Daily Archives: February 24, 2016

For Bernie, the going only gets tougher

Bernie Sanders has gotten farther in this presidential race than anyone this side of Tad Devine ever believed. I am among the happy throng that has tried to glass-ceiling the Bernie Insurgency, only to see him smash right through. And I’m prepared to be wrong again, but I firmly believe what I’m about to write.

Bernie Sanders has reached his high point.

And I have the numbers to back that up.

Yes, he finished a strong second to Hillary Clinton in Nevada. Yes, he has one strong win and two narrow losses so far. But when I look at the upcoming primary calendar, I see a lot of bad news in Bernie’s future.

Let’s start with South Carolina, where Clinton has a decisive edge — and Bernie’s own campaign appears to be waving the white flag. They deny it, naturally; but his schedule argues otherwise. South Carolina Democrats vote on Saturday, but Sanders is spending almost the entire week in states that vote on Super Tuesday and beyond.

When asked about his Palmetto prospects, Bernie put on a happy face.

“We came to South Carolina, and, if you look at the polls, we were at 7, 8, 9 percent in the polls. We were 50, 60, 70 points behind. We have waged a very vigorous campaign. We have closed the gap very significantly,” he said.

He said the same thing after losing in Nevada. And it’s true; but it sounds a lot like Marco Rubio claiming victory after the latest loss. At some point, you have to start winning.

Beyond South Carolina, you look at the upcoming contests, and the odds against Bernie become crystal clear. (Like a glass ceiling, heh.)

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A trip down Memory Lane (and a turn into Nightmare Alley)

Hey, remember when Donald Trump held a rally at the Flynn Center? And the Vermont Republican Party took pains to distance itself?

Just to refresh your memory, here’s the statement released before the Trump event by VTGOP Executive Directory Jeff Bartley:

We learned late today through media reports that Donald Trump will be making a brief campaign stop in Vermont The Vermont Republican Party did not invite Mr. Trump and has no role in his event. Like all presidential candidates, he is welcome to share his thoughts with Vermonters. We hope all candidates will articulate, in a responsible and respectful Vermont way, their ideas for helping to make our state and or nation more affordable and prosperous for working class families. And we look forward to the outcome of the primary campaign between our very diverse group of candidates.

I thought it’d be timely to revisit those words, now that The Donald shattered his “glass ceiling” in Nevada with 46 percent of the caucus vote. With each passing day, he looks more and more like the irresistible force, while the other candidates are decidedly movable objects.

Meanwhile, the obvious choice of Vermont Republicans, John Kasich, “won” 3.6 percent of the Nevada vote. Even before the results came in, he was the subject of a juicy headline Monday morning at Politico:

GOP to Kasich: Get out

A string of elected officials, GOP insiders and prominent donors officially threw their support behind Rubio on Monday, calling him their last chance to take down Donald Trump. Their statements had another common theme. Some explicitly called for Kasich to quit, while others sent the same message by saying the Ohio governor’s ongoing presence is holding Rubio back.

The story is especially poignant in these circles, since it came only two days after Vermont Republicans couldn’t stop grinning while they shared a stage with Kasich.

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