Hillary Clinton won the Washington, D.C. Democratic Primary Tuesday night, according to CNN projections, putting an end to what has been a bizarre and unpredictable 2016 primary season.
Clinton’s win was largely expected and mostly inconsequential—The District is home to big populations of African Americans and political insiders, two constituencies that Clinton has done extremely well with in this year’s election. Plus, with last week’s big victories in primaries, including the nation’s biggest in California, Clinton had already locked up the nomination, holding off the stronger-than-expected challenge from democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Clinton and Sanders are set to meet Tuesday night after the D.C. voting was over. Before that, Sanders gave a press conference where he talked about his hopes for the Democratic platform, which he said he believed would be the most progressive ever put forth. He said that he would continue to put pressure on the party to move to the left through the convention, scheduled for the end of July in Philadelphia.
Some of the policy specifics Sanders named were increasing same-day voter registration, ending closed primaries, and eliminating superdelegates—party insiders who can vote for whichever candidate they want, independent of any vote—from the Democratic nominating process.
In recent days, Sanders has stepped back from his attacks on Clinton, which mostly focused on her ties to Wall Street and her status as a party “insider,” choosing instead to promote his own message and begin to attack presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. In a speech last week, he said that he would do everything in his power to defeat Trump in the general election, and that he would be working with Clinton to figure out how to best to that.
Sanders will be speaking on Thursday from his home in Vermont. Many are speculating that he’ll concede the race and endorse Clinton at that time, while continuing to push for his own policy agenda.
Getting the votes of Sanders supporters could be key for Clinton in November. There is some thought that a portion of Sanders supporters, who tend to be white and lower income, could be attracted to Trump’s message of economic populism, which has some level of overlap with Sanders’ own message, particularly with regard to trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement. A hearty endorsement on Thursday and a healthy dose of campaign trail appearances from Sanders could go a long way towards shoring up the Sanders wing of the party for Clinton come November. There has even been some talk that Sanders could be on the short list for Clinton’s vice presidential pick, though his age could complicate that idea.
For now, though, the nation can simply give thanks that, at least for now, the voting is over.