Bernie Sanders has upset Hillary Clinton, and pollsters, in Michigan, getting 50.1% of the votes vs Hillary Clinton’s 48.1% with 97% of the total already counted.
This is very different from how the numbers looked as late as a week ago, when Hillary Clinton had a clear edge over Sanders in the state. A month ago, Sanders was behind Clinton by over 20 points.
Much of the credit for the turnaround must go to Bernie’s army of ordinary supporters who have been working frantically to win the state over the last week. The win is crucial for Sanders to remain in contention and will boost the morale of his volunteers.
The Clinton campaign was hoping for a strong performance from Wayne County, home to Detroit and a significant African-American population. Clinton got about 57% of the votes, below the 60%-plus estimate that the campaign had. Overall, Clinton won about 65% of the African-American votes in Michigan, considerably lower than the 80%—plus support she enjoyed in southern states. African Americans account for over 25% of the state’s population.
Another area where Sanders managed to do better than expected was unionized voters and came up even with Clinton among them.
Sanders’ campaign has been focused on trying to bridge the gap with Clinton in the state which will send 130 delegates to the national convention, but was perhaps not expecting a win. At a hastily called press conference, the senator issued a brief statement and said the best of his campaign’s performance is yet to come.
In Mississippi, the other state where Democratic Party members are electing their candidates today, Clinton cruised to a clear victory, continuing the trend of registering huge wins in the South. Mississippi will send 36 delegates. Opinion polls had given Hillary Clinton a clear edge in both states.
African Americans made up about 70% of the total voters in Mississippi today, indicating a strong turnout. Clinton has won over 80% of the total votes in the state, according to early leads.
Among the potential Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton now leads Sanders by 222 elected delegates with about 743 vs Sanders’ 521.
Sanders would need to win about 66% of all remaining delegates to clinch the nomination with 2,383 delegates, while Clinton would need to win around 41%, without including super delegates. There are a total of 712 super delegates who can help bridge the last mile as well.
TRUMP AHEAD IN REPUBLICAN CAMP
On the republican side, Donald Trump is the clear winner in Michigan with about 38% of the total votes in early leads.
In his ‘victory speech’, Trump — who in many ways drives the same enthusiasm among ordinary supporters of Republican Party as Sanders does among the Democrats — said he was thankful for the interest groups and lobbyists for their ‘support’ in driving people to his camp.
“What this shows is that advertising is not as important as confidence.. there’s been a lot of money spent on attacking me.”
Trump also softened his approach to immigrants, saying that he doesn’t want to be ‘tough’ on immigration, but ‘fair’. “People can come over.. but they’ve got to come over fairly, legally.”
Interestingly, Trump always sets up Clinton as the big enemy in his speech. “We are going to beat Hillary Clinton really big,” he said today to applause by his supporters. “Hillary is going to be very very easy to beat. She’s a very flawed candidate.”
He also had a piece of advice for his rivals like Marco Rubio who tried to copy his style of carrying out personal attacks. “Hostility works for some people. It doesn’t work for other people,” he said.
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