Is the 2016 Democratic Primary Over?
I’ve been trying to find enlightening news on the 2016 Democratic primary to discuss but there are few topics at hand. Since the first Democratic debate and the departure of two candidates, the Democratic race is down to just three names vying for the nomination. Martin O’Malley says he’s in for the long term but he’ still hovering at very low numbers. Bernie Sanders was making waves in New Hampshire, however, Hillary just took back the lead there in a recent poll. Some media outlets are crowning Hillary as the de facto nominee given that she appears to have weathered the storm over her email scandal, amid other things, and turned in a debate performance which appears to have reversed any downturn in her campaign.
Report from the Observer:
Here’s the little secret nobody’s telling you:
Barring an unexpected, serious health crisis, or the emergence of a scandal far bigger and more substantive than the laughable “Emailgate” controversy, Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States in 2016.
The Bernie Sanders campaign won’t tell you that, for obvious reasons. Surely, his team believes otherwise, while some — who are more tuned into the realities of the contest — simply want to keep him appearing viable as long as possible so he can continue getting the message out.
The Potomac punditocracy won’t tell you this, because if there’s no real contest on the Democratic side, there’s no story. If there’s no story, your attention will drift elsewhere. (Of course, these same people also told you Vice President Joe Biden was just hours away from declaring his candidacy, as if wishing upon that twinkling star would make all their dreams of a horse race come true.)
Even the Clinton campaign won’t tell you that the Democratic nomination is all but foreordained. The former Secretary of State’s team needs the appearance of a truly competitive race so progressive complaints about a “coronation” can be dismissed, and nobody likes a candidate who behaves as if he or she is a sure thing. Her perceived “inevitability” clearly worked against her in 2008, and her campaign is being careful to avoid a repeat.
The Clinton operation also understands that if donors believe she is in no danger, they’ll sit on their money and wait until the general election. This occurrence could hinder her ability to make her case to the public prior to the convention next July.
With Vice President Joe Biden deciding to pass on a run and the deadlines likely passed for anyone else to mount a serious campaign, the Democratic race appears to be largely over before it began. For all intents and purposes, this is what the Clinton campaign was hoping for and her debate performance, with Bernie Sanders’ assist, seemed to seal the deal.
Even if we play out the scenario where Sanders wins New Hampshire, something looking more unlikely, he’s going nowhere in the polls when South Carolina comes, let alone Super Tuesday on March 1 next year. There just doesn’t seem to be a case where Clinton isn’t the nominee. This barring some unforeseen serious stumble where Sanders or O’Malley are waiting in the wings. There are months to go before voting begins, and plenty of State Department emails to yet be released. However, if she hasn’t been seriously hurt among Democratic voters up to this point, it’s probably not going to happen between now and February.
Someone tell me I’m wrong?