After a stronger-than-expected showing in the June 7th primaries, Hillary Clinton is set to clinch the Democratic Party’s nomination with little opposition at the party convention in late July. Her rival in the race, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, had hoped for a dramatic performance Tuesday night in order to emphasize Mrs. Clinton’s weaknesses in the run-up to the convention and attract the support of superdelegates concerned about the former secretary of state’s ability to defeat Republican Donald Trump. But unable to deliver the miracle he needed, Mr. Sanders now plans to slash his campaign apparatus in recognition of the growing discouragement of the donors backing his candidacy.
Though Bernie Sanders easily carried North Dakota’s caucuses, Hillary Clinton edged her opponent in South Dakota, a state which had been widely considered a Sanders stronghold. Montana, another primary which looked to be an easy victory for Mr. Sanders, is currently too close to call, with the Vermont senator maintaining a 5-point lead over Mrs. Clinton with 60 percent of precincts reporting.
Mrs. Clinton also appears to have dominated the race in California, having built a nearly 25-point lead among the state’s large population of early voters. Though it is possible that Mr. Sanders could overcome this gap by the time the remaining votes are counted, doing so would do little to reverse the present media narrative that Mrs. Clinton has clinched the nomination and is turning the focus of her campaign onto Donald Trump and the general election.
In what amounted to a quiet endorsement of Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy, President Obama released a statement Tuesday night “congratulat[ing] [her] for securing the delegates necessary to clinch the Democratic Nomination for President.” He also plans to meet with Mr. Sanders later this week to discuss “how to build on the extraordinary work he has done to engage millions of Democratic voters.”
Pres. Obama, Bernie Sanders to meet at the White House on Thursday at Sanders’ request, press sec. says in statement pic.twitter.com/yfrxaRvQM4
— ABC News (@ABC) June 8, 2016
Moving forward, Bernie Sanders will likely turn his focus to ensuring the inclusion of his progressive vision in the Democratic party platform. Though his campaign still insists that the Vermont senator will fight Mrs. Clinton all the way to July’s convention, the movement of heavyweight figures like President Obama behind her candidacy will frustrate Mr. Sanders’s efforts to convince superdelegates—who consist primarily of members of the Democratic political establishment—to support him.