Despite less than half of the precints reporting in so far, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has conceded defeat to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders after he was declared the winner of the New Hampshire primary by various news outlets. Sanders handed Clinton a decisive defeat by gaining 58.3 percent of the votes to her 39.6 percent. Sanders gained 17 of the 24 delegates up for grabs in the granite state. On the Republican side, business mogul and savior of America Donald Trump won the Republican side of the contest, with his nearest competitor former Ohio Governor John Kasich finishing points fifteen points behind him.
Trump’s victory continues his inexplicable rise to the top and dominance of the GOP field, despite his controversial, sometimes outright heinous, comments. With this latest conquest, the Republican establishment has to figure out what the appropriate course of action should be. Unlike the hopes and predictions of many, Trump doesn’t look like he’s running out of steam anytime soon so the Republican establishment must accept his legitimacy as a candidate, but that in itself is a catch-22. Do they give Donald Trump the party’s nomination, despite the fact that he answers to no one and cannot be influenced by money, and potentially lose the general election to the Democrats because Trump’s polarizing persona has alienated too many voters? Or do they play it safe, and give the nomination to Marco Rubio or former Ohio Governor John Kasich, candidates that can fare well in the general election and who can also be negotiated with, but potentially still lose the general election due to a Trump third-party run splitting the Republican vote?
Trump’s commanding poll numbers have been nothing but music to the Democratic party’s ears, although they themselves seem to be on the brink of Civil War following Sanders’ surprising performance in these first two contests. After virtually tying Hillary Clinton last week during the Iowa caucuses, the victory in New Hampshire further solidifies Bernie Sanders’ position as a legitimate threat to Clinton’s campaign for the White House. Sanders’ victory coupled with his rising poll numbers and support amongst millennials (despite being half a century older than them) has sent the Clinton camp into complete disarray. Clinton surrogates including renown Feminist activist Gloria Steinem, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and now even former President Bill Clinton all increased their bombardment of Sanders in the days before the New Hampshire primaries.
It began on Thursday night when Steinem went on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” where Maher asked her why Clinton, the candidate Steinem has been campaigning for, was losing the young female vote despite being a female. Steinem suggested that many young female voters are flocking to Bernie Sanders not because they agree with his policies and ideas, but because they want to attract men. According to Steinem, “the boys are with Bernie,” and as such, the sex-crazy young girls are driven to his campaign.
The next day, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke to Clinton supporters at a Concord, New Hampshire rally, telling the crowd “we can tell our story about how we climbed the ladder,” referring to her and Hillary’s pioneering of women in politics, but that “a lot of younger women… think it’s been done. It’s not done, and you have to help,” adding that “Hillary Clinton will always be there for you”. Ablright finished by warning the crowd that there is “a special place in hell for women who don’t help women” before the crowd broke into a roaring cheer, with Clinton laughing hysterically besides her.
The barrage continued on Monday, when Bill Clinton spoke at a rally in Milford, New Hampshire during which the former president blasted Sanders and his supporters as “sexist” and “profane,” further perpetuating the myth of the supposed faction of sexist, male Sanders’ supporters known as the Bernie Bros. Yes, this is the same Bill Clinton that has been accused of rape and sexual harassment by a litany of women and who was impeached for the obstruction of justice and for lying under oath to cover up his affair with Monica Lewinksy inside the White House.
The Sanders campaign has flourished despite the offensive by the Clinton camp, raising an astonishing $20 million dollars from 770,000 individual donors in just the first month of 2016. In the process, the Sanders campaign broke yet another record by amassing over 3 million individual donors faster than any other presidential candidate ever. The day immediately after the Iowa caucus, the Sanders’ campaign got a mind-boggling $3 million in donations in just 24 hours, with 40 percent of these donors donating for the first time. The average campaign contribution is $27, far below the $2,500 limit, meaning that Sanders supporters can donate again and again, unlike many Clinton donors who have already maxed out.
Even though Hillary Clinton has super PACs and corporations lining her campaign coffers, this does not seem to phase the Sanders campaign one bit. On the same day that the New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders for president and the pro-Clinton super PAC announced it had raised over $35 million dollars in the past few months, Sanders’ Twitter sent out a tweet disclosing the amount of money his campaign has raised through super PACs: $0.
BREAKING: Sanders super PAC haul
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 29, 2016
These attacks on Sanders, who has arguably run the cleanest campaign in American political history, are baseless and indicative of current state of Clinton’s campaign as her inevitable victory of the Democratic nomination is looking less and less inevitable as the weeks go by. The attacks will only continue as election season wears on, and they will continue baiting the Sanders campaign to launch its own onslaught of personal attacks, but it will not work. The Sanders campaign will only continue to capitalizing from this barrage of attack, continuing to rake in donations and support from voters who are tired of the status quo.
Several nation-wide polls conducted after the Iowa caucus show that Bernie Sanders is now within the margin of error of Hillary Clinton’s once-insurmountable lead, with a Reuters poll showing him at 43.1 percent support among likely Democratic voters to Clinton’s 44.6 percent. The fact that Sanders can even come within striking distance of usurping Clinton should be victory enough for the self-proclaimed democratic socialist candidate. When Sanders first entered the race in May of 2015, he was 50 points behind Hillary, was relatively unknown outside of his home state, did not have a juggernaut donations machine, and was dismissed by most pundits, politicians, and even voters as well-meaning, but completely un-electable. Now, he is on track to outpace Clinton in terms of both support and donations, potentially repeating the 2008 upset she suffered at the hands then-Senator Barrack Obama. What once was considered a pipe dream by many is now becoming a very real possibility. Even if Sanders is not able to implement all of his ambitious plans to truly make America great, his unorthodox campaign and his honest, for-the-people approach has undoubtedly sparked a fire deep inside Americans across the country to demand accountability from our government and our corporations and to no longer be blinded by media distortion of the truth. The political revolution is slowly, but surely, starting up and you can bet that it will not be televised.