The mostly white pony-demanding liberal class, as much as they like Bernie Sanders, isn't near enough to deliver the presidency to a Democrat. For a Democrat to win the White House, they will need the Obama coalition: a large base of support among people of color along with whites who do not consider the changing face of America an existential threat to their dominance. The white vote went to President Obama's Republican opponents by around 60% twice, but the president won by capturing large, broad swaths of the non-white vote.
Therefore, it is critically important that in the Democratic primary, we consider greatly the weight of the non-white vote. Regardless of what head-to-head match-up polls say long before the start of a general election campaign, the Democrat most able to capture the non-white vote is the most electable Democrat.
In the last contested Democratic primary, when the race shaped up to be pretty close between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the non-white vote was split: Barack Obama had captured a lopsided share of the black vote, and Hillary Clinton won a big victory among the Hispanic vote.
This primary is shaping up to be different. Although Bernie Sanders' campaign is laughably touting a Nevada exit poll whose Hispanic numbers have been discredited, Hillary Clinton is establishing a strong foothold among black and Hispanic voters. That exit poll in Nevada found Clinton blowing Sanders out of the water among black caucus goers in Nevada 76-22 (that's a 54 point margin), and won almost all large Hispanic areas. Now a new poll from Washington Post and Univision has confirmed Clinton's strength among Hispanic voters.
Clinton creams Sanders nationally among Hispanics by 30 points, 57-28. Among Hispanics 35 and older, that lead grows to 50 points or more. In line with those national numbers, polls are showing trouncing leads for Clinton in Texas. One poll has her up 64-30, another 61-22.
Bernie Sanders, in the mean time, is not wasting his time trying to understand just why he is incapable of capturing support from anyone but privileged, white liberals. Instead of working hard to make up his deficit among voters in South Carolina, where the Democratic primary electorate is likely to be 6-in-10 black, Sanders is hopping around in Super Tuesday and other March primary states, drawing some of the whitest crowd in some of the blackest cities (like in Flint, see below).
For reference, Flint is roughly 57% black.
But running around in Super Tuesday states may not actually help Bernie much. Even among the super Tuesday states, Clinton is polling ahead everywhere except Vermont (Sen. Sanders' home state) and Massachusetts (where Sanders is ahead, but by only single digits) - where the electorates are largely northeastern white liberals. Clinton is clobbering Sanders by 20 points or more in every state where either the black or the Latino vote is expected to be relatively large.
And with it all, Bernie's path to the Democratic nomination is narrowing. You cannot be trounced by 30-50 points among large key Democratic demographics and still hope to be the Democratic nominee. You cannot run from states like South Carolina and Texas and pack a Flint townhall with a shade of white that would be embarrassing for the Republican National Convention and win the Democratic nomination for president.
But most of all, a Democrat failing this badly to win the support of people of color should not be president.
A few late night polling updates:
- Hillary Clinton is dominating in Florida by 25 points, 57-32.
- Clinton has closed the gap in Massachusetts and now leading slightly in at least one poll. The gender gap was the main factor here.
- In a new survey, Clinton has pretty much wiped Bernie off South Carolina, leading him by 50 points, 64-14. This is likely an outlier, but with Sanders essentially giving up the state, Clinton will run up her numbers.