As expected Secretary Hillary Clinton won comfortably in the south. She easily won Alabama, America Samoa, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virgina. Her support among African Americans in the south carried her to comfortable wins in those states. The Secretary barely defeated Senator Bernie Sanders in Massachusetts winning by 1.8%. Clinton was able to defeat President Barack Obama by 16% points in Massachusetts in 2008.
Senator Sanders was able to obtain an easy win in his home state Vermont and was able to win in Colorado, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. His huge victories in swing states Colorado and Minnesota are huge for his campaign. The Oklahoma victory also speaks strongly to his demographic strengths and shows that his campaign is viable going forward.
Despite what mainstream media outlets may say, this nomination process is far from over. Senator Sanders was able to raise $42 million in the month of February, he will have the finances to move forward and with the map now in his favor he has the opportunity to gain momentum after surviving Super Tuesday.
Why Did Sanders Win Colorado & Minnesota
Despite several Labor endorsements, careful examination of both candidates policies indicate that Senator Sanders would push for more pro-labor policies than the Secretary. In Minnesota this message probably resonated with voters that went out to caucus. His 23% point victory shows that he overwhelming defeated his opponent among Millennial voters (18-33) and was competitive among female voters as well.
The same probably holds true in Colorado where his 18% point victory would lead to the same demographic trends. In the upcoming contests in Florida, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio this is a great sign for his campaign. This also means he has a real opportunity to win in Michigan and Illinois if he can make reasonable in-roads with the African American voters in those states.
Clinton’s Strength in the South
Secretary Clinton’s strong support in the south means she should have comfortable victories in the upcoming Louisiana and Mississippi primaries unless there are significant changes. However, the map is no longer in her favor – going forward she will have to battle Sanders for Millennial voters in trying to win victories in non southern states. Secretary Clinton will have to improve upon her 35% (Massachusetts) among voters aged 18-29 to obtain victories going forward.
If she looses in Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio her candidacy is in trouble. A loss in North Carolina would be especially troubling as during the 2008 Democratic Primaries the African American voters made up 34% of the vote. She cannot afford to lose a state like North Carolina if she is going to win the nomination.