Hillary Clinton has been called the victor in New York, with over 57 percent of the vote. Surprisingly, Clinton has built this victory on overwhelming majorities in New York City and its near suburbs, while Sanders has done best across most rural, upstate counties. This is surprising because the upstate counties are more conservative than the city, while Hillary is clearly the more conservative of the two candidates. CNN reports exit poll results indicating that Clinton won 67 percent of nonwhite voters (concentrated in and around New York City) and 60 percent of women.
In a closely-fought campaign, New York is not just another primary. After Bernie’s recent winning streak in smaller states, an upset in New York would have enabled him to start peeling off superdelegates who have been committed to Hillary, as well as hundreds of others who have remained officially uncommitted. These are professional politicians who want above all to be on the winning side.
Here is the current delegate count, after New York:
There are 712 superdelegates, so there are a couple hundred who are not publicly committed. If Bernie could attract most of them and a majority of those previously committed to Hillary, he would erase her delegate advantage.
This is a movement that has the potential to transform the Democratic Party and national politics. They may ultimately win that war, but they are going to lose this battle.
But the New York results give these uncommitted delegates no reason to commit to him. Without the superdelegates, even if he won 60 percent (832) of the remaining delegates, he would get only to 1993 delegates, while Clinton would only need a bit over 500 to reach a majority of 2383.
I am proud to be a Bernie supporter. His campaign has been magnificent in raising the issues of economic inequality and the obscene role of money in politics, and forcing Hillary Clinton to respond to them. It has been astonishing to see how many young voters have been mobilized into enthusiastic participation in the political process. This is a movement that has the potential to transform the Democratic Party and national politics. They may ultimately win that war, but they are going to lose this battle.
We have reached the point that I referred to a month ago in “Attitude Adjustment:” it is time for Bernie and his supporters to accept that he cannot win this nomination. His greatest service to the progressive cause he has championed will now be to draw his supporters into the broader coalition against the forces of reaction. This won’t be easy after the tough charges he has leveled at Clinton in recent weeks, but it is now his responsibility to do this.
I can’t do better than to repeat my conclusions from a month ago:
Hillary Clinton has fought for progressive causes her whole adult life, often in unfavorable terrain such as Arkansas politics or the reactionary spirit of the Gingrich Congress and the George W. Bush presidency. She’s won some, she’s lost some. She’s had to compromise to get anything. She’s had to admit to some mistakes, like voting for the Iraq War. She’s been the subject of an implacable Republican campaign over a quarter century to undermine her reputation. The success of that campaign is shown whenever her Democratic opponents echo the Republican line about her.
Is she a democratic socialist? Certainly not. Is she a confirmed liberal with a commitment to economic and social justice and the rights of women? Absolutely. If elected, does she have a better chance than Bernie of actually passing progressive policies? Probably.
When the Republican Party is poised to nominate a proto-fascist, progressives need, finally, to get behind Hillary Clinton, or they could find themselves under the boots of President Trump.