Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders shocked the Hillary Clinton campaign with a close victory Tuesday night in Michigan’s Democratic primary, seizing on voter discontent over Clinton-era trade deals and performing better than expected among black voters. Meanwhile, Clinton picked up another victory in Mississippi’s primary.
“The Bernie Sanders campaign, the people’s revolution that we are talking about … is strong in every part of the country, and frankly we believe our strongest areas are yet to happen,” Sanders said shortly before his victory in Michigan’s was called by TV networks. “This has been a fantastic night in Michigan; we’re very grateful.”
Exit polls showed a higher number of African-Americans voted for Sanders Tuesday than previously anticipated. He was reported as losing them 65 percent to 30 percent in Michigan, while in Alabama he lost them 91 percent to 6 percent and in Arkansas 90 percent to 10 percent against Clinton.
Michigan might have served as Sanders’ last, best chance to compete with Clinton, and his campaign manager Jeff Weaver dubbed Michigan “a critical showdown.”
Heading into Michigan — the Democrats were vying for 130 delegates there — Clinton was predicted to do well. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist survey placed her ahead of Sanders by 57 percent to 40 percent.