Arizona Voters and Muslim Americans were let down yesterday.



Yesterday's Biggest Loser Wasn't A Politician: It Was The Voters

The horserace to the presidency may be down to a five candidate horserace, but it’s nowhere near finished. Yesterday, voters headed to the polls in three states to vote for their top choice to take over the country in November’s election. And for the first time in a while, no political campaigns crashed, burned, or had their robot plugs pulled like Rubio. With the aftermath of the Brussels terror attack fresh in the minds of voters, we slid on our star-spangled rain boots and sloshed into the thick of polling data and delegate counters to figure out who won, who lost, and what it all means.

The Winners

Coming into Tuesday night bruised from a bad night of losses but holding onto a huge victory among Democrats Abroad this past week against Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders emerged with a new narrative of hope. His campaign was reinvigorated after winning Idaho and Utah by landslide margins of 78 percent and 80 percent, respectively. He still walks a tightrope thinner than my frail arms on his uphill climb to make up for Clinton’s 300 delegate lead, but as the primary contest moves west like Britney Spears in Crossroads, he’s entering an area of the country where he has a distinct possibility of closing some of the delegate gap. The wins come with a caveat though because, in losing Arizona, he lost the one contest that was as rich in diversity as it was in delegates. If he wants the country to #FeelTheBern and give him the Democratic nomination, he’ll need to win big instead of having Icy Hot nights of wins and losses.

Bernie may have won two states, but the real winner is the accidental Bernie Sanders impersonator.
Bernie may have won two states, but the real winner is the accidental Bernie Sanders impersonator.

Inside the Republican circus tent, the big winner was the racist xenophobic ringleader Donald Trump, thanks to a winner-takes-all win in Arizona. He grabbed the state’s 58 delegates and expanded his lead over Ted “Zodiac Stryper Crazy Pants” Cruz. In the other GOP contest, Cruz won 69 percent of the vote in Utah, which may make his Gerber baby face giggle, but won’t do much to make up for Trump’s 276 delegate lead. John Kasich, meanwhile, continues to be the political equivalent of Michelle Williams in Destiny’s Child.

The Losers

With no politicians leaving the race this week and no clear winners in terms of delegates, the biggest losers of the day were Muslim Americans and the voters who went to the polls in Arizona. In the wake of the tragic terrorist attack in Brussels, Trump immediately went hard on the Islamophobia and suggested closing the borders. We talked about why that’s a phenomenally bad idea yesterday, but the bad news is he’s not the only Republican candidate who decided that fear and suspicion will somehow make America safer from the threat of ISIS. Cruz released statements outlining his vision of “increased patrols” in Muslim neighborhoods, to apparently stop them before they radicalize—a surefire way to make ordinary people turn to hatred and join terrorist groups. Since both Cruz and Trump won states in last night’s election, their rise signifies a horrible blow to the safety of Muslim Americans across the country. Allowing these two men to spew hatred and inch closer to the possibility of winning the presidency will only lead to more Islamophobia.

Residents of the Grand Canyon state also came out of Tuesday’s primaries as losers, but not because of any candidates. Thanks to a disastrous voting process, voters across the state waited in the hot sun for upwards of five hours to vote for the candidates. Arizona cut its polling locations by 70 percent for this election, which resulted in a mere 60 precincts in the biggest county in the state compared to the more than 200 in 2012. That matters because record voter turnout led many polling locations to run out of ballots and led others to have wait times so long that many elderly voters left without casting their votes. It was a bigger shitshow than a Republican debate and has already prompted a response from Gov. Doug Ducey, who called for improvements for the next time voters go to the polls in November.

The voting chaos in Arizona led to a statement by the state's governor today.
The voting chaos in Arizona led to a statement by the state’s governor today.

What’s Next

As the Democratic candidates prepare for another big battle on Saturday in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington State, Republicans are getting a two week break to rest, relax, and perfect their racist policies. All eyes will be cast towards Washington’s big delegate prize that could provide the fuel that Sanders needs in his longshot battle for the nomination. With the March madness of the political race drawing to a close, the five final candidates that are fighting to win the White House are all still in it for the long haul.

Stay tuned to Milk for more political news.

Images via MSNBC, ABC News, and Rolling Stone. 

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