LOS ANGELES, June 7, 2016 — Several states held the last big round of presidential primaries on Tuesday. On the Republican side, the unopposed Donald Trump racked up wins in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota.
Democrats had contests in those five states and in North Dakota. Despite desperate attempts to declare the race over, Democrats remain as divided as ever.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton romped in New Jersey by more than 25 points while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the North Dakota caucuses by about 40 points. Clinton survived in New Mexico and South Dakota, winning each 51 percent to 49 percent. In Montana, it was Sanders with a comfortable 51 percent to 45 percent win.
But those states were window dressing. California was the big enchilada.
Sanders and Clinton had the state split along geographical, age and racial lines.
Sanders had the support of wealthy white liberals and young people. Elderly women and blacks gravitated heavily toward Clinton. Sanders attempted to rack up big margins in Los Angeles and San Francisco to offset Clinton’s dominance in rural areas.
All three candidates spoke Tuesday night, with plenty of surprises.
Donald Trump spoke from New York early in the evening with Queen’s “We Are the Champions” in the background. More bravado was expected.
Instead, Trump was disciplined, focused and crisp. He spoke for only 22 minutes, not his usual 45 to 60 minutes of rambling streams of consciousness. This time he was heavy on policy and even a bit humble.
He repeated his promise to “Make America Great Again,” but this time defined his slogan to a variety of policies.
A moment of unintentional levity occurred when Trump said, “I will never let you down.”
It is only fitting he would quote Rick Astley right before his new album comes out. There is no evidence that Trump deliberately rick-rolled his audience.
Even when going after Hillary and Bill Clinton, Trump kept his criticisms pointed.
“The Clintons have turned the politics of personal enrichment into an art form for themselves.” “Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into her own private hedge fund.”
President Obama is protecting her.
Trump also offered plenty of empathy in these tough economic times, reminding voters, “We are all suffering.” He insisted, “We are going to put America back to work. we are going to make our own products. “
Trump even mentioned the tragedy of America’s inner cities and the long neglect of African-Americans.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accurately described Trump’s speech as “disciplined.” Trump teased the crowd by announcing a speech this coming Monday exclusively focused on the Clintons.
A couple of hours later, before a single California vote total had trickled in, Hillary Clinton again declared victory at a rally in Brooklyn. She keeps insisting that the race is over.
She claimed, “As your president, I will always have your back.” The men who survived the Benghazi attack would disagree.
She bashed Wall Street, power brokers and money in politics— that is, her base.
She then offered platitudes about women and history. “We want an America where everyone is treated with respect.” Her next laughable claim was her insistence that “We believe we should lift each other up, not tear each other down.”
Her entire career has been combat and destroying her political enemies.
The Bernie Sanders coalition comprises young, rich white liberals. It made perfect sense for him to hold his rally in Santa Monica, the home of rich white liberals. He kept everyone waiting until 10:45 p.m. California time, but part of that was due to massive problems with counting votes. Nearly three hours after the polls closed, less than 40 percent of the California votes had been counted. Clinton had a 25-point lead, but this was misleading. Los Angeles and San Francisco had yet to report.
Sanders made a couple of puzzling comments.
“We won’t allow right-wing Republicans to control our government.”
Sanders would deny that those words are a call to violence. His supporters have a habit of not allowing those who disagree with them to even speak at their own rallies.
“Real change never comes from the top down.”
The Sanders movement expands on the Obama governing philosophy of total government control of everything. That is the very definition of a top down approach.
At least Sanders made real news, shocking the media to their core. They expected their repeated declarations of a completed race to force Sanders to quit. Sanders had other ideas.
“Next Tuesday we continue the fight in the last primary in Washington, D.C.”
The crowd erupted in sustained applause. Sanders spoke for 15 minutes, and his supporters left more energized than before.
Democrats can pretend to be united, but Sanders’ vow to fight all the way to the Convention in Philadelphia may make Clinton’s head explode.
The news is not all good for Republicans. While they can be gleeful about continued Democrat on Democrat violence, California is now a one-party Democratic state for the foreseeable future. The California open primary was supposed to lead to more moderate candidates. Instead it has wiped out Republicans across the board.
In 2013, the race to run Los Angeles featured a general election with two Democrats and zero Republicans. Now the United States Senate will be the same. Hardcore leftist California Attorney General Kamala Harris will face off against liberal Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez in November. Democrats will tear each other to pieces, since it pits a black woman against a Hispanic woman. Yet while Democrats will be fighting over identity politics, Republicans will have absolutely nothing to gain. Some of them are lining up behind Sanchez as the lesser of two evils, but this is still a complete collapse.
The California GOP elected Ronald Reagan twice to the governor’s mansion. Now they are not even a competitive political party.
The only good news is that wealthy California GOP donors can focus on competitive races in other states.
Except for the Washington, D.C., primary next week, the primaries are over. For that, voters everywhere are thankful. Now the general election can begin, which brings joy to virtually nobody.