Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Super Tuesday Is Underway!

Today is Super Tuesday , in which about one-third of the total Democratic delegates will be awarded. After Super Tuesday is completed, about 40% of the total delegates will have been awarded. 

There will be 1300 delegates awarded today. A candidate needs 1991 to win. Specifically in order to stop the seeming ascension of Bernie Sanders, former candidates Klobuchar and Buttigieg dropped out. 

Steyer also dropped out. Klobuchar and Buttigieg endorsed Biden, as did fellow former candidate Beto O'Rourke, though he did so without any attacks on Sanders. 

O'Rourke went out of his way to point out that whoever wound up winning the Democratic nomination would have to get the support of Democrats who didn't vote for him. The best method to do that probably doesn't involve insulting the intelligence, maturity and preferences of other Democratic voters.

Biden stomped Sanders in South Carolina and injected new life into his campaign, to the point where  I was surprised to see that the fivethirtyeight site gives Biden a better chance than Sanders of winning a majority and/or a plurality of votes today.

Overall, the model has “no majority” happening 61 percent of the time, a Biden majority 31 percent of the time and a Sanders majority 8 percent of the time. Anyone else winning a majority would require a minor miracle.

So by the time we froze the FiveThirtyEight forecast at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday,1 the Super Tuesday picture was a lot clearer — and overall, things look good for Biden.
Biden is now about twice as likely as Sanders to win a plurality of pledged delegates, according to our primary model, which gives him a 65 percent chance of doing so compared with a 34 percent chance for Sanders. This represents the culmination of a trend that has been underway in the model for about a week; 
Sanders correctly pointed out that his establishment opponents are attempting to build Voltron in order to kneecap his chances of winning the nomination. Sanders also reached out to former supporters of candidates who had dropped out, urging them to join him. Sanders' strength is not necessarily building bridges to skeptics. It's channeling the hope and ambitions of true believers.
This looks as if it has finally come down to a two-man race: Sanders and Biden. I don't see a path forward for Warren or Bloomberg. And Gabbard is still in the race but it's difficult to see why. Of course there have been surprises before so who knows. Who claims victory tonight will come down to turnout and percentage of the vote. 
If Warren and Bloomberg can get above 15% of the vote in enough states to claim some delegates and prevent Biden or especially Sanders from gaining an insurmountable lead they may happily continue their campaign. 
If Sanders can't win a majority of the votes before the convention, the Democrats will pick someone else. No question about that. 
The vitriol and dislike revealed during this process makes me wonder if the time has come for the Democratic party to split. There is some serious disagreement over whether Trump's election meant that Democrats needed a more competent centrist who would move things back to "normal" (Biden) or a fierce "revolutionary" (although in Europe he'd be mainstream) like Sanders. 
I have found it quite hypocritical and revealing that people who bleated "Vote Blue no matter who!" when they initially thought that Biden would cakewalk to victory suddenly changed their minds when they thought Sanders might win. 
But as with everything else, time will tell.
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