re-gain some momentum by winning caucuses he is favored for in the mostly white states of Utah, Idaho and Arizona. Sanders’ senior adviser, Tad Devine, who previously worked on both Al Gore’s 2000 and John Kerry’s 2004 presidential runs, has been out in front of the media trying to spin Clinton’s huge win. But as the political pollsters and punditocracy have noted, there’s no there, there.

Even though Sanders continues to send out emails asking for money (the most recent one I received before press time had the subject line: “Fight for Bernie”), the math is incontrovertible. 

And anger is growing among black voters as Devine goes from talk show to talk show touting the way to the nomination for Sanders is to discount black vote and elevate white votes.

It’s a plan that could blow up the primary–and hand Trump the White House.

While Sanders argues he is better placed to defeat Trump, there’s absolutely nothing to bolster than claim. While Sanders definitely does better among white millennials than Clinton, she does better among black and Latin@ millennials who represent 40 percent of the Democratic vote in that demographic.

In addition, Sanders only has a lock on those voters and a ten percent lead over Clinton in white men. In every other demographic Clinton exceeds Sanders.

All of which should be moot, since she’s ostensibly won, but with Devine talking up a “revolution” by changing the rules and Sanders refusing to even acknowledge Clinton’s March 15 sweep (he gave an hour-long speech in Phoenix after the polls closed and never mentioned either his losses or Clinton’s wins), there’s cause for concern among Democrats.

Particularly non-white and non-male Democrats who have been undercut and disenfranchised for decades in America by both parties.

And make no mistake: the real story about Clinton’s candidacy which the media has utterly ignored is its inclusion. Not only have black and Latin@ voters gone with her by huge margins, but the demographic of her wins and the exit polling shows her campaign is winning a cross-section of American voters.

Sanders, from America’s second whitest state and with no people of color on his staff until recently, has struggled to get through to voters of color, particularly in the demographics that actually vote, like voters between 35 and 65, which Clinton has a lock on.

As the response to President Obama’s powerful March 16 nomination of Judge Merrick Garland for the vacant Supreme Court seat clarified, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, it’s not happening, Democrats must retain the White House come November.

Votes and delegates say Hillary Clinton will be the one to do that. Sanders can’t conceivably want to be the candidate who undermines the first female candidate for president, disenfranchises voters of color and vitiates the work of inclusion that both Obama and Clinton have worked for.

Clinton’s speech was a call to arms–arms embracing each other through our differences and our challenges. While Sanders was off in Phoenix talking about how terrible America is and how disappointing Obama has been as a president, Clinton was touting the achievements of the Obama Administration and pledging to expand on those with her own programs to make America a more inclusive and yes, loving and kind, place for everyone.

She left no one out. Not LGBT people, not disabled people, not the poor, not Muslims who have been demonized by Trump and certainly not Americans of color.

This is a critical juncture in American politics. Trump is calling for his supporters to punch people in the face and is banning the press from his rallies. On March 16 he unilaterally said, no more debates and the media said, okay, sure.

That’s not how we do things in America.

Clinton is calling for us to work together to make a better more inclusive nation where we all feel welcome.

Hopefully by next month we will be firmly and irrevocably on that path.