Joe Biden’s Tuesday comeback

March 4, 2020 • 7:30 am

On February 26 I took a poll, which of course was neither scientific nor unbiased. But I asked the following question and got the answers below:

Readers gave Sanders a bare majority of “yes”s, though, as usual, I would have liked to see more votes (you get another chance below).

How quickly things turn in this election cycle! First Sanders won Nevada and Iowa, and the media declared that he was unstoppable. Uncle Joe, however, was playing the long game: waiting until the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday. And, sure enough, Biden pretty much cleaned up in South Carolina and yesterday, appearing to take ten states, including Texas, where it was a tossup (the Biden states were Alabama, Arkansas, Maine [a surprise to me], Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia). Sanders won Colorado, Vermont, Utah, and (probably) California.  Here’s the New York Times summary:

Warren won bupkes, and, with only 50 delegates, she’s pretty much out, though she’s going to keep the Democratic party divided right up to the convention (another reason I am not keen on her). She couldn’t even win her home state of Massachusetts, finishing a distant third behind front-runner Biden and second-place Sanders.  Here are the results from Massachusetts, where Biden didn’t even campaign).  I’m quite surprised. After all, she’s their senator!

Another surprise for me was Texas, since it’s heavily Hispanic and, in general, Hispanics tend to go for Bernie.

Finally, it appears that Sanders will take California, the most delegate-rich state; but that still doesn’t put him ahead of Biden in terms of delegates committed so far, which I show below (this is the latest total I have).  Tulsi Gabbard is the only other candidate who has more than zero delegates: she has one. You need 1,991 delegates to gain a majority and ensure a relatively uncontested convention:


As James Carville predicted (see post here) when discussing the now-defunct campaign of Buttigieg:

“Mayor Pete has to demonstrate over the course of a campaign that he can excite and motivate arguably the most important constituents in the Democratic Party: African Americans. These voters are a hell of a lot more important than a bunch of 25-year-olds shouting everyone down on Twitter.”

Carville, say what you will of him, is a self-described liberal, and also said this in the interview with Sean Illing:

Sean Illing

So your complaint is basically that the party has tacked too far to the left?

James Carville

They’ve tacked off the damn radar screen. And look, I don’t consider myself a moderate or a centrist. I’m a liberal. But not everything has to be on the left-right continuum. . . . Look, Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He’s never been a Democrat. He’s an ideologue. And I’ve been clear about this: If Bernie is the nominee, I’ll vote for him. No question. I’ll take an ideological fanatic over a career criminal any day. But he’s not a Democrat

. . . But back to Sanders — what I’m saying is the Democratic Party isn’t Bernie Sanders, whatever you think about Sanders.

Sure enough, it was the African-Americans who helped ensure Biden’s victory in the South, with a contribution of middle Americans in Minnesota and Oklahoma. I was particularly heartened—I now favor Biden over Sanders, though I guess I’d now prefer Mayor Pete or Klobuchar, or even the moribund Warren, over both of them—that Biden not only won Minnesota, the state that elected Bernie booster and anti-Semite Ilhan Omar, but also won her very own district. Polls showed that Sanders was favored there, but that was before Klobuchar dropped out and endorsed Biden.

As I keep saying, I’ll vote (as will Carville) for whomever the Democrats nominate. But party unity is what’s needed now, and perhaps we’re beginning to see a coalescence around a moderate Democrat. I still think Biden is more likely than Sanders to beat Trump, and that may be reflected in the polls to come. Bernie isn’t going to give in, of course, and apparently Warren won’t, either. I don’t think Biden will make a particularly terrific President, but I also think he’s more likely to pull the Senate and House along with him if he wins. So be it. To each their own.

So Biden is back in the race, though it’s still a horse race with two aging nags running nose to nose. But I’ll give you a chance to not only weigh in below, but to vote again:

185 thoughts on “Joe Biden’s Tuesday comeback

  1. A lot of people think that Biden has the best chance of beating Trump.

    This is why the Russians support Bernie. They believe he would be easier for Trump to beat.

