Is This It for Sanders?

Clinton's lead almost insurmountable, analysts say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2016 3:29 AM CDT
Updated Mar 16, 2016 4:44 AM CDT
Is This It for Sanders?
Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

Bernie Sanders didn't lose the Democratic race on Tuesday night, but with big wins for Hillary Clinton in Ohio and at least three other states, he lost the momentum from his surprise win in Michigan and fell further behind in the delegate count. Analysts say that although the senator plans to keep his campaign going, Clinton could now be impossible to catch. A roundup of coverage:

  • Sanders is now more than 300 pledged delegates behind Clinton, which may be an insurmountable margin, reports Politico, which describes his candidacy as a "teetering Jenga pile of youth support, momentum, and access to online millions"—now minus the "buttressing block" of Ohio.

  • Tuesday night's results were a huge setback for Sanders, who had been counting on wins in the Midwest to keep his candidacy viable, reports the New York Times, which notes that Clinton's delegate lead over Sanders is about triple the size of the lead Obama had over her at this stage in 2008.
  • The Washington Post also declares the race all but over for Sanders, calling Ohio a "back-breaking blow" that makes it nearly impossible for him to catch Clinton—though he clearly "has both the determination and the resources to keep fighting," and his campaign has already "accomplished far more than almost anyone anticipated."
  • Sanders would need a "series of very big victories in big states" to catch up at this point, the Los Angeles Times reports, but because of how delegates are allocated, Clinton is still unlikely to clinch the nomination before California votes in June.
  • In her primary night speech, Clinton praised Sanders' "vigorous campaign," but her focus was Donald Trump. "When we hear a candidate for president call for rounding up 12 million immigrants, banning all Muslims from entering the United States, when he embraces torture, that doesn't make him strong, it makes him wrong," she said, per the Hill. "We should be bringing down barriers, not building walls," she continued. "You know, to be great, we can't be small. We can't lose what made America great in the first place."
  • Sanders probably can't win, but he should definitely stay in the race, writes Timothy Egan in a New York Times op-ed, praising the Vermont senator for energizing young voters, forcing the Democratic party to pay attention to the "angry millions in the margins," and pulling Clinton to the left on issues like trade deals and Wall Street. By staying in the race, Sanders' ideas "will shape every part of the party platform, which will give Clinton what she lacks: a clear message," Egan writes. "Eventually, he'll endorse the woman he influenced, and Democrats will be the better for it."
(More Bernie Sanders stories.)

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