The election cycle was in full swing over the weekend, with a flurry of primaries and caucuses over both days and a CNN hosted Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan yesterday evening.
Saturday saw Democrats pick their nominee in Nebraska, Louisiana and Kansas. Sunday, Democrats voted in Maine. The overall results tipped in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ favor, who won in Kansas, Nebraska and Maine. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won convincingly in Louisiana, which sported the highest delegate count of the four states.
Those contests were succeeded by a debate in Flint, Michigan, a state which holds primary contests for both parties on Tuesday. Mississippi will also hold primaries for both parties, and Republicans will caucus in Hawaii and vote in Idaho that same day.
The shape of the Democratic race, heavily influenced by the enormous support Clinton receives from super-delegates, is increasingly lopsided. Hillary Clinton has now surpassed the 1,000 delegate mark with 1,130, very close to half the number she needs to secure the nomination.
Sen. Sanders lags significantly behind with 499 delegates. The path to the nomination for the Vermont Senator is narrowing, with especially poor results in Southern and African-American heavy states over the past two weeks.
However, there is little chance he drops out anytime soon. With more than $40 million contributed to the campaign in February, Sanders can keep campaigning and will continue to press Clinton on issues of inequality and trade, among others.
Clinton’s stance on trade, particularly international trade agreements, noticeably shifted after the Democratic base showed powerful aversion to the TPP and related TPA, a theme brought up in last night’s debate.
While Sanders has poked his opponent on her movement on the TPP, he instead attacked Clinton’s support of NAFTA (signed by President Clinton) at the debate. In Sanders’ words, “NAFTA, supported by the Secretary cost us 800,000 jobs nationwide, tens of thousands of jobs in the Midwest.”
The Secretary wasn’t fazed and sounded like a confident front-runner.
Some answers from Clinton, including a tedious one on fracking and a complete sidestep of the paid speeches debacle, sounded very general election-like. She had an illustrative response to a question on how she would approach a race versus Trump, and did her best to stay out of the mud when attacking Sanders.
The race would be close, if not for the 458-22 lead Clinton has over Sanders with super-delegates.
While the supedelegate system won’t be changed this cycle, high-ranking Democratic officials, most notably House minority speaker Nancy Pelosi, have voiced opposition to the influence non-vote-based delegates have on the Democratic nomination process.