The results of yesterday’s political contests across 11 states are all in. Hillary Clinton came in first, winning 7 of the most delegate rich states. Her Democratic primary opponent Bernie Sanders, took the other four states.
The Republican primaries resulted in Donald Trump winning most of the states in the primary contest, with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz still hanging on. The other shoe has dropped for Dr. Ben Carson, as he decided to pack it in earlier today. Kasich is still in the primary race, but we’ll see for how long.
While elections are always revealing, this time around feels much more so. Donald Trump is whipping up a great deal of racism and xenophobia. Violence follows this logic, and it is really dangerous. We have seen incidents of journalists being choke slammed by secret service , and Black teenagers attacked by crowds of his supporters. The danger for more of this to follow is ever present.
On the Democratic side, while Clinton was able to take the lead, the fact that Sanders who refers to himself as a democratic socialist was able to get millions of votes has to mean something. While he has to do more to work on his outreach, the reality that he wasn’t totally dismissed by voters signals that many people are tired of the same old politics. It’s just not critical mass yet. Of course, most voters played it safe, and Black voters are no different than others in this regard. With all that is known about voting blocs and name recognition, some observers still want to act surprised. Besides, you win people over by persuasion, not goading.
Here we are, the day after grappling to understand the implications. While it’s important to say that these developments on the right are cause for concern, things aren’t totally hopeless. If some of the energy around the Sanders campaign can be siphoned off, to use to struggle independently of what happens in this primary, progressive forces will be that much stronger in preparation for some of the bigger battles to come.