This instance that her campaign is in trouble is a perception that the media is more desperate to create than a reality. Hillary fully expected to lose New Hampshire to Bernie. She as much as said so in last Wednesday’s Town Hall meeting and last Thursday’s debate. She spoke freely about the polling data and the Senator from Vermont’s backyard advantage. [For why that can’t be dismissed, see article “New Hampshire is not only very white, but regional.”]
Yet if the Sanders campaign had lost New Hampshire or even won it by a very close margin, his shot would effectively be over. He outspent her 3-to-1 in this state. [A tacit admission that Hillary didn’t want to commit real resources there.] And he’d been beating her there since last August in polls. Really, the fact that she managed to turn his 30-point lead (as of last week) into something closer than that is a decent turn-out. I mean, she conceded the state when only a quarter of the results were in, so what does that tell you?
“Well, then why isn’t her campaign in trouble?” Because right now Bernie is only polling better than her in Vermont. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won only that state in March, which would effectively end the primary process. [Yet who knows if Sanders will actually concede before the convention? The fact that he’s still contesting the Iowa results and forced Hillary to add four new debates last week—the last one in May—makes me think he’ll take this all the way to the convention.]
Not only is she doing across-the-board better in nearly every state, but she’s got almost unanimous party support. Right now, Sanders has only two lonesome House of Representative endorsements, and zero senatorial endorsements. That’s right, a guy who has been in the senate for nearly 30 years cannot get a single endorsement from his colleagues, not even the progressive caucus. Even the other liberal senator from Vermont and the Governor of Vermont are endorsing Hillary. What’s that old line about “the people who know him best like him the least?” It’s more revealing than millennial voters think, and so far Bernie’s highest profile endorsements are from rapper Killer Mike, actress Susan Sarandon, and ice-cream makers Ben and Jerry’s.
The entire party seems to be gathering around Hillary in a way that they didn’t really do in 2008. There was a much bigger split between her and Obama back then, and I’m not really seeing that happen this time out. Bernie’s insistence on saying “Democrats are sell-outs” turns out not to be a very popular stance inside the party that’s been fighting the better-funded, more powerful Republicans for years. Who would have thought?