Things did not go as predicted Tuesday night on the Democratic side.
Frontrunner Hillary Clinton claimed victory in the Mississippi primary early and was expected to win Michigan.
That turned out to not be the case as Bernie Sanders ended up with a narrow victory in Michigan.
Clinton’s path for the Democratic nomination is still strong but the Michigan split is a win for Sanders.
Clinton steadily grows her lead over Sanders, who has struggled to broaden his appeal beyond a loyal following of younger voters and liberals.
Heading into Tuesday’s contests, Clinton had accumulated 1,134 delegates and Sanders 499, including superdelegates. Democrats need 2,383 delegates to win the nomination.
Clinton has said she hopes Sanders will support her if she wins the nomination, “the way I supported President Obama when I dropped out.”
Sanders has struggled to make inroads with black voters, an area where Clinton is exceptionally strong and dominated in Mississippi.
Trying to make a stand in Michigan, Sanders accused Clinton of being disingenuous when she asserted that he opposed the auto bailout that rescued carmakers General Motors and Chrysler during the Great Recession. The bailout of the U.S. auto industry by presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama remains popular in Michigan, the home of the U.S. auto industry, and has been credited with preserving the Midwest’s manufacturing base.
“There was one vote in the United States Senate on whether or not to support the auto bailout and protect jobs in Michigan and around this country,” Sanders said during a rally in Kalamazoo, Michigan. “I voted for the auto bailout.”
Sanders and Clinton both voted in favor of a bailout bill in 2008, but it failed to clear the Senate, prompting Bush to announce about a week later that the federal government would step in with $17.4 billion in federal aid to help the carmakers survive and restructure. The last $4 billion was contingent on the release of the second installment of the Wall Street bailout funds.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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