The very important bottom line: the truthful and accurate count after yesterday’s primaries: Clinton has 760 pledged delegates, Sanders has 546 pledged delegates. On March 15, 691 delegates are up for grabs, the majority in Ohio and Florida.
This race is not over, thanks to Michigan last night. But it might be over in a week.
The idea is that by winning Michigan, Sanders gave his campaign a shot of adrenaline. There is indeed a path forward (right now), and he captured a nice chunk of younger African-American voters and blue collar whites. It’s a result that may spell trouble for Clinton, as other Rust Belt states — Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — are to come in a week. And none of those states feature dominating African-American voter blocks, the kind that helped Clinton win Mississippi last night, and South Carolina before that.
Another interesting statistics to emerge out of Michigan was that while Clinton won Democrats by 16 points, Sanders handily won independents (“crossover votes”) by 42 points, suggesting a deeper base to build on.
All that said, next week is crucial. There are so many delegates in play, and the states are winner-take-all, meaning a victory in Florida or Ohio for Hillary or Bernie, even by one vote, garners hundreds of new delegates. If Hillary does well, she can open a gap that will be very hard for Bernie to close, and that’s that. However, if Bernie does well, he closes the gap and the game goes on for him. So Michigan is important, but the primaries on March 15 are critical.
Gonna be a long week for the two candidates…