The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released a memo downplaying the importance of the four early-voting states after she conceded defeat in the New Hampshire primary to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).
Sanders was declared the winner of the primary quickly after polls closed Tuesday night. His win comes after Clinton very narrowly defeated him in the Iowa caucuses last week.
The Clinton campaign said this was an expected outcome.
“After splitting the first two contests, an outcome we’ve long anticipated, attention will inevitably focus on the next two of the ‘early four’ states: Nevada and South Carolina,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in the memo. “We’ve built first-rate organisations in each state and we feel very good about our prospects for success.”
At the same time the campaign emphasised Clinton’s strength in Nevada and South Carolina, it downplayed the importance of February voting.
“While important, the first four states represent just 4% of the delegates needed to secure the nomination; the 28 states that vote (or caucus) in March will award 56% of the delegates needed to win,” Mook said in the memo.
“And whereas the electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire are largely rural/suburban and predominantly white, the March states better reflect the true diversity of the Democratic Party and the nation — including large populations of voters who live in big cities and small towns, and voters with a much broader range of races and religions.”
Mook continued: “The nomination will very likely be won in March, not February, and we believe that Hillary Clinton is well positioned to build a strong — potentially insurmountable — delegate lead next month.”
The memo also took subtle shots at Sanders, whose support has been lacking among minorities.
“It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for a Democrat to win the nomination without strong levels of support among African American and Hispanic voters,” Mook said in the memo. “We believe that’s how it should be. And a Democrat who is unable to inspire strong levels of support in minority communities will have no credible path to winning the presidency in the general election.”
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