With the Nevada democratic caucuses in the books, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders now turn to South Carolina. Just about every poll has Hillary Clinton with a big lead in South Carolina as the democrats gear up for their primary this coming Saturday.
Clinton’s strong showing among African American voters in Nevada suggests that despite some inroads among Hispanic voters, Sanders has made, he faces an even more difficult test Saturday in South Carolina when the duo face-off in that states primary.
Just about a week away from the first of the big Super Tuesday multi-state primaries on March 1st and things are for the moment looking up for Clinton. Next Tuesday, when more delegates will be awarded than at any other time in the political calendar, black voters make up significant parts of the Democratic electorate in Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas and Virginia.
That plays well to Clinton who has worked hard to win the African-American vote and she also has beefed up her support on the women’s side as well. But her post Nevada tone is much different, she is softer in her speeches, talking about people’s pain and using more “us and we than I,” taking a cue from Sanders.
But she is also serving as a human fact checker on the senator from Vermont talking about “He really shouldn’t promise things he knows he can’t deliver on.”
Sanders has a better chance of winning the other Super Tuesday states — Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont — which have relatively small black populations. Sanders strong suite thus far has been college students, independents and white progressive Democrats. He is not doing well with registered Democrats, African Americans and women over 35. He needs to adjust his message to include that those groups if going to upset Clinton.
March 15th in another big Super Tuesday that includes big states including Florida where it has become clear, again for the moment that Clinton holds a big lead. If she has a good month of March it is hard to see how Sanders beats Clinton in delegates.
There is a long way to go but for Sen. Sanders he needs to expand his base if he hopes to win the nomination and that begins in South Carolina and the Super Tuesday states.