In 2008, Hillary Clinton was broadly seen as the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination for president over a little-known, first-term Illinois senator… and lost. Coming into the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination contest, Hillary was once again labeled the prohibitive favorite over a little-known, self-described septuagenarian socialist from tiny Vermont.
Hillary Clinton lost the New Hampshire primary yesterday to the white-haired, fiery Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. But that is not the real news as his victory was widely expected. The deflating fact for Clinton is that she got trounced. Sanders won with 60% of the vote to Clinton’s 38.3% … a difference of 21.7%!
The Clinton camp had hoped to keep Sanders’ margin of victory in the high single to low double-digit range. Instead, she got beaten by a margin very few pundits had predicted. The Democrat voters of New Hampshire were feeling the Bern.
What has to be most alarming for Clinton, she lost to Sanders in almost every demographic group. Clinton’s only win was among people with incomes above $200,000. Sanders carried majorities of both men and women. He won among those with and without college degrees. He won among gun owners and non-gun owners. He won 83% of the youth vote, virtually identical to the percentage of young people he attracted in Iowa.
The next primary will be held in South Carolina on February 27. The state has been dubbed Clinton’s “firewall.” She is currently leading in the polls by nearly 30% over Sanders. But with a little over two weeks to go and with Bernie’s momentum following his blowout win in New Hampshire, the margins are sure to tighten.
At her concession speech last night, a sullen looking Bill Clinton watched as his wife tried to put a positive spin on a devastating loss. You could almost see the wheels turning … “Damn, not again!”
President Obama won in 2008, despite all the polling and political punditry that labeled him unelectable, primarily because he was able to generate energy and enthusiasm. There is no doubt Hillary Clinton is the most experienced presidential candidate in either party. But she is not able to generate the excitement the 74-year-old Vermont Senator brings to the contest.
While Clinton talks about carrying on the Obama legacy, Sanders is talking about a political revolution. That message seems to be resonating across the board.
Could Bernie Sanders be this year’s Barack Obama? Just look at Bubba’s face.
Photo | outsidethebeltway.com