    This is also why the Republicans are “investigating” Hunter Biden. They think Biden has the best chance of beating Trump, so whatever they can do to discredit him, they will.

    Biden, I think, would do well to carefully choose a running mate. The person he chooses could go a very long way to picking up those who still have to make up their minds. Stacey Abrams? Julian Castro? Cory Booker? He needs to be careful, too, not to take anyone out of the Senate who could be replaced by a Republican.


    1. Agreed, especially about the importance of a Vice President. I would have thought that Warren would be good for that, as it would give her a leg up in future elections, but, as you said, it would vacate her Senate seat. And she probably wouldn’t take it. In that case I’d favor Abrams or Booker.

      1. I like Booker a lot (he was my favoured candidate early, for his pro-nuclear stance), but isn’t he a senator for New Jersey and would also be in danger of having his seat flipped?

        1. New Jersey has a Democratic governor, and is a heavily blue state. Booker would be replaced by another Democrat.

          Warren comes from a state with a Republican governor, so she would be replaced by a Republican.

          Julian Castro does not currently hold an elected position. He’s Hispanic, from TX, and has been both a Congressman and a Cabinet secretary.

          Abrams does not hold an elected office at present, either, and she’s from a state with two open Senate seats, which would give her great coattails.


    2. Yes, assuming Biden takes it, the VP choice will be more important than in many other previous elections. (W’s choice was up there.)

      1. There is no question that regardless of whether Bernie or Biden wins the nomination, the choice of vice-president goes well beyond the usual necessity of ticket balancing. They are both way too old to take their health for granted.

        1. Biden my figure on 4 years and – out to pasture – leaving the next term to his vp. I don’t think it would be wise to advertise it though. It might weaken his chances.

          1. It would also make him a lame duck from Inauguration Day, undercutting his clout to get legislation passed early in his term.

    3. As far as getting the most votes in the general election Biden’s best choice for VP might be Bernie, though Bernie might not go for that. Bernie as VP might just secure the votes of many Bernie Or Bust voters that would otherwise take their ball and go home if Bernie doesn’t win the nomination for POTUS.

      But such a ticket could also be trouble in the near future. Both of them are at an age where the risk of a serious health issue is high.

    4. That’s incorrect. The “Russians” do not publicly support candidates because they think it’s best for them, but because the signal is beneficial to them. This is part of a stratagem, and cannot be easily interpreted on its own. It might be what they say, or it might be “reverse psychology” and what they think you’ll do based on the information.

      Likewise, it’s foolish to believe what Republicans say is their preferred candidate, because they’ll say anything they think promote their agenda, and the last thing is telling you how to win against them. But you cannot tell, because you might consider that too, and then do the opposite.

      Rather than playing or falling for those games, which is just fake news noise, you have to look at the interests of the players.

      Russia does not want a western or international cooperation, and has no interest in a role of the US in such a cooperation. That means, cut the noise: they want Republicans in charge. After that, they want a jingoistic candidate that is least likely to cooperate with the international community. They want someone who is relatively isolated and sidelined in all the important meetings, like Trump. And they will certainly not tell you how you can prevent their best interest.

      1. I fully agree on the Russians and Trump.

        And he’s their puppet as well. Putin’s circle holds all of Trump’s paper and Trump’s “empire” is a house of promissory notes.

        I just finished A Very Stable Genius, which I highly recommend (especially if you like horror). His performances on the international stage have been mind-bogglingly bad.

        I had forgotten all the crap he has pulled in just 3 years.

        1. Something I’ve been wondering about… I don’t recall any bona fide geniuses, like Einstein, ever calling themselves geniuses. I find it difficult to believe someone who needs to crow about that. It’s even more amusing when the opposite is proven the minute he opens his maw.

          1. Yes, and that’s perfectly in tune with Trump’s personality: Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!

            Yeah, he’s a genius. That’s why he has threatened all comers with law suits if they release his grades or test scores. Clearly the behavior of a genius! 😀

            1. Did you hear him today contradicting the estimated mortality rate of 3.4% put out by the WHO? He said that it’s lower than that and ‘that’s my hunch’!! WTF?!!

