Who would have guessed things would turn out this way: After sidelining a crowded field of rivals, Donald Trump is the last man standing in the Republican presidential race, while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continue to fight it out in a Democratic primary that has grown increasingly ugly.
Tensions between Clinton and Sanders supporters are running especially high after the former secretary of state edged out the Vermont senator in a competition for delegates at the Nevada State Democratic Convention over the weekend. Chaos broke out amid protests from Sanders supporters that party officials rigged the process in Clinton’s favor. But in his analysis of the frenzied event, veteran Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston concluded, “Sanders folks disregarded the rules, then when shown the truth, attacked organizers and party officials as tools of a conspiracy to defraud the senator of what was never rightfully his in the first place.” The state Democratic chairwoman even faced a flood of insults and threats of violence in the aftermath of the event.
The incident is nevertheless sure to fuel broader concerns that Sanders supporters have been raising throughout the primary contest. Many believe the election has effectively been bought and paid for by the Democratic establishment. But while Clinton opened up an extremely large early lead over Sanders in superdelegates, she has also won far more votes—3 million more than the senator so far. “The system is not rigged,” said Josh Putnam, a political-science lecturer at the University of Georgia. “The simple truth is that Clinton has won this nomination—and fair and square at that.”