Puerto Rico has been burned by a massive debt crisis, but they didn’t exactly Feel the Bern in yesterday’s Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton leads the vote count by a wide margin this morning, 61/39, with 69% of the vote counted. That puts her on track to win a large chunk of the 60 pledged delegates and seven superdelegates up for grabs, leaving her just under three dozen delegates shy of clinching the nomination:
Hillary Clinton moved closer to the Democratic presidential nomination with two contests this weekend as she and Sen. Bernie Sanders continued a fierce contest in California ahead of voting Tuesday that is likely to make Clinton the winner of a bruising primary battle.
Late Sunday, Clinton won the Democratic primary in Puerto Rico, according to early returns. On Saturday, she overwhelmingly won caucuses in the Virgin Islands.
The primary generated a large turnout, which became an issue. Thanks in part to the financial crisis, the government only opened a third of their announced polling stations. Some blamed Team Bernie for that decision, which the Sanders campaign vigorously denied:
Some voters endured waits of more than two hours — or gave up entirely — because of long lines at polling stations, according to multiple reports on site.
The commonwealth, which is amid a financial crisis, reduced the number of polling stations by more than two-thirds from the more than 1,500 originally announced. Sanders supporters complained vociferously on social media.
An MSNBC reporter said that the Democratic Party blamed the Sanders campaign in part because it had requested a reduction in sites, citing a lack of volunteers to monitor them. Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs called the allegation “total bunk.”
They’re also vigorously denying reality. Hillary Clinton needs fewer than thirty delegates to clinch, and almost 700 will be up for grabs in tomorrow’s big primary finale with five states holding contests. Even so, Team Bernie keeps insisting that they will prevail in Philadelphia:
Rousing more than 4,000 supporters as the sun set over his rally near Qualcomm Stadium, Sanders signaled that he plans to fight on to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and is far from ready to cede the nomination to his rival, Hillary Clinton, who picked up more delegates in contests over weekend as she inched closer to clinching.
The sprawling and rebellious scene in Southern California captured the spirit of the Sanders campaign ahead of the primaries that will take place Tuesday here and in five other states. Instead of beginning to accept Clinton’s likely ascent, the Vermont senator and the people behind him are responding with simmering indignation about the forces they believe are aligned against him.
The sea of blue “Bernie” T-shirts roared as Sanders’s unfurled a rapid-fire riff on his perceived foes in the political realm and beyond: “corporate” news organizations, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, the “oligarchy” of billionaires.
“Any objective analyst of the current campaign understands that the energy and the grass-roots activism of this campaign is with us,” Sanders bellowed, putting an emphasis on that last word. “Not Hillary Clinton.”
Well, there’s always the Green Party. That option is still open, although it’s also still a long shot. But given the rhetoric Sanders has begun to use, and the difficulty of reconciling it in a rapprochement to Clinton with his followers, it may be the only intellectually consistent option for Bernie and his followers after tomorrow.
There certainly is no path to the general election any other way. The superdelegates won’t abandon Hillary between now and the convention without a felony indictment from the Department of Justice over her e-mail scandal, and even that might not produce a Sanders nomination. It would be much more likely to result in a convention switch to Joe Biden, who would probably have won the nomination outright had he jumped into the race early enough. The way Hillary has squandered her establishment domination in this primary shows she could have easily been beaten by another Democrat with national standing, and the same is true of Sanders, who only got that national standing in this cycle.
Sanders will hang on through Philadelphia for that potential FBI primary, though. This is the greatest ride of his political career, and he has no intention of exiting until it has come to a full and complete stop.