    5. I predict it’ll be Amy Klobuchar.

      If I were Bernie, I would immediately offer VP spot to Warren, and if she takes it, make it public. That would change the race.

  2. I voted for Warren. It makes me sad that she has no chance now, because I consider her the most intelligent and thoughtful candidate in the race.

    I’ll vote blue no matter who in November, but I honestly have no idea whether Biden or Sanders is the better candidate. I’m not particularly excited about either of them, although needless to say, either is orders of magnitude better than the amoral, corrupt con artist in the White House. I took the Washington Post quiz that PCCE linked to some weeks back, and based on that quiz I agree with Biden’s positions more than with Sanders’s, but Biden’s apparent cognitive decline worries me.

    1. I’m glad I don’t have a vote. Neither of those two really impress me. They are both too old and should not have been running.


      Vote blue, no matter who!

      1. I agree. None of the choices were great to me. All had significant negatives on the electability side.

        (My first choice was a third Obama term. 🙂 )

        1. I wonder if he could be a VP choice? Legal? Probably not, since he might have to take over as president which is not legal. I’d be happy to see him on the Supreme Court.

    2. Also wanted Warren, am hosting two of her staffers at the moment. Aree with Sander’s positions more, but and I also am definitely concerned about Biden’s “apparent cognitive decline.”

  3. Apparently, some voters in Texas waited in line for seven hours! Similar stories in California. There’s gotta be a more efficient way to conduct these elections. I hope we don’t forget about this aspect as soon as the primary season is over, and some reforms are put in place for the next cycle.

    1. I’m certain that the fact that Texas closed more polling locations than any other state had nothing to do with the long lines. In California, the problem was apparently “tech glitches.” In conclusion–human error, with and without malice aforethought.

    2. I know the GOP states make it a practice to reduce access for demographics likely to vote Dem, but in a primary process, wouldn’t the Dems have there own polling process set up and not use the State run system? A primary is a party process.

      It’s good to see that people were willing to wait in long lines to vote in a primary. Just think how fed up and pissed they must be at tRump! This bodes well for the general election. This encourages my hope for an historic landslide putting tRump in the dust bin of history.

      1. I think the state and local govs still run the primaries as there are all sorts of other positions and bills on the same ballot. At least that’s how it is here in California. I think the primaries come along for the ride. Otherwise it is an election like any other.

  4. Biden’s going to be a disaster on the debate stage. The man is simply not cogent anymore.

    I think he will still win, or rather, I think Trump will lose as the stock market keeps tumbling and he rightly takes the blame for a pathetic disaster response.

    And then we get four years of Biden playing Charlie Brown to Mitch McConnell’s Lucy, setting the stage for a new Trumplike candidate to debut in 2024.

    1. What will happen if the nominee dies before November?
      Is there an official Democratic statute on that?

      1. If it were to happen before the DNC in Milwaukee in mid-July, I think the nominee would be decided on the convention floor (with the candidate with the second highest delegate total probably having the inside track).

        Were it to happen between the convention and the election on November 3rd, I think the vice-presidential nominee would run at the top of the ticket. If the Democratic candidate wins the election, a new VP would be nominated by the new president after he or she is inaugurated, subject to confirmation by both houses of congress, per the procedures provided by the 25th Amendment.

    2. ABC news writes:

      The president introduced his fiscal year 2021 budget proposal on Feb. 10, just 11 days after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concerns. The spending plan included a 16 percent reduction in CDC funding from the 2020 spending levels.

      In fact, all of Trump’s budget proposals have called for cuts to CDC funding, but Congress has intervened each time by passing spending bills with year-over-year increases for the CDC that Trump then signed into law.

      Brilliant. Truly the planning of a very stable genius.

