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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Keep Calm And Vote Hillary

After Hillary won New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania on April 26th, the primary changed. Bernie's talk of momentum was for naught, and even with his surprise win in Indiana, the math is unequivocally against him. The only way he can win the Democratic nomination is by turning a huge number of Hillary's unpledged "superdelegates" before the national convention in July. That's most likely not going to happen. In fact, it shouldn't happen. Hillary is the right choice for the Democratic ticket.

First of all, can Bernie win over enough superdelegates?  He says he has two ways of winning them over, but only one of them can work. The first way--the way that can't work--is to look at all the states where one of the candidates won by a landslide (65 or 70 percent of the votes, he says), and convince the superdelegates from those states to vote according to the voters. If we look at the states that have been won by 30 or more points, Hillary comes out with way more superdelegates than Bernie. Not only has she won more states by big margins, but her big wins were in much bigger states (including Florida and Texas)--the states with the most superdelegates. Bernie hasn't won any big states by such a big margin. This can't help Bernie.

Bernie's second idea is the only one that could conceivably win him the nomination: Convince enough of Hillary's superdelegates that he has the best chance of beating Trump in a general election. He says he can do this by showing that he's won the most "battleground" states, but in fact, he hasn't.  Hillary has won the majority of swing states, and some of them (like Florida) by huge margins.  Bernie is asking superdelegates to ignore the fact that Clinton has more votes, more pledged delegates and more support from the party. He denies the fact that Clinton has won the majority of swing states. Why should superdelegates take him seriously?

Perhaps they should suppose that Bernie has a higher chance of winning over independent voters. However, Clinton is not only going to win a lot of independent voters. She's also going to win a lot of Republicans. And she's going to win the overwhelming support of the Democratic Party. The fact that Bernie does better with independents is not so significant.

Should the superdelegates switch because some polls say Bernie does better against Trump? The general election is not until November, and Bernie is still in the race, so such polls are not at all reliable. Once Bernie is out of the picture, people are gong to have to re-calibrate.

Should Hillary's superdelegates just think that Hillary isn't popular enough?  While polls might suggest she has some trouble in that regard, votes tell a different story. Hillary Clinton has won about 12-and-a-half million votes. That's almost 2 million more than Trump, and almost 3 million more than Bernie.  Only two primary campaigns (from any political party) have ever won more votes.  In 2008, Barack Obama received over 17 million votes in the Democratic primary, but the record for most votes goes to somebody else. It's . . . wait for it . . . Hillary Clinton!  She came out slightly ahead of Obama in 2008, though her winning margin was erased because Florida and Michigan were not recognized at the national convention.

Who says Hillary isn't popular enough?  Her current campaign is the third most successful primary campaign in American history, and her 2008 campaign is the most successful bar none. You can talk about polls all you like--about likability and whatever--but the fact is, Clinton wins the most votes.

Is anyone going to argue that the person who has the record for receiving the most votes in a primary, and who is currently way ahead of the competition on both sides, and who has the overwhelming support of her party's leadership and membership--are you going to say that that person doesn't have a good enough chance to win against Donald Trump, the most hated and unpopular candidate in recent memory? (Not only in America, but all over the world.)