2 Important Signs the Bernie Sanders Campaign Is Virtually Dead
Bernie Sanders lost four out of five contests during Tuesday's primaries. He took Rhode Island, but Hillary Clinton was victorious in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. She now claims 1,650 of the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination. He has 1,348. Despite the math suggesting that Sanders is too far behind to catch up, Tuesday revealed two other signs that the fight for the Democratic nomination is practically over.
1. Sanders's Statement About His Progressive Platform
In a statement released by his campaign following Tuesday's results, Sanders hinted at losing the nomination. You can read it in full on his website, but here are the highlights.
"I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her victories tonight, and I look forward to issue-oriented campaigns in the 14 contests to come . . .
The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That's why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change."
By suggesting that the remaining months until the convention in July will be issue-oriented rather than candidate-oriented and that he is fighting for a progessive party platform rather than the nomination, Sanders implies he is staying in the the race so his ideological voice will be heard — but not to be the next president of the US. This has been his intention and plan from the very beginning, of course. And it has worked spectacularly.
2. Clinton's Comments About Uniting to Beat Trump
In her victory speech on Tuesday, Clinton shifted her rhetoric toward the general election and alluded to winning over Sanders supporters.
"I applaud Senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving. Greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality, and I know together we will get that done. Because whether you support Senator Sanders, or you support me, there's much more that unites us than divides us.
"We all agree that wages are too low, and inequality is too high. That Wall Street can never be allowed again to threaten Main Street, and we should expand Social Security, not cut or privatize it.
Indeed, she will need the votes of Sanders fans so the Democratic party can unite to beat Donald Trump. In his victory speech after sweeping all of the states on Tuesday, Trump also pulled away from his Republican competition and focused on Clinton. He said she was only winning because she is playing "the women's card." Despite the backlash his comment received, it was likely a preview of the upcoming battle between the two of them.