  5. The NYT headline is what everyone is saying this morning.

    This was a major whuppin’ of Bernie by Biden. The comments I heard on NPR this morning, especially from the Bernie supporters, had the distinct sound of barrel bottoms being scraped.

    Bernie may bounce back; but it’s pretty clear who has the momentum here: It’s Biden.

    I found myself inadvertently feeling a strong sense of relief when I heard the news last night at about 7pm (US Central time, 1 hour earlier than US East Coast time).

    Here’s my take:

    Biden won the swing voters. Bernie did not. I was predicting that Bernie would win fewer of these voters; and that has played out.

    Biden won the heartland. He won the black vote. He won in the South.

    The election will turn on (for sure): WI, MI, PA, OH, VA, FL, and maybe: MN, CO, IA.

    Bernie crushed HRC in 2016 in MN (where I live). Crushed her. He lost to Biden here last last; and it wasn’t very close. And this with much more confusion this time around (more viable candidates, etc.).

    Bernie lost to Biden in MA(!!!!!).

    Bernie won CA and his (tiny) home state of VT.

    Bernie’s core on the coast is going Dem, regardless.

    As I have been saying, Bernie appeals to the leftmost slice of the DP and has no appeal to the middle of America, those voters who will decide this election (and who show up and vote). And many of whom voted for Trump in 2016 and are hoping for “a Dem I can vote for.”

    Those voters are breathing a sigh of relief this morning.

    Bernie is not turning out his predicted tidal wave of young and first-time voters.

    Warren needs to drop out. Now. She did poorly in her home state (distant 3rd) and lost it to Biden.

    Bloomberg needs to drop out and endorse his choice and support them (I presume this would be Biden).

    I am still afraid:

    1) Strongest worry: Biden will be nominated. Bernie fans sit on their hands. Trump wins.

    2) Contested DNC in July. Whoever emerges is too wounded (and too many Dems sit on their hands as sore-losers). Trump wins.

    3) Biden is too weak a candidate to win. (Maybe bad debate performances.)

    If we turn out and vote (even if it is simply against the abomination in the White House), we win. I don’t understand how people could not understand this and act on it.

    1. It seems to me that the chances of a contested convention (more than one ballot) have been greatly reduced because of Warren’s and Bloomberg’s failure last night to win many delegates. They both may be gone by the time of the convention. Assuming Biden is the nominee, we cannot assume the convention will be a lovefest. A repeat of the 2016 Democratic convention is likely when Bernie only hesitatingly endorsed Hillary. If Bernie is the nominee, I think Biden and his supporters will embrace him out of necessity because they realize defeating Trump is more important than anything else. They will fawn over him if necessary. They will also fawn over him if Biden is the nominee and stroke him ego to try to get him to induce his supporters to vote for Joe.

        1. It is not in the best interest of the DNC for Warren to drop out. Her votes would likely go to Bernie, and they do not want Bernie taking charge and messing up their racket.
          I am not talking about the DNC voting public, but the DNC establishment.

          1. You can choose to call the DP a, “racket” if you like.

            The DP is a voluntary, private organization. It can choose its nominee by any method it chooses to. It is not legally bound by the primary results (except for its own internal rules; there may be a contractual requirement there, I don’t know).

            The US Constitution only defines how the general election is run. It is silent on nominations.

            The DP has changed its nominating process many times, swinging from one pole (party bosses) to the other (pure democracy) and many stations in between.

            Obviously ignoring the preference of the primary voters and caucus participants would be foolish.

            But the fact the (for both parties) the delegates are freed on the second ballot and beyond makes it clear that they are not legally bound to follow the primary results.

            And I’ll say it again (probably ad nauseum by now) Bernie is not a Democrat and never has been a Democrat. This would make uniting behind him at least somewhat problematic.

            1. Many people both foreign and domestic don’t understand that primary elections have nothing to do with the federal government but are run by the political parties themselves, which are more or less the same as Furry and D&D clubs.

              1. Local and state governments are involved in the election process though, even in primaries. I don’t know how it works between them and the parties. Do the parties have to pay for governments to run their primaries? I’m guessing not.

