Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won Super Tuesday. This is what the pundit class will inform you this morning. They will pore over demographic breakdowns and handicap the near future of primaries, and, once their hair and makeup is done, and their blog posts are proofread, will arrive on your television screen to tell you that the Democratic and Republican presidential contests have essentially ended, and Clinton and Trump have won.
Pay them no mind. For we are here to report that with nearly all precincts reporting, the real winner of last night's 13-states-and-a-territory caucus-and-primary voting was this empty case of Coors Light. The beer box was used to store submitted votes in one south Minneapolis precinct. This rather brilliant repurposing was documented and tweeted for posterity by caucuser Matthew Steinrueck.
You could've spent all night, all year, stretching your imagination, and still never hit upon a more fitting metaphor for the 2016 election than this Coors Light 24-pack filled with votes.
Minnesota was an outlier state on Super Tuesday, delivering the bulk of its presidential delegates to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, on the Democratic side, and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, among the Republicans.
With some votes still outstanding, Rubio held just under 37 percent of Republican votes early Wednesday morning, according to the Star Tribune, putting him comfortably ahead of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who holds second place with 29 percent. Trump ran third at 21 percent, his lowest total in any state that voted last night.
Sanders, meanwhile, won Minnesota decisively, holding a 61 percent to 38 percent lead over Clinton, as of this morning. Here, again, Minnesota's result stands alone: If it holds, that percentage was Sanders' best performance of any Super Tuesday constituency, save the 86 percent he got in his small home state of Vermont.
The result is a "badly needed boost," the Star Tribune reports, for Sanders, the would-be revolutionary liberal, and for Rubio, the last remaining Republican moderate with a chance to stop the nasty wave propelling Trump toward the nomination. It's not enough. Without sudden and huge gains among black and Hispanic voters, who have broken heavily for Clinton, the Sanders campaign will run out of mathematical possibilities after March 15, when five big states, including Illinois, Ohio, and Florida, will cast their ballots.
Rubio's Minnesota win was all he has to show for Super Tuesday. Unless Cruz, who won three states last night, including his own Texas, drops from the race and throws his support behind Rubio, the race is Trump's to lose.
Horserace handicapper Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post says the Democratic race is "(close to) all over" in Clinton's favor, and the Republican nomination will go to Donald Trump, "barring some cataclysmic event." If Trump's entire campaign has not amounted to an ongoing "cataclysmic event," we cannot imagine what could stop him now.
Which returns us to the Coors Light box. For liberals in states like Minnesota, particularly urban areas like the Twin Cities, it is the familiar vessel. Once the drinking's done, you wouldn't place anything too heavy in it; it'd fall out the bottom. But it can be used to move a few light items around, hold a few things. Maybe it's not the first thing you'd pull off the shelf, but it'll get the job done.
Conservatives should think of the Coors Light case as a symbol of overindulgence in something cheap. Cold, if a little tasteless, it got easier to ingest as the night went on. It was only supposed to be good for a few laughs.
And it was fun for a while! The effects built slowly, sneaked up on the drinker. It had gone down too easy, too fast. Too much. Too late.
It will not be so tasteless in the mouth as it comes back up.