Heading into tonight’s New Hampshire primary, there wasn’t really a great deal of doubt as to which candidate would win this evening. For weeks Bernie Sanders had led Hillary Clinton by double-digits in most polls, plus he’s from neighboring Vermont, so it really wasn’t a matter of if Sanders would win – just by how much.
For Sanders, a win is a win. Whether he won by five or 25 I’m almost certain his victory speech was going to be the same. Sanders has been consistent, confident and on-message in pretty much every speech he’s given over recent weeks.
On the other side, for Clinton this was really about how much she would lose by. While I’m not a proponent of “moral victories,” a loss in the single-digits for Hillary was probably about as “good” as she could expect to do this evening.
All that being said, tonight’s results probably didn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention, as it’s now been projected that Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire. It’s not quite clear yet how many delegates he’ll receive (Democrats award 32 delegates in total which includes 8 super delegates), but it appears to be a decisive victory for the senator from Vermont.
So, what does this all mean? Well, not a whole lot. Historically speaking New Hampshire hasn’t really mattered much in the overall grand scheme of things. The last Democrat to win the New Hampshire primary who went on to become president was Jimmy Carter in 1976 – forty years ago. So, while it’s always nice to get a win, putting “what New Hampshire means” in historical context gives a broader perspective on what to expect.
This year could be different, however, as Sanders has seen his support rise largely with the help of a great social media presence (one the Clinton campaign would probably love to have), and his message is clearly resonating with many people.
With Iowa and New Hampshire behind us, for me, this is when the real election season begins. While the first two states have given us all something to talk about, typically neither have really mattered much overall in picking a party’s candidate or the next president. But with Nevada, South Carolina and Super Tuesday all happening within the next couple of weeks, that’s really when this election should start shaking out and we should all find out which candidates are the true “favorites” to win their party’s nomination.
But as I’ve said plenty of times before, win or lose, once Democrats pick a nominee it’s vital that everyone on the left come together to support the candidate. Today’s Supreme Court ruling against President Obama’s EPA rule to combat climate change should be another huge wakeup call for anyone who thinks Republicans winning in November wouldn’t be that big of a deal – the next president very likely may get to choose three or four Supreme Court Justices. I don’t know about all you folks, but I damn sure don’t want Donald Trump, Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz picking those replacements. There’s far too much at stake in 2016 to let petty pride among liberals and progressives lose this election.
So, a yuuuge congratulations to Bernie Sanders on his victory tonight. On we go to Nevada on February 20th!