Yesterday’s decisive victory by Bernie Sanders over Hillary Rodham Clinton for the sixth time out of the last seven contests is being overshadowed once more by a media bias trying to focus on the Republican conflict in which Sen. Ted Cruz beat billionaire Donald Trump in the Wisconsin primary.
The Seattle Times headline: “Cruz win in Wisconsin leaves Trump damaged front-runner.” It’s almost embarrassing that there wasn’t an equally bold “Sanders clobbers Clinton; without ‘super delegates,’ she’d be in trouble.”
That much was evident in an Op-Ed in today’s Seattle Times, as Sanders supporter Margo Greenman lambastes “super delegates” in the Evergreen State for clinging to Clinton. Those fix-is-in delegates are about the only thing keeping Hillary’s head above water at this point, some have suggested. And it was telling that Clinton essentially abandoned the largely middle class Badger State voters in favor of rubbing elbows last night with big money donors in New York City.
As this column wondered last week, is it possible Hillary’s high profile gun control position hurt her with voters in a state where there are some 715,000 hunters and last week topped 300,000 in the number of concealed carry permits? Sell all the social programs you want to grassroots Middle America Democrats, but start threatening their gun rights, and they are not going to react well.
The numbers last night were not good for Clinton or Trump, as noted here and here by CNN. Clinton cheerleaders in and out of the press are showing a gaping disconnect between themselves and the grassroots. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the discontent conservatives have with the Republican establishment is the same attitude many traditional Democrats have with their party’s designated royalty.
Is it possible Hillary’s high profile gun control position hurt her with voters in a state where there are some 715,000 hunters and last week topped 300,000 in the number of concealed carry permits?
It doesn’t all revolve around guns, but that issue is a pretty good indicator. Liberals in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and California don’t seem to get it that the bumpkins out in fly-over America have rights, strong outdoor traditions and concerns and interests, and they’re voting that way.
Trump’s popularity as a maverick that fueled his early campaign may be starting to fray at the seams. Yesterday’s Cruz victory in Wisconsin suggested as much. But the gap between Sanders and Clinton yesterday was nearly identical to the lead Cruz had over The Donald. Cruz took 48 percent of the Republican vote while Trump captured 35 percent. People who think that the 14 percent garnered by John Kasich yesterday would have all gone to Trump, had the Ohio governor not been on the ballot are delusional.
Break out the pocket calculator. The gap between Cruz and Trump was roughly 13 percent. Sanders pulled 56.5 percent and Clinton got 43.2 percent, again roughly a 13 percent difference.
Sure, Clinton and Trump may turn things around in New York, but what does that really say about how well voters there connect with even members of their own political parties elsewhere around the country? What possible commonality does a Long Island liberal have with Madison moderate or La Crosse conservative?
Clinton has made a big deal about gun control, Sanders not so much. On the other side, Cruz and Trump have managed to mention the Second Amendment in just about every stump speech while Kasich has focused on other policy issues. Like it or not, gun rights is a component of this campaign, and while some pundits figure the die is already cast, grassroots America apparently believes the race is still on.
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