Takeaways from Super Tuesday
Reno Gazette Journal March 8, 2020
Super Tuesday has come and gone and a total of 1357 delegates (34% of the total) were allocated to various candidates on March 3rd. While most of the delegates from the Super Tuesday are still in the process of being allocated, there are clear trends that give us a good idea of where things are headed in the Democrat nomination contest.
Swing state problem: Bernie has had strong performance in New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado and Minnesota. They are all swing states in the general election. 12% of Bernie supporters in 2016 voted for Trump in the general election (Source: NPR). Expect that number to be higher this time if Bernie is not the nominee.
Racial divide: Blacks are going strong for Biden; Hispanics are going strong for Bernie. In a two-man race, this is an interesting dynamic to watch. The Hispanic factor could easily swing Nevada Red if Bernie is not the Democrat nominee.
Biden’s gaffes get worse: During his Super Tuesday victory speech he confused his wife for his sister. A day before, he called it Super Thursday before stopping himself. He called Chris Wallace Chuck (Todd). During the debate he claimed 150 million American lives (about half of the total population) were lost to gun violence since 2007. He botched the Declaration of Independence during a rally in Texas with, “All men and women created … by the — you know — you know the thing”. A single miss is not an issue. Taken collectively, this pattern of miscues is disquieting. In my August column Bob Mueller’s last act, I wrote about the once great war hero Bob Mueller’s disappointing testimony where he looked totally lost. Much like Mueller, Joe Biden, once a dominant figure in American politics, appears to be headed in the wrong direction cognitively at a crucial time.
More Progressive weapons backfire: Progressive activists constantly entered Trump rallies in the lead up to the 2016 election. While I fully recognize one’s rights to peaceful protests, entering another person’s event to disrupt proceedings clearly crosses the line. That weapon has now turned against the Democrats. Amy Klobuchar had to cancel a rally when protestors stormed the stage. Joe Biden’s victory speech was interrupted by protestors nearly endangering the former vice president’s physical safety. Bernie’s rally in Carson City was interrupted by protestors last month.
Networks deceive: Networks kept “calling” the race and putting a check mark next to the candidate like it is the general election. Somehow, they ignored the fact that unlike the general election, where it is winner take all, the Democratic primary allocates delegates proportionally. Take Texas as an example. At last check, Biden had bagged 81 delegates and Bernie had won 72 delegates. Yet the networks declared Biden a “winner” a few hours after the polls closed.
One final point: Just before the South Carolina primary, fresh off a massive win in Nevada, Bernie Sanders appeared to have a clear path to the Democrat party nomination. New York Times interviewed 93 unelected “superdelegates”. According to The Times, they were committed to stopping Bernie Sanders even if it meant intraparty damage. This adds fuel to the Bernie Bros perception they are being cheated.
Following Biden’s victory in South Carolina and on the eve of Super Tuesday, Klobuchar, Buttigieg and O’Rourke, all endorsed Biden. The day after Super Tuesday, Bloomberg dropped out and endorsed Biden. The timing of these endorsements will sure come across to Bernie supporters as an organized attempt by the party to stop Bernie. If Bernie does not win the nomination, these endorsements will come back to haunt the Democrats in the general election and for years to come.