I thought Bernie had a halfway decent shot at a majority of the pledged delegates, but after seeing how he ran things leading up to South Carolina, he looks to be finished. His forte has always been matters of economics -- class system, trade, inequality, debt, Wall Street, etc. -- and government -- campaign finance, corruption, revolving doors, etc. He represents the left's version of breaking away from identity politics and the culture war, to return to economic and political matters per se.
Hillary is continuing the culture war loud and clear, which mostly means race and ethnicity. (Women do not form a voting bloc, so only throwaway references are made to feminist topics. Homos are even smaller in number, and she isn't making a big stink out of sodomy.)
In the mostly-white early states, these two approaches to left-wing politics were not in conflict -- there were no minorities to pander to, so Bernie did OK and then won. Even in Nevada, with its larger share of minorities (Aztecs), Bernie did respectably. He was still focusing mostly on class issues.
However, once the huge voting bloc of blacks started approaching in South Carolina, he faced a crucial decision -- to continue emphasizing class, albeit by tailoring it to black economic concerns, or to put class on the back burner and take up identity politics. He either didn't want to appear racist, or got deluded into thinking he could compete in the culture war, or just plain choked. All of a sudden, he started talking about police brutality, institutional racism, driving while black, the prison-industrial complex, bla bla bla. And he lost SC big-league.
He allowed Hillary to dictate which arena the battle would be fought in, and he got slaughtered where he has no comparative advantage.
He might not have won SC if he had stuck to class issues, but he would've done better than a 50-point blowout. Not only would it have shown independence to his supporters and to the Democratic Establishment by hammering economics over and over, it would have forced a major choice among the black voters -- can we really afford the luxury of jerking off to the culture war anymore?
Sheeeit nigga, ain't nobody got time fo' identity politics -- I got biiillzzz 2 pay.
Unfortunately he seems to be writing off the black-heavy states going forward, rather than put that choice to them and bring over as many as possible. He's retreating into his comfort zone of economic-oriented whites in more progressive-friendly states.
Contrast this with Trump trying to win over every major group, including the Republicans' form of identity politics -- evangelical Christians. Trump's campaign has little to say to religious matters, or social and cultural issues generally. But by urging them to vote for the best President who can fix our mess of a country, rather than imagining the election giving us a Pastor in Chief who resonates the most powerfully with evangelical values, he's managed to win them over -- at least, back East of the Mississippi, where identity politics is weaker and folks are more open to class politics.
Bernie's doom will ultimately play to Trump's advantage, since the legions of Sanders supporters will most definitely not be turning out for Hillary in November. If she'd only won by a small amount, OK, maybe they suck it up and vote for whoever won fairly. But from what I've read from them, the Sanders supporters feel like she and her voters are robbing them blind. After getting so demoralized and disgusted, they won't vote for her in the general -- they'll either write in for Bernie, vote third-party, switch to Trump, or most likely not vote at all.
That will be even more true if Bernie ends up getting close to Hillary in the pledged delegate count, but gets swamped by her superdelegate spoilers -- a 15-point ace in the hole. Best case scenario for the Trump movement is Bernie wins 45% of all delegates (pledged), Hillary gets 40% of all delegates (pledged), but then adds her 15% of all delegates (super), and robs Bernie 55 to 45.
With a far smaller turnout of Democrats in the fall, Trump will have an even easier time of winning. More importantly, these demoralized Sanders supporters will be concentrated in the blue states that Trump is trying to switch to red -- New England and the Midwest. And in those regions, there won't be a huge pool of blacks to make up for the disgusted whites staying home. If there's record low turnout of Dems in South Carolina, that does nothing for Trump, since it will go Republican no matter what. But with record low turnout of Dems in, say, Wisconsin and Michigan, Trump is poised to turn them red (in addition to his courting their vote directly through class politics).
You can pursue identity politics, or you can pursue issues of economics and government. Not both. Sanders started out on the right foot, but through some form of personal weakness, surrendered his economic-oriented campaign and is trying to be everything to every Dem. Trump has steered clear of wading into the culture war, and he has already pulled away from the rest of the old-guard pack on the Republican side. In a time of realignment, you have to keep your eye on the ball.