Rachel Maddow Tuesday declared the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination “effectively over.”
The liberal commentator, who has repeatedly interviewed both candidates on her MSNBC show and even hosted debates and forums during the campaign, prefaced her summation by acknowledging, “I’m sure a lot of people will be mad at me for saying this.”
But with Clinton racking up wins in four of the five states that voted Tuesday — Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland — the much-discussed delegate math was looking grim for Sanders, who took Rhode Island. The previously insurgent candidate released a statement in reaction to the results that sounded a new tone. Maddow seemed to interpret it as a concession of sorts.
“I’m sure a lot of people will be mad at me for saying this, but I believe with that statement it is fair to say that this Democratic contest is effectively over,” said Maddow, after reading the Sanders campaign statement on air. “Even though there will be two people competing in every contest between now and June 14, in Washington D.C., this is the Sanders campaign saying they do not have a plan that is a way to win this nomination. They’ll keep fighting. But their goal is something different.”
The delegate math guru himself, Steve Kornacki, seemed to concur in his analysis of the results. Moments earlier, the out host said, “Really, there just is no path at this point, short of just a complete total change in this race, something totally unforeseen. That’s the level we’re at when you’re seeing numbers like this.”
The Sanders campaign statement says the candidate will attempt to win as many delegates as possible heading into the convention, where he hopes to then have credibility to influence the party.
“The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be,” said Sanders via the statement. “That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.”