Earl Ofari Hutchinson's take on the politics of the day
Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Much has been written about the significance of the Black vote to Hillary Clinton, but much less so about its significance to Bernie Sanders. The brutal political reality is that the Black vote will make or break Sanders and Clinton. Here’s exactly how the Black vote made (and can make) the difference for Sanders and Clinton by the Michigan Democratic Primary Numbers.
Total Registered Voters Michigan (rounded off) 7,300,000
Total Registered Black voters Michigan based on voter participation rate 511,000
Total Voters in 2016 Michigan GOP and Democratic Primaries (rounded off) 2,500,000
Michigan Democratic Primary Overall Vote Total 1,200,000
Bernie Sanders 595,222 49. 8 %
Hillary Clinton 576,795 48.3 %
Net 18, 427 vote winning margin for Sanders over Clinton
Total Black Voter Total (Extrapolated from Voter Participation Rate)
156, 000 Black Voters (Rounded off total)
Based on Democratic Percentage Rate
140,000 Black Voters (Rounded off Total)
Clinton received 84 percent of the Black vote in South Carolina and 90 percent in Mississippi.
She got 67-69 percent of the Black vote in Michigan; Sanders got 31 to 33 percent.
If Clinton had received the same percentage of the Black vote in Michigan that she received in South Carolina or Mississippi she would have received 22,400 to 28,000 more black votes in the Michigan Democratic Primary.
This would have given her from 4000 to 9000 more votes than Sanders’ 18, 427 winning vote margin.
That margin would have provided the winning margin for Clinton. She, not Sanders, would have won the Michigan Democratic Primary.
Crunching the numbers is more than an academic Poli Sci 101 exercise. With major upcoming primaries in the big delegate (and electoral rich) rich Northern states California, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio, though Black voters are a decided minority of the overall vote total even a slight percentage of the Black vote total for Sanders and a downtick for Clinton can make or break either one in the primaries and beyond. Campaign 2016 is truly a sheer political life and death numbers game for both.