The argument that Bernie Sanders only does well in predominantly white states was challenged by his supporters over the weekend. (Photos: Twitter)
Bernie Sanders’ big victories in caucuses in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii gave the Vermont senator some momentum in his improbable bid to overtake frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But CNN’s assessment of Sanders’ sweep included a takeaway that didn’t sit well with his supporters of color:
These caucus states — largely white and rural — are the type of places Sanders traditionally does well. In order to win the nomination, he must replicate this success in other, more ethnically diverse states that hold primaries, as he did in Michigan last month.
Hawaii, though, is ethnically diverse. According to the most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, just 26.7 percent of Hawaii’s population is white.
“I knew if Bernie won Hawaii it would magically become a white state,” Leslie Lee, an English teacher and Sanders supporter, wrote on Twitter. “Ever since I voted for Bernie, I’ve been bingewatching Friends. #BernieMadeMeWhite.”
Another Bernie backer, Christopher Redmond, pointed out that in January, CNN declared one Anchorage neighborhood “the most diverse place in America.”
— christopher redmond (@Chris420Redmond)
And while Washington’s population is predominantly white, the state is still considered among the most diverse in the nation.
It wasn’t long before the #BernieMadeMeWhite hashtag was trending on Twitter, with Sanders’ diverse supporters mocking the media for suggesting the democratic socialist’s campaign is being backed only by white voters.
— tᕼe ᒪᑌᑕᗩᔕ ᗷᖇOᔕ (@lucasbros)
— suZee (@BigOlSoulSista)
— Lauren Sandernista (@welknett)
— xee (@Xee11Point5)
— Coco Hops (@coco_hops)
— Mosh (@MoshieMoshie)
— Ricky Ly (@TastyChomps)
While Sanders may be enjoying support among a vocal minority, both the candidate and his campaign freely admit he continues to face an uphill battle against Clinton among black and Latino voters but believe they are making progress.
Clinton won several earlier Democratic contests — including Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina — in states where black voters accounted for more than half of the electorate. And in each state, the former secretary trounced Sanders among minority voters.
Sanders supporters stand in line before a campaign rally in San Diego last week. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)