With all precincts in--but with an unknown number of mail-in votes still to be counted--Hillary Clinton has won the California Democratic presidential primary with nearly 56% of the vote, to Bernie Sanders 43.2%. So it wasn't close. And as Ed Kilgore worked the numbers, whatever the surprise AP announcement Tuesday that Clinton had clinched did to turnout, Clinton had enough momentum from mail-in ballots (which is most of them in CA) to win handily. If anything, Bernie picked up late momentum. The LA Times analyzes.
As I expected, Bernie pretty handily won Humboldt. He did well way up here in the northern counties. But that was pretty much it. His hopes in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley didn't work out. Apart from a few rural counties in eastern CA, plus Santa Cruz, his southernmost county were Mendocino and Lake. Except for Santa Barbara county (50/49), Hillary's lead was usually in the mid 50% to mid 60% range.
Apart from other factors, California is pretty comfortable with women candidates. After all, the state has been represented in the US Senate for decades by two women, and in this election, two women will contend for one of those seats, as Barbara Boxer retires. Thanks to this new non-partisan primary system for non-presidential candidates (the top two vote-getters regardless of party face off in the general), the two women (Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez) are both Democrats. That was much remarked on, of course, but the fact the race is between two women is too normal to mention.
Clinton earlier won New Jersey (63%-37%), New Mexico and South Dakota primaries.
Bernie Sanders spoke in Santa Monica after the close of voting, when Hillary's landslide victory in California was already obvious. Wednesday there were conflicting reports on what he is likely to do, and on his state of mind (responding to one set of reports that he remains angry and committed to a convention fight, New Yorker satirist Borowitz posted a column claiming that: Sanders Vows to Keep Fighting For Nomination Even if Hillary is Elected President.)
Eric Levitz parsed the speech in a different way, and isolated this quote: "And tonight, I had a very gracious call from Secretary Clinton and congratulated her on her victories tonight. Our fight is to transform our country and to understand that we are in this together. To understand that all of what we believe is what the majority of the American people believe."
Though Levitz didn't note this, the phrase "we are in this together" indicates not only a common effort to defeat Trump which Sanders had begun his speech saying is the number one objective, but it is a phrase that Hillary emphasized in her victory speech. "We are all in this together" is a major expression of her "Stronger Together" theme (which wasn't quite...together in the speech, but it's getting there.) I notice this phrase--which again is one that President Obama uses--because I've long advocated it as the theme we need, to face the challenges of this century.
Whether and when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are in it together is yet to be seen. But Sanders meeting with President Obama Thursday, and Obama's endorsement of Hillary as the nominee shortly after, will suggest the shape of that eventuality.
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