It wasn’t just the results on Tuesday. It was the realization that, for the first time, he had no excuse and nothing better to look forward to.
The night was so debilitating for Bernie Sanders that after retreating to his home state of Vermont on Tuesday, he didn’t even make a speech.
In every way, other than mathematically, his presidential campaign is done.
It wasn’t just the results of the primaries on Tuesday that spelled the end, though they were miserable for Sanders. It was the realization that, for the first time, Sanders’ campaign had no excuse — and nothing better to look forward to.
Unlike last week, when Sanders supporters celebrated a win in California and could argue that Elizabeth Warren’s share of the vote cost him victories in Minnesota and Maine, Tuesday delivered the two-person contest Sanders craved. And Joe Biden routed him, starting in Missouri and Mississippi and continuing through Michigan.
The outcome in Michigan undermined what little remained of Sanders’ electability argument with white, working-class voters, given how central the state is to Democrats’ hopes in November. A close contest in Washington served as an indictment of his ability even to hold on to his base.
“The window is closing for Bernie. Losing states that he won last time in a scenario where he’s got a clean head to head is pretty damning for his candidacy,” said Doug Herman, who was a lead mail strategist for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. “The most crucial barometer for him is, ‘Has he expanded his coalition?’ And time after time we see that he hasn’t.”
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