Here’s something I don’t write very often: Chuck Todd, NBC’s intellectual manifestation of the Beltway mindset, offered a real insight on the Democratic primary race.
On the night of March 8, during MSNBC’s coverage of the Mississippi and Michigan primaries, he noted that this would be an entirely different campaign if Bernie Sanders were simply holding his own among black voters.
It’s true. It’s damn true, as Kurt Angle would say. The number-one reason Hillary Clinton has a substantial lead among pledged delegates, and in total votes cast, is her overwhelming support from African-Americans. In Southern states, she’s drawing 80 percent or more of the black vote. In Michigan, she drew a “disappointing” 68 percent — still holding a better than two-to-one margin over Sanders.
That’s the single biggest handicap to Bernie’s candidacy. Bigger than the mainstream media coverage or lack thereof; bigger than the superdelegate system; bigger even than the occasional sniping of Your Obedient Servant.
This problem goes back to the very beginning, before the mainstream media even began to underplay Bernie’s chances or “anoint” Hillary. It goes back to sometime before that first confrontation with Black Lives Matter, when a couple of black activists usurped the microphone at a Bernie rally. That event was a symptom of a pre-existing ailment.