Dennis Mersereau | @wxdam
Stick to the weather.
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2016 Democratic Presidential Primaries
The 2016 Democratic presidential primary saw a bitterly contested race between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate.
The former first lady served as senator from New York from 2001 until she resigned in 2009 to become President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. She competed for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 and narrowly lost to Obama. Clinton’s past service and stature in the party made her the odds-on favorite to secure the nomination.
Sanders ran an insurgent outsider campaign against Clinton, often campaigning against the Democratic Party itself as he fought to gain support. He nearly beat Clinton in the Iowa Caucus on February 1, surprising political observers and propelling his campaign toward the later states. The contest quickly grew acrimonious between the Clinton and Sanders camps, sowing fault lines that proved difficult to heal even after the primary elections were over.
Clinton secured a series of decisive wins in large, delegate-rich states, earning her a lead that quickly proved insurmountable for the Sanders campaign. Sanders’ appeal to young voters and low-propensity voters allowed him to continue notching wins in less-populated states and states that allow independent voters to vote in partisan primaries.
Election results correlated closely along demographic lines—one could predict with reasonable accuracy the percentage of the vote each candidate would get simply based on the proportion of white to non-white voters in each state or territory.
The primary came to an end when the polls closed in Washington, D.C., on June 14. Including vote estimates from caucus states, Clinton won more than 3 million more votes than Sanders, beating the senator from Vermont 54.9% to 43.6% in the popular vote. Clinton was the first woman to serve as a major party's presidential nominee.
Fierce anti-Clinton sentiment stoked by Republicans and sections of the Sanders campaign continued through the party conventions in the summer, culminating in significant protests against Clinton and the Democratic Party by small but vocal groups of delegates throughout the convention. This animosity carried over into the general election in the fall.
Clinton chose Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine to serve as her running mate against Republican nominees Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. She held leads in almost all polls leading up to election day, but Trump’s ability to turn out low-propensity voters—who didn’t answer polling calls or didn’t get polled at all—alongside a larger-than-normal number of protest votes for third-party candidates, made the general election results exceptionally close come November 8, 2016.
Trump ultimately prevailed by beating Clinton by about 30,000 votes in several key swing states, winning the White House for Republicans. Despite Trump’s win, Clinton won 2.8 million more votes than Trump, securing the most votes ever won by a single person in American history up to that point.
I didn't stick to the weather.