From the first Morning Jolt of the week:
Media: Hey, We Can Pretty Much Hand Hillary the Nomination Now, Right?
We’ve had three Democratic contests in their presidential primary, and so far we’ve been allowed to see the vote totals in one of them. Heck of a party you’ve got there, my friends.
Yet Hillary Clinton’s five-point win in the Nevada caucus – where the vote totals are handled more securely and with more secrecy than classified information on Hillary’s server –was treated as a decisive turning point in a lot of corners of the media this weekend:
The Slate Headline: After a Much-Needed Nevada Win, Things Are Looking Way Up for Hillary Clinton
The Daily Beast: “With South Carolina and Super Tuesday looming ahead, Bernie Sanders’ campaign is fast approaching an expiration date.”
Hillary Clinton’s victory in Nevada halts the momentum of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who trounced her earlier this month in New Hampshire, and the win may begin a streak as the battle heads to a series of Southern-voting states that favor her.
The decisive outcome, as opposed to her narrowest of victories in Iowa, mirrors her successful margin over then-senator Barack Obama in 2008. Saturday’s win came as a result of a strong ground operation that’s been in place since early last year and reflects her strength with the state’s sizable minority populations. Recent polling had showed the two running neck-and-neck.
Errol Louis, writing at CNN:
Bernie Sanders and his followers have every right to feel energized by his second-place finish in Nevada: Only a few weeks ago, Sanders was more than 20 points behind Clinton, and yet he managed to build momentum, swiftly close the gap and nearly overtake her. But things didn’t break his way, for reasons that could prove to be fatal to his presidential hopes: Economically hard-pressed voters in Nevada chose Clinton’s experience and electability over the soaring hopes and class-warfare rhetoric of Sanders.
Do you get the feeling some folks want to declare the Democratic primary over? Bernie Sanders won 47 percent on Saturday. I haven’t seen the figure “47 percent” get this much bad press since Mitt Romney’s comments to donors.
Think about it, we’ve had one razor-thin Hillary win (Iowa), one Sanders landslide (New Hampshire), and one reasonably solid Hillary win (Nevada). Take a guess at what the delegate split is… (Play “Jeopardy” theme here.)
“Mrs. Clinton has 502 delegates to Mr. Sanders’s 70; 2,383 are needed to win the nomination.”
Goldie Taylor’s piece at the Daily Beast has one good point in it: “More critically, one rationale for the Sanders candidacy dries up under scrutiny. Turnout numbers and the anticipated brief nature of the primary mean he has not and will not drive increased voter participation. The wave never arrived and there is no sign of it on the horizon.”
One minor defense of Sanders: Obama already drove up Democratic turnout in 2008’s primary and in the 2012 general election. The bar’s already pretty high. Maybe if Sanders hadn’t been beating the drum for the People’s Collective Democraic Republic of the United States, Democratic turnout would be even lower this year.
Iowa: About 171,000 voters took part in the caucuses in 2016, down from 236,000 in 2008.
New Hampshire: 250,974 people voted in the Democratic primary in 2016; 287,557 people voted in 2008.
Nevada: About 80,000 voters took part in the caucuses this weekend, 33 percent lower than 2008’s level.