After months of speeches, mudslinging, and dramatic campaign commercials, we're finally rounding the corner from the primary elections to the general, and it ends right where all the presidential action will eventually take place: Washington, D.C. Residents of our capital city will vote on Tuesday, June 14, marking the last primary vote before the Republican and Democratic national conventions this summer. But how important is the Washington, D.C. primary? Even if all of the action will eventually go down there, this vote won't exactly be make or break for the candidates.
Heading into Tuesday, there are presumptive candidates for both parties already, and the vote in D.C. won't change that. Barring some major upset at the conventions, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be duking it out for the desk in the Oval Office. D.C.'s closed primary only offers 46 candidates for Clinton (20 pledged and 26 unpledged), and the D.C. Republicans held a caucus in March, naming then-candidate Marco Rubio as their favorite. So all eyes will be on the paltry number of candidates to be gained from the District of Columbia.
Again, it'd take nothing short of a miracle for Bernie Sanders to make a comeback, and that's in literal terms. He has statistically been eliminated from the race. But still, a last minute showing of support for Sanders over Clinton could give him the momentum to draw out his campaign until the convention in July, which he has pledged to do.
So, no. By numbers alone, the D.C. Democratic primary isn't exactly important. But it could give Sanders a last-minute confidence boost or, on the flip side, provide another convincing reason that Clinton should be the party's nominee, thus encouraging party unity as the Democrats head into the general election against Trump. At this point, that would be an ideal outcome for Clinton, who desperately needs to woo the hardcore Bernie Bros over to her side.
At this point, polling data is unavailable for D.C.'s primary, because everyone is completely tired of doing it. Just kidding (I think). It's hard to get accurate polling data with such a small sample size. At the very least, the District of Columbia's opinion on who the Democratic candidate should be matters because it signals the day we never thought we'd see: the end of the primaries and the endless parade of Super Tuesdays. Seriously. If I never hear the world Super Tuesday again, it would still be too soon. Ban all Super Tuesdays.