Super Tuesday Comes, And Everything’s Changed
Candidates Buttigieg and Klobuchar clear out
And if Warren doesn’t win Massachusetts, and Bloomberg doesn’t pick up a boatload of delegates, we can’t imagine their departures won’t be far behind. But who knows? Especially in Bloomberg’s case: he’s got all the money in the world. And let’s not forget with fewer others in the race they have much more of a chance now to reach that crucial 15% threshold, and accumulate delegates even without winning.
We won’t comment too much further today, or prognosticate. Only to say it’s a little refreshing and calming to have what seems like only two highly probable outcomes for Super Tuesday:
- Bernie picks up a huge load of delegates, and the Biden surge proves illusory. Or…
- Biden’s momentum carries him to a big day, peeling off delegates in places like California and Massachusetts, even though he’s not likely to win either.
Or maybe Warren or Bloomberg will produce a big surprise. Politics has no shortage of those these days. Although it’s less likely given the rigor with which those two have tried to do each other in.
So we’ll see.
It is interesting to us that everybody left in the Presidential contest right now is over 70. And on the Democratic side, of all the men, Biden is the youngest. But he seems like the oldest, which is something he’s going to have to fight hard to overcome if he expects to win. Those we hear all the time using throwaway epithets like “senile” to describe him, don’t seem to remember the Joe Biden who ran for President in the late 80s and 2008. Because we do, and back then he was exactly the same. Which is part of why he failed in those bids. Ironically, being excruciatingly peripatetic and prone to many many verbal gaffes may fit on him better at this age than it did when he was younger. (And of course Trump does lots of those too, which doesn’t stop him from making fun of Biden). Or it may not once he has to share the debate stage with just two or three other candidates instead of 6 or 7.
And even though Bernie is the oldest, he’s by far the youngest in terms of the demographic he represents. And always has been, even when there were far younger challengers by age on that debate stage.
Anyway, Bernie’s still the favorite, but according to fivethirtyeight.com, Biden’s shifted into high gear and moved into a far less distant second place position, putting him where might be getting pretty close to challenging Sanders 50–50. Although maybe not by today, so who’s got the momentum launching out of Super Tuesday is still likely key to tipping the balance of who might end up with a plurality of delegates.
Many of Biden’s anticipated big delegate wins are likely to come from states that are not likely to go for a Democrat in the Presidential election. And that’s already leading some Liberals to whine that Democrats in Alabama for instance, should have less of a voice about who their nominee is than those in California, because a Democrat won’t probably ever win Alabama. But that’s nonsense, so please stop that.
The biggest questions in all of this are:
- If Bernie prevails, which is still the more likely scenario, can he pull together the older and swing state voters he’ll need to win? Or…
- If Biden pulls it off, will Bernie supporters be so disheartened they won’t vote at all again?
In many ways, the burden is on Bernie to answer both those questions and to work toward a positive outcome for all Democrats, or at least a negative outcome for Trump.
As to Elizabeth Warren’s fate? This is of particular interest to us since we live and vote in Massachusetts. And although this is purely anecdotal, and obviously Warren is thought of highly enough for voters in this state to send her to the Senate, if you talk to people around town and even down the road, she’s not particularly well-liked here. At least not nearly as much as you’d expect. Absolutely not as much as Klobuchar is in Minnesota. Everybody thinks she’s smart and tough and has good ideas and real plans. And the thing about how she always lies that Republicans like to promote (but there’s also some truth to it, we think), doesn’t really seem to play in to it. It’s mostly a feeling that Warren had her eyes on the prize from the beginning, and has always been more interested in challenging for the Presidency than representing the state. You can make of that what you want.
Also don’t forget Buttigieg and especially Klobuchar (since Minnesota is a Super Tuesday state) will still be getting votes today, and probably even some delegates to the Democratic National Convention. That’s because lots of people did early voting. (Something a lot of people are learning the hard way is at their peril, especially during a primary. Michigan offers early voters a chance to change if their chosen candidate drops out. Michigan’s primary isn’t for another week. But we don’t know of any other state that does.) The two recent departees are both throwing their support to Biden; their delegates are likely to go to him.
Finally, a strong warning for Super Tuesday voters signed on to by — among others — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General Bill Barr, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, that:
“Americans must…remain aware that foreign actors continue to try to influence public sentiment and shape voter perceptions. They spread false information and propaganda about political processes and candidates on social media in hopes to cause confusion and create doubt in our system.”