The Michigan Primary is over, folks. My home state, although I haven’t lived there for years, has spoken.
Despite popular belief, the Democratic nominee isn’t necessarily a handed victory to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Yes, she came out as the victor for Super Tuesday. Yes, she currently has more delegates (although most of the lead is from the super-delegates, which could switch sides if the popular voter continues swapping as well). But, if you look at the strongholds of this grass roots campaign, the so-called political revolution, Bernie Sanders is still hanging in there.
I’ll be the first one to say it: the odds are slim. Yes, I Feel The Bern. I was one of the first people to donate to Bernie Sanders and his campaign after he announced his candidacy. I’ve bought a shirt and a button, as well. But, I have some heartbreaking news for die-hard “Sanders or Nobody!” voters: he’s not the final step in this twenty-first century populist-progressive movement. He’s a major step, but he’s surely not the last. The generation that tends to sway for voters — the millennials — are mostly ineligible to vote for Sanders throughout the primaries. Yes, they’ll mostly be 18 years of age by November 4th…but when it comes down to narrowing down the Democratic nominee? Unfortunately a bulk (or at least a slim majority of his biggest percentage of voters) just aren’t of age yet.
But, guess what that means for 2020? And for 2024? The generation that supports Bernie Sanders and his progressive movement will have aged to the peak of voter turnout. Those two election years are when we’ll see a landslide “progressive victory”, if circumstances lead up to it.
Of course, if Hillary Clinton does in fact win this years’ nomination (and the general), I doubt she’ll be primaried in 2020. Donald Trump, on the other hand, would have to be primaried in 2020 for the Five Ring Republican Party to stay afloat. So, we’re seeing the final step in this progressive voter turnout come to age at around the year 2024. So, don’t see Bernie Sanders as the end-all be-all for political candidates. Yes, he’s a major step. Yes, I myself support him fully. But he’s not our last hope. We will definitely see his idealism come surfacing back and surfing the millennial vote again within the next two elections: when they actually have a base to win a primary with.
But, Sanders isn’t knocked out of the ring just yet. He did something nobody saw coming.
Bernie Sanders won the Michigan primary — 50 percent to Hillary’s 48 percent. This isn’t something huge, mind you. The delegate count is still far and few in between, with Sanders needing landslide victories in future states to stay afloat. Not a single poll, however, has given Sanders any chance of victory in Michigan. The closest had Clinton leading by five percentage points, but the average poll had her leading 20+. Sanders’s win, as said by FiveThirtyEight (who predicted a less than one percent chance for Sanders to win Michigan), is the greatest polling upset in modern political history.
I do not believe Michigan is a fluke among mid-western states. The overall victory for Bernie Sanders at the Flint Debate and his well applauded performance on Fox News allowed for a change in tone across this region of the United States of America. If this happens again — in either Ohio or Illinois in weeks to come — then the fundemental support coming from electoral delegates and super delegates might start to crumble. But, of course, it would have to be a devestating loss for Clinton. Much more than a two percent gap separating the two candidates.
Sanders must get massive victories, very quickly. Mississippi voted against him, letting Clinton win with 83 percent. But, lucky for Sanders, the Deep South is done. Hillary Clinton’s “firewall” is behind him, and the states to come (especially after Michigan) may be increasingly better for him. California, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania…Bernie Sanders momentum isn’t dying. It’s been given life thanks to Michigan’s swift change. Or, in the very least, it’s been given a major chance here. A slim chance to take back delegates — perhaps both from the public and the DNC.