Michigan should not have been the nightmare it was for Madam Secretary. Despite being one of the biggest Primary upsets in decades -- Nate Silver likes to point to 1984 New Hampshire where Hart beat Mondale after being seventeen points down in the polls (Mondale still won the nomination) -- Senator Sanders actually only beat HRC by one percentage point, and on balance lost ground in the delegate count due to him getting thrashed in Mississippi.
But then Sanders had a great debate against Clinton in Miami, and Ms Clinton quickly seemed to come undone, saying insanely idiotic things about the death penalty, and the Reagans and AIDS.
Clinton had clearly started to take this election for granted. And, I suppose, I, and other folks had, too.
You know, whatever, I, or the media, do regarding handicapping this race, really has very little impact compared to what Clinton does to actually winning the nomination.
She should have handled the Michigan set back much better than she did. HRC is rattled right now, and she has to get to work to actually sealing this deal before Sanders starts to actually believe he can win this thing. She still has a significant lead, and there really is no need to panic. She is going to say more stupid things, there will be more unforced errors, but Sanders is going to fluff his lines, as well. Sanders can not win every news cycle until the Convention.
So is Michigan an outlier? Or is it a storm warning for the feel the bern tsunami revolution headed our way? I am betting on the former, and, however it turns out ultimately, I can guarantee that it will be another very long night with three very tight races.
North Carolina will call for Clinton round about 4:45 PDT, and Florida for Clinton, too, about a half hour after that. That will establish what Sanders must overcome the rest of the night. I figure that to be about fifty delegates. Even if Sanders were to win all three remaining states, once again, on balance, he would end up further behind Clinton than he is right now.
But if Sanders sweeps Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri tonght, no one is going to be talking about delegate counts much, except to point out that the rest of the month looks very good for Bernie, and he can finally start to chip away at that lead. It would be like Michigan all over again, everyone waiting breathlessly for HRC's next gaffe. The Vermont Catamounts take down Syracuse again.
I am 38-4 picking these contests. I got Oklahoma wrong for both parties, Maine wrong for the GOP, and Michigan wrong for the Democrats. That works out to a ninety percent average, and I take this little game very seriously. Primaries are much harder to predict than a General, and my personal goal is to get up to around ninety-five percent when this is all over. But it sucks because I make no bones about having a horse in this race, and my friends can be real dicks, pointing to the Jumbotron and shouting, "Scoreboard!" Folks that barely follow politics, or newcomers, or people that would rather be mean. I gotta let those folks be, and pay them no never mind.
This is how I see the results: Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, and Ohio for Clinton. Missouri for Sanders. Clinton should take 55% of tonight's pledged delegates, increasing her lead by sixty-five.
For the GOP I have Trump winning Florida, North Carolina, and Illinois. Cruz will win Missouri, and Kasich will win Ohio. Rubio will suspend his campaign later this week.