Last night's results are the tale of the tape.
Losing Florida? I expected that Hillary the warhawk would win pretty big there, so no big deal.
Losing North Carolina? Well, he just barely got what I called a moral something or another, finishing within 15 percentage points.
But he got smoked in Ohio. An apparent narrow Missouri win, even with a close, narrow loss in Illinois, can't totally offset the Ohio hurt, as much in "narrative" as in delegates. Update: He wound up trailing narrowly in Missouri and will not seek a recount, giving Clinton a sweep on Second Tuesday.
Friend Brains and I have talked back and forth about when Sanders will start to make nice with the establishment, or something like that. The Michigan victory clearly pushed that past yesterday's Second Tuesday, but he's running out of states to get delegates.
Pennsylvania is theoretically "friendly," but so was Ohio, and the Pennsylvania Democratic establishment is all in Hillary's camp. It's totally in her camp in New York. I'm sure it is in Maryland. I have no doubt that California, between Pelosi, Sen. Betty Crocker and the Boxer who doesn't Bark, is in Team Clinton's circle. Maybe Wisconsin or Washington State aren't under her thumb, but those are lesser prizes than Pennsylvania, New York and California, no bigger than Maryland.
Plus, most remaining Democratic primaries are closed: no independents allowed. Given that independents have been key to the states Sanders has won so far, this is problematic indeed.
Even an Inside the Beltway (Manhattan wing) pundit like Nate Cohn misses this, in trying to give Sandernistas a dollop of hope. He also doesn't even discuss likely Democratic Establishment effects.
Sure, he can go on raising money. But, that's not going to help, in and of itself. Didn't help Jeb¡ now, did it?
If we start looking at post-mortems, one may be Bernie's footsie with Elizabeth Warren, waiting to see if she was in or out. Maybe he should have pushed her for an earlier firm decision, or else just declared on his own. (Personally, I doubt Warren ever runs for president.) Related to that is not getting an Obama-type Internet-savvy campaign off right away. Oh, sure, he got plenty of small donors online, but the whole "framing," etc. didn't happen.