Hillary Clinton's Closing Statement From The Seventh Democratic Debate Was Her Last Pitch To The People Of Michigan

Well, there you have it! You just watched (or hey, didn't watch) the seventh Democratic presidential debate, leaving just one more to go. And after the events of the preceding week, especially Bernie Sanders' considerable success in the so-called Super Saturday contests, the stakes were still high. It went down in Flint, Michigan, where a lead poisoning crisis has imperiled the physical and mental health of the city's residents, an issue that both candidates have been addressing in recent weeks. So, why not read Hillary Clinton's closing statement from the Democratic debate, and see what message she wanted to leave with Michigan voters?

According to the polls heading into Saturday, Clinton boasts a downright dominant lead in Michigan, up more than 25 points over Sanders. In other words, it was Sanders who really needed a dynamite performance, and specifically, a breakout night with Michigan's black voters. Thus far in the race, Sanders has been getting thumped by Clinton by disqualifying margins among black voters, and Michigan is home to a pair of cities with some of the highest percentages of black residents in the country — Detroit and Flint.

Needless to say, Clinton wanted to curb any attempt on Sanders' part to narrow her wide leads in this area, especially on-stage in one of those two cities. Here's how she decided to close out Saturday night, after what was by any measure a deeper, more refined debate than, well, anything the Republicans have mustered so far.

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Well, I'm running for president to do my very best to knock down every barrier that stands in the way of America realizing its potential, and every American having a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential. We have a lot of work to do — we have economic barriers, that's why I've laid out plans for more good jobs with rising incomes. We have barriers that stand in the way of quality health care, that's why I will build on the Affordable Care Act.

We have barriers to education, that's why I want to start early, and provide debt-free tuition and deal with student debt, so that it is no longer the burden that weighs down so many young Americans. And I do want to take on the barriers of systemic racism. I may not have experienced them, but I see the results every single day.

So I'm asking for your support in the primary here in Michigan on Tuesday. I'm asking for it, and I will do whatever I can as the Democratic nominee to run a campaign you'll be proud of. I don't intend to get into the gutter with whoever they nominate, but instead to lift our sights, to set big goals, to make it clear that America's best days can be, and are, ahead of us.

If you're curious where the race stands right now, it's tightened up a bit in recent days, although Clinton still has the far clearer, statistically feasible path to the nomination — she has 672 pledged delegates against Sanders' 477, and that's before you factor in her dominant advantage among the superdelegates (they may be anti-democratic and infuriating, sure, but them's the rules).

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In other words, a big rest of March could give Clinton all the forward momentum she needs. Although if you believe Sanders and his campaign, they have no plans to go anywhere — he's repeatedly stressed that he intends to stay in all the way to the Democratic National Convention in July, and he's got more than enough money to do so.