The mainstream media pundits just don’t get it. They don’t get it that the Bernie Sanders campaign has never been about “politics as usual”. Rather, it is “the politics of the unusual”.
What makes it unusual is that the first time in living memory we are seeing an American campaign that is primarily a mass movement, energised by millions of young people and addressing a fundamental issue, the rule of America by the super-rich “1%”.
As one Sanders volunteer in Michigan put it
: “The message that is really firing people up is that nothing can happen to change in the country unless the American people rise up.”
The pundits don’t understand the power of such a movement, and its “snowball effect”. That is, how it picks up more and more support as it rolls along.
Sanders’ Michigan victory shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone understanding this snowball effect. In earlier primaries (in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Kansas, etc.) the opinion polls either failed to predict that Sanders would win, or failed to predict the magnitude of his victory. So why would it be different in Michigan? Overcoming
an average poll deficit of 21 points
in Michigan was a magnificent achievement for the Sanders movement.
The media bias against Sanders is still evident. Where have you seen the headlines hailing Sanders’ ability to win (or nearly win) in every primary so far outside the South? Clinton’s only solid base is in the South, and the primaries there are largely over. Sanders has now won New Hampshire, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont, Kansas, Nebraska, Maine and Michigan, and come a close second in Iowa, Nevada and Massachusetts.
Sure, the delegate mathematics for Sanders still looks difficult, particularly if you add in all the un-elected pro-Clinton “super-delegates” whose vote can tip the balance at the party convention. But it would be a big embarrassment for the Democrat establishment if Sanders wins the bulk of the primaries from here on in and is blocked from getting the nomination.
Over the next week the Sanders campaign faces a big test, having to hit not only Florida (which Sanders will probably lose) but also North Carolina and three important mid-west states where the polls currently put him well behind – 30 points behind in Illinois and Missouri and 20 points in Ohio. Mind you the polls put Sanders far behind in Michigan before his victory there last night. The Sanders snowball of support is still growing.