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“Magic Of The Granite State Has Worn Off”: Clinton Hit All Her Marks In South Carolina; Sanders Hit Almost None Of His

If the ability to break through among minority voters is the key to Bernie Sanders’s winning the Democratic nomination, there was no good news for him from South Carolina tonight. According to exit polls, African-Americans constituted a record 61 percent of voters, and Hillary Clinton won an astonishing 84 percent of them. That’s six points better than Barack Obama did there in 2008. In some demographics, Clinton’s vote was virtually unanimous: She reportedly won African-Americans over 65 by a 96-to-3 margin. Her overall 73.5 percent comfortably exceeds Bernie Sanders’s much-ballyhooed 60 percent in New Hampshire earlier this month. The states rolling up on the calendar, especially on March 1, mostly look more like South Carolina than they do New Hampshire.

Sanders did continue to win white voters (58 to 42) and under-30 voters (63-37), though the latter margin is his lowest yet among the young. He and HRC were even among white women, and Sanders did not seem to have any special appeal to non-college-educated white voters (he won white college graduates by a slightly higher percentage). Clinton handily won every ideological category, including self-described “very liberal” voters, and beat Sanders among “moderates” nearly three to one.

Although this was an open primary (actually, South Carolina has no party registration), only 18 percent of voters were self-identified independents (Sanders won 62 percent of them), and only 15 percent were first-time Democratic primary voters (Sanders won 70 percent of them). In general, Clinton hit all her marks and Sanders hit few of his own. The polls showing a late trend towards Clinton if anything underestimated its speed.

The results leave little hope for Sanders other than slow delegate accumulation in such Super Tuesday states as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. He’ll obviously win Vermont; he has a good chance in Massachusetts, might do well in Colorado and Minnesota, and might exceed expectations in Oklahoma. But the magic from the Granite State has worn off, and with it the idea that, as minority voters became more familiar with Bernie, they’ll trend his way, too. As Nate Cohn of the New York Times pointed out on Twitter, Sanders would need to win Latinos by the same 2-1 margin Clinton enjoyed in 2008 to make up for the margins she’s achieving among black voters. That seems improbable, to put it mildly, and I strongly suspect we’ll find out in Texas next Tuesday that he’s not going to carry the Latino vote at all.

The Bern may return in full force in some heavily white caucuses on March 5 (Kansas and Nebraska), March 6 (Maine), and March 26 (Alaska and Washington), but by then we may all be talking about when, rather than whether, Hillary Clinton wins the nomination.

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, New York Magazine, February 27, 2016

February 29, 2016 Posted by | Bernie Sanders, Democratic Presidential Primaries, Hillary Clinton | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Unsettling Paranoia”: Despite Media’s ‘Crush,’ Rubio Sees Bizarre Conspiracy

In media and political circles, it’s known as the “Full Ginsburg.” It’s when one notable public figure appears on all five major Sunday morning shows on the same day, and it’s usually reserved for policymakers at the center of major breakthroughs.

It came as something of a surprise, then, when Marco Rubio celebrated his fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary by pulling off the Full Ginsburg. Then seven days later, following his double-digit loss in the South Carolina primary, Rubio pulled off the Full Ginsburg again, receiving and accepting five more Sunday-show invitations.

When was the last time someone had back-to-back Full Ginsburgs? Never. Rubio, once hailed as “the Republican savior” on the cover of Time magazine, received a media reward that no American has ever received.

Had the Florida senator actually won those primaries, the media’s adulation might have been easier to understand, but remember, Rubio made 10 appearances over two Sundays after embarrassing defeats.

The reason for this special treatment is one of those things the political world tends not to talk about, though Slate’s Jamelle Bouie recently acknowledged what usually goes unsaid: “[T]he media has a huge crush” on Marco Rubio.

With this in mind, it came as something of a surprise to see Rubio on CBS this morning, complaining about an elaborate media conspiracy – to help Donald Trump. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent flagged this bizarre quote:

“The media’s pumping [Trump] up as some sort of unstoppable force…. Unfortunately he’s being pumped up because many in the media with a bias know that he’ll be easy to beat in a general election.”

In a separate ABC interview this morning – the conspiracy is so vast, news organizations keep putting Rubio on television so he can share his conspiracy theory – the senator said the media is “holding back” its Trump criticism in order to hurt Republicans in the fall.

“It’s important for Republicans and conservatives to be aware of what is happening,” he added.

So, from Rubio’s perspective, the same news organizations that have shown him levels of affection that border on creepy are actually conspiring in secret against him. It’s all part of an elaborate media ruse to help Trump defeat Rubio in order to help Democrats.

Remember, thanks to media hype, we’re supposed to think Rubio’s the smart one in the 2016 field.

The senator’s conspiracy theory is so crazy, it’s unsettling that he repeated it out loud on national television. Keep in mind that last night, as part of the network’s debate coverage, CNN told viewers that Rubio has “new momentum.” The network made the claim before the debate, on the heels of Rubio losing the Nevada caucuses – which he expected to win – by 22 points.

This, a week after Politico published a lengthy report on Rubio’s campaign in South Carolina – the headline read, “Rubio surges back to electrify South Carolina” – that read as if his campaign aides had written it themselves.

This, nearly a month after pundits and reporters eagerly pretended Rubio’s third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses was actually a triumphant victory.

Greg Sargent recently noted that media figures are “making it absurdly obvious that they want to be able to say Rubio is rising,” prompting MSNBC’s Chris Hayes to respond, “It’s like watching parents attempt to will their toddler into doing a difficult task.”

To be sure, this isn’t unprecedented. We can probably all think of election cycles in which the media obviously adores a candidate (John McCain in 2000, for example) and obviously scorns another (Al Gore in 2000, for example). It certainly seems as if the “crush” on Rubio is real, but he’s not the first to enjoy such affections.

Rubio is, however, the first candidate in recent memory who benefits from the media’s overt fondness, but who nevertheless believes the media is engaged in a conspiracy to help one of his rivals, in order to help one of his other rivals.

Such paranoia says something unsettling about the presidential hopeful’s perspective.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, February 26, 2016

February 27, 2016 Posted by | Conspiracy Theories, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Media | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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