Heading into today’s Michigan primary, the Real Clear Politics poll average showed Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders by 21 points. Yet with more than 60 percent of the vote (or the precincts, I’m not certain which), reported, Sanders is leading Clinton.
The lead is small — 50.5 to 47.5 (23,000 votes) — and we’re told that a big chunk of the unreported vote is from the presumed Clinton strongholds of Wayne County and Flint. However, it’s possible that Sanders will hold on.
If so, it would be an upset of almost unheard of proportions.
A Sanders win wouldn’t derail Clinton. But it would be hugely embarrassing and might presage additional embarrassment in big states.
Exit polls showed that around 40 percent of those who voted in Michigan’s Democratic primary don’t think Clinton is honest. I assume that the vast majority of these folks will vote for Clinton in the general election anyway. But if Clinton is viewed this way by so many Democrats, imagine how the rest of the electorate must view her.
I think she has a big problem.
UPDATE: Sanders has carried Michigan, or so the networks say. The key to his victory, it seems to me, is that he lost the Black vote by 2:1, rather than 10:1, or whatever Clinton has been pulling among Blacks in the South.
As I said, Clinton will be the Democrat nominee barring an explosion of her legal problems. But it may be a long and unpleasant slog for her.