If a national Democrat claims victory in Utah, Arizona, or Idaho, you know one thing is for sure: It must not be November. Those mountain states are among the most conservative in the union; they’re places where Barack Obama is so hated, Kim Jong Un could beat him in an election, so long as he picked Ted Nugent as his running mate.
But Primary Season is different – it’s that special time of year when Jeff Sessions is presented as a celebrity endorser, or when a fired computer CEO gets asked about her foreign policy. And it’s a time when Democrats get to win elections – albeit primaries – in western mountain states who think the party lost its way after James K. Polk.
Hillary Clinton won Arizona, propelled by voters who want their daughters to have a better political role model than ex-Gov. Jan Brewer, whose main accomplishments were being leathery and making Sarah Palin seem literate by comparison. Clinton did well among the state’s sizable Latino population and withstood a Bernie Sanders challenge from the powerful crystal-growing community in Sedona.
Sanders steamrolled Clinton in Idaho, dominating the key demographic of rural, white, crotchety, gun-owning males who admire Denmark’s policies on maternity leave. Sanders also won Utah, whose Mormon voters made clear his Jewish faith was not a problem, since he can easily be baptized after he’s dead.
But at the end of the day, we’re still talking about Utah, Arizona, and Idaho, and they remain Republican territory. To illustrate, the winner of the GOP caucus in Idaho’s Oneida County was Ted Cruz with 473 votes. The Democratic winner of that same county was Sanders with… 6 votes.
Kim-Nugent could do better than that.