But after last night, it's clear that, while Bernie Sanders is popular among Democrats, he's not popular enough to win the nomination. Nominating Sanders actually wouldn't be burning the entire Democratic Party to the ground, but Democrats don't seem willing to go even that far. By contrast, on the Republican side, Donald Trump seems close to unstoppable.
Old conventional wisdom out! New conventional wisdom needed -- stat!
So here's Michael Barbaro in The New York Times:
The victories were lopsided. The celebrations were effusive. The delegates were piling up by the hundreds.So the old CW was that Trump Republicans are crazy rage monsters -- but hey, so are Sanders Democrats. Now that it's clear that the Trump Republicans are doing much better than the Sanders Democrats, the CW is that Clinton is Trump's twin. Both sides are nominating sleazy old-school New Yorkers!
But Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton’s resounding triumphs on Tuesday masked a profound, historic and unusual reality: Most Americans still don’t like him. Or her.
... Mr. Trump has unnerved many Americans with his inflammatory oratory and radical-sounding proposals. And Mrs. Clinton, while viewed as a more seasoned and serious political figure, has struggled in her campaign to win the trust of the American electorate.
... America has lived with Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, in a remarkably intimate fashion, for decades, processing their controversies, achievements and setbacks, from impeachment to marital breakdowns, Senate victories to flashy skyscraper openings. Voters’ impressions of them, with few exceptions, are largely formed and fixed. According to Gallup, 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Mrs. Clinton and 63 percent have such a view of Mr. Trump.
... Aides to both predict that a Clinton-Trump contest would be an ugly and unrelenting slugfest, as she pounces on his business practices and personal integrity, portraying him as unscrupulous robber baron, and he lacerates her over ethical lapses and sudden riches, painting her as a conniving abuser of power certain to be indicted in a federal investigation.
There is, both sides concede, plenty of material to mine, stretching back to 1980s Arkansas (for her) and 1970s New York (for him).
Never mind the fact that Clinton is a New York transplant via D.C., Arkansas, and the Chicago suburbs, or that she's being chosen in large part for her political experience and mastery of issues rather than for the lack thereof, or that her voters think pragmatism is a virtue and Trump's voters want to burn everything down. They're two peas in a pod. Both sides re the same. There'll always be something in the Democratic Party that's the exact analogue to Trumpism, according to the punditocracy.