Heart to Hart?
Bernie Sanders has notched 11 primary and caucus wins during the 2016 campaign to date and plans to add to his total this weekend with Democratic caucuses being held in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington. Thus far Sanders’s victory tally has mostly mirrored the states won by Gary Hart 32 years ago – with the Vermont U.S. Senator’s wins overlapping the 1984 Democratic candidate in eight of these 11 states: Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Utah, and Vermont. Sanders has also carried Kansas, Michigan, and Minnesota where Senator Hart lost to Walter Mondale. Looking ahead to the weekend, Hart won Alaska and Washington in 1984 and uncommitted delegates in the Hawaii caucuses nearly quadrupled the tally won by Mondale (Hart’s name was absent from the Hawaii ballot and he urged his supporters to vote ‘uncommitted’). One big difference in 1984, however, is that Hart won three high population states that Sanders has already lost: Florida, Massachusetts, and Ohio. (Hart also won Arizona and Nevada among states that have held contests to date).
Hart was arguably robbed of a win in the Wolverine State, with the polling/gathering venues being held in union halls and others partial to “special interests” (e.g. organised labour). His losses in AZ, et. al. notwithstanding, Sanders seems unlike to actively cease campaigning for the nomination, for, unlike Paul Tsongas and Howard Dean, among others, he will not be short of funds, and the “Shrillery” Camp has nothing to offer him in exchange for his premature exit.