After Hillary Clinton’s victory in S. Carolina with about 77% of the vote, Bloomberg.com ran the following commentary:
“Clinton might actually owe Sanders a debt of gratitude. Her New Hampshire loss and narrow Nevada victory forced her to tack her campaign leftward, by adopting many of Sanders’ own more liberal, anti-inequality themes as her own.
“As the Republican establishment continues to grapple with how to battle the insurgent candidacy of Donald Trump, on the Democratic side, voters seem prepared to reward a mainstream favorite in Clinton — but also are making clear they want to see a little of Sanders’ fire too.
“Clinton responded in kind. Before the polls closed in South Carolina, she was running an ad about how Wall Street can no longer run over Main Street, and her campaign stump appearances also are peppered with more talk of standing up for average Americans, no matter how many speeches she gave at Goldman Sachs.
“These approaches may be setting Clinton up better to energize the Democratic base over the long run, well past Super Tuesday and into the general-election campaign, where even independents seem to share some of the anger that is animating the bases in the Democratic and Republican parties.”
Sanders, himself, recognizes this. After his victory in New Hampshire, he referred to “the excitement that the Democratic party will need to succeed in November”. And he concluded: “We will need to come together in a few months and unite this party, and this nation because the right-wing Republicans we oppose must not be allowed to gain the presidency.”
Win or lose in the primaries, this will be the ultimate effect of the Sanders campaign – to strengthen the Democratic Party.