'Sanders’ Michigan win - Biggest upset since 80s'

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders thrusts his fist in the air as he speaks to supporters on the night of the Michigan, Mississippi and other primaries at his campaign rally in Miami, Florida March 8, 2016. © Carlo Allegri
Bernie Sanders’ triumph in Michigan is a huge unexpected victory as pundits predicted Hilary Clinton would defeat the ‘socialist’, investigative journalist Max Blumenthal told RT.

RT: Bernie Sanders won in Michigan despite projections it would be an easy win for Clinton. How significant is this state in the race?

Max Blumenthal: Sanders has won Michigan…and it is one of the most significant upsets in any major state primary in my lifetime possibly since Gary Hart upset Walter Mondale in 1984. This is, from a small northern all white state, against the former secretary of state, former first lady. He won almost 85 per cent of people under 30. We saw voter turnout in a democratic primary from people under 30 at the same level as people over 65, who traditionally voted the highest levels. Sanders won all across Michigan, the tenth largest state in the union.

Clinton had banked on winning in Wayne County - the county, where Detroit is. She had banked on the black vote and she did not secure a high enough total there. So what we see is: Clinton is only winning these southern states and getting her delegates from the southern states, which the Democrats won’t win in a general election. I think that is really troubling since she is still ahead in the delegate count. 

RT: Michigan is most well known for being the home of the American auto industry. At their last debate Clinton accused Sanders of having voted against bailing out Detroit. He later dismissed the accusation and now Sanders is leading in the state. Are voters not buying into Clinton's attacks?

MB: She basically lied. Sanders voted against the TARP [Troubled Asset Relief Program] bailout package along with, I think, 44 other Democratic senators. The voters in Michigan clearly saw through this attack. The pundits did not see through the attack. After that debate there was a consensus among the pundits that Sanders had lost, that Clinton had scored her biggest debate victory.

And then we saw the polls – showing that Clinton would win Michigan by anywhere between 10 and 25 points. The pundits were sure that she would defeat him in Michigan and now he has scored this enormous victory. But he is going forward into Pennsylvania and even as far as California as a contender. This is something that I think no one in the Beltway pundit class expected. 

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about the results of the Michigan, Mississippi and other primary elections during a news conference held at his Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, March 8, 2016. © Joe Skipper

RT: Trump is the front runner leading in most polls. Which republican candidate, if any, could bring him down?

MB: If that Republican candidate plans to associate him by drone, or maybe by sniper rifle, but not politically - I don’t see that happening. Ted Cruz just won Idaho by the way, but that is sort of a small state on the map considering Trump just won Michigan. Capitalizing on the same anger that voters supported Sanders’ felt. What we’ve seen over the past week is the Republicans gathering with corporate industry chieftains  in places across the country, the American Enterprise, the big neo-conservative think tank has been hosting these gatherings, and they are planning their plan B on how to stop Trump. It turned out they have no plan B. They’ve concluded that everything they’ve done so far – all their attacks haven’t worked. And I don’t think they have any plan to stop him. 

RT: What about a potentially brokered convention, the GOP has the power to do this. Could this ultimately sideline Trump for somebody else?

MB: That is John Kasich; the outgoing Ohio governors’ best bet is a brokered convention that would require a lot of the superdelegates and the Republican power brokers like Mitt Romney actually sanctioning such a thing. And I think it would tear the party apart, because it would be telling the party base that brought Trump there and who are so excited and enthusiastic - we are seeing record Republican turnout this primary - that they don’t matter. And I think it would doom the general election. But don’t put it past:  Mitt Romney and the big donors in the Republican establishment to do this.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.