Bernie Sanders' Last Stand: A Preview Of Tonight's Primaries
Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count.
The AP surveyed all 714 superdelegates repeatedly in the past seven months, and only 95 remain publicly uncommitted.
Democrats will vote in six states on Tuesday, just hours after Hillary Clinton secured enough superdelegates, according to a survey by The Associated Press, to make her the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. But the focus will be on just one of those states: California, the nation’s most populous state and a liberal stronghold, where Senator Bernie Sanders is hoping to seize a victory to make the case for staying in the race until the party’s convention in July.
The question of the day is not whether Mrs. Clinton will declare victory, but in what terms, and how she will begin to frame the general election race against Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee.
But there will also be something to watch on the Republican side, as Mr. Trump is expected to hold a news conference in New York to mark the end of primary season. He has been heavily criticized — including by many in his own party — for his attacks on a federal judge’s Mexican heritage, and he faces questions about how he will respond.
Voting will also take place on Tuesday in Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota. Here are a few of the dynamics we’ll be watching:
How will Clinton cross a historic barrier?
In her speech Tuesday night, Mrs. Clinton will become the first woman to claim victory in a major party’s presidential nominating fight. She has intermittently emphasized the historic nature of her candidacy, and it may work to her benefit to stress that theme amid Mr. Trump’s continuing struggles with female voters.
But Mrs. Clinton also has a broader choice to make, about how to position herself in one of the highest-profile moments of her campaign: Will she move to calm Sanders supporters and consolidate support on the left, or reach out to moderates and Republicans who may be wary of Mr. Trump? Will she go after Mr. Trump in hard language, or focus on sketching a positive rationale for her own election? Her choices Tuesday night could set the shape of the race between now and the conventions in July.
Can Sanders make the case for fighting on?
The slim path available to Mr. Sanders narrowed even further Monday evening with the news report that Mrs. Clinton had crossed the 2,383-delegate threshold through support from party leaders. In order to press forward, Mr. Sanders is in dire need of an upset win in California. By taking the nation’s most populous state, his supporters hope, Mr. Sanders could claim a mandate to keep fighting all the way to the convention in Philadelphia.
He is likely to face intensifying pressure from Democrats — including the White House — to get out of Mrs. Clinton’s way. But Mr. Sanders has never been a creature of the Democratic Party. His natural mode is defiance. As Mrs. Clinton aims to rally Democrats, it is in Mr. Sanders’s power to make that process easy or acutely uncomfortable. His reaction to Tuesday’s results may signal which path he intends to take.
What does California mean to Clinton?
Mrs. Clinton is favored to win the primary in New Jersey and has a narrower lead over Mr. Sanders in California polls. She is poised to secure her party’s nomination regardless of what happens in each state, but sweeping both would lend her candidacy an especially formidable air at the start of the campaign against Mr. Trump.
Capturing California, one of the most racially diverse states, would hand Mrs. Clinton a useful symbolic victory as she prepares to compete with a Republican whose support has come overwhelmingly from whites.
Can Trump recover his footing?
Republican concern about Mr. Trump is approaching a high: His last remaining primary challengers dropped out of the race more than a month ago, but the real estate developer has done little in that time to gird himself for a contest with Mrs. Clinton.
Over the last week, Mr. Trump has inflicted more damage to his candidacy than Senator Ted Cruz or Gov. John R. Kasich ever did. He has struggled to answer newly detailed and troubling allegations that his defunct educational company, Trump University, committed fraud, and he has repeatedly criticized a federal judge who is hearing a class-action lawsuit against him, accusing the judge, who is of Mexican descent, of having a conflict of interest.
It will take a firm performance by Mr. Trump on the podium in Westchester County on Tuesday night to reassure Republicans that he is up to the job of fighting Mrs. Clinton. Another undisciplined and combative outing could raise the party’s anxiety to the level of panic.
How quickly does Obama weigh in?
President Obama has appeared eager, even impatient, to take part in the campaign, and he has already gone after Mr. Trump repeatedly. But Mr. Obama has been somewhat constrained so far by the Democratic primaries. While he has been critical of Republicans, he has not yet made a full-throated case for Mrs. Clinton as a better alternative.
The White House has indicated that may change this week, once Mrs. Clinton has the Democratic nomination in hand. A presidential endorsement would be seen by many Democrats as a signal to Mr. Sanders that it’s time for him to leave the race. And Mr. Obama, who has long been adept at belittling Mr. Trump, could be an effective advocate for Mrs. Clinton as she seeks to energize the Democratic coalition and set the terms of debate against an unpredictable opponent.
If ever you needed any more proof the captured MSM is nothing but a mouthpiece for the establishment, you got it yesterday. Hillary Clinton, the hand picked surrogate for the crony capitalists, military industrial complex and Wall Street, was declared the winner of the Democratic nomination because some shadowy super delegates supposedly threw their support to her. What a load of bullshit. Hillary was going to lose the California primary today. That would be a huge black eye for her floundering campaign.
The establishment needed to make the votes in California meaningless and keep people from even voting. So they declared her the winner. The timing was calculated. The AP headline and story was written days ago. They waited until the day before the primary to pull the rug out from Sanders and his supporters. Sanders and his people should turn Philadelphia into a war zone at the convention in July. The ruling oligarchy has rigged the game folks and they are telling you your vote doesn’t matter.