              2. States run the primary elections (with much help from all levels of government).

                The parties run the caucuses (basically open meetings of the parties).

              3. … the political parties themselves, which are more or less the same as Furry and D&D clubs.

                Except kinkier, with more balloons and straw boaters. 🙂

      1. – Medicare for all (which I would be fine with)
        – Get-out-of-jail free for student debt (1.4Tr to 2.0Tr dollars)

        But, mainly, his embrace of Socialism.

        I have been hearing a nearly-universal chorus (in MN) of: “I hate Trump. Give me a Dem I can vote for. That is not Bernie or Warren. Too far left.”

        The results from yesterday conform very well with this.

        The election will turn on WI, MI, PA, VA, FL, maybe IA, MN, CO.

        I think yesterday showed how Biden and Bernie would perform in those places.

        The coasts will go Dem regardless. The deep-red states will go Trump, regardless.

          1. It’s used as a pejorative in the middle west and other red-leaning places.

            It’s red-baiting, pure and simple; but it works.

            And even Bernie’s supporters recognize this, if nothing else on this score: I had one with whom I was interacting on FB, put up a little canned thingy that said,

            FDR was called a Socialist,
            Social Security was called Socialist,
            Medicare was called Socialist,

            They did not realize they were posting a non sequitur. Bernie calls himself a Socialist. He hugs the term. No one needs to accuse him of being a Socialist.

            Basically, in the midwest, in red states, with a large portion of swing voters, the word Socialism/Socialist is political poison.

            I think the results from last night bear this out.

    2. I left out one of my main fears: 4) Bernie gets the nod, loses all the swing voters and Obama08/12+Trump16 voters in, for instance: WI, MI, PA, VA, OH, FL, MN, IA. Trump wins.

  6. Almost all the pundits were wrong AGAIN from their predictions of less than a week ago. They need not fear. They will explain what they got wrong, continue to make more predictions, and be treated as expert commentators on cable news. What a great life!

    The contest is now reduced to Bernie and Biden. Bernie has to somehow expand his support from his hardcore thirty percent. There has been no hoped for mass outpouring for him. Biden has no organization, so it remains to be seen if his apparently spontaneous political miracle, accomplished with almost no money and organization on the ground, can be sustained. The most important question is whether once the nominee is finally chosen, can the Party unite? I am particularly concerned that should Biden be the nominee that many Bernie supporters will stay home in November. I am not confident that Bernie and his supporters will be gracious losers as they ponder, again, the disappointment that the Revolution (peaceful in this case) has once again been delayed.

    1. To me, what happened in Minnesota yesterday is very indicative of what will happen in the heartland of the USA:

      In 2016, Bernie crushed HRC, huge margin.

      This year, Biden made no appearances, spent virtually no money. And he handily beat Bernie. Even with lost votes like mine who voted early for Amy.

      Minnesota is rather a liberal island in the middle of the sea of red in the middle of the USA. So, it should have gone for Bernie, if any state around here would (and of course it did, big time, in 2016).

      Bernie did not win Iowa (dead-heat with HRC in 2016).

      Bernie did not win Massachusetts.

      Bernie would lose the heartland, big time. And the election is going to swing on the heartland (and VA, FL).

    2. I have that worry about Bernie supporters staying home, too. And it’s not fair that those of us who aren’t that keen on Bernie would still go out to vote for him if he were the candidate, but Bernie supporters seem more petulant and might stay home if the True Believer doesn’t get the nomination. That of course would ensure a Trump victory. It’s incumbent on all of us to vote in the primaries for whom we like, and then vote in November for whomever the Democrats nominate.

        1. Bernie supporters were treated poorly, sometimes nastily, at the 2016 convention (my wife was a delegate). Hopefully, the Democrats have learned their lessons and wont repeat this profoundly self destructive behavior.

          1. Many of them will show up to vote for Biden anyway, knowing that if he loses they will get the blame for it. Not an enviable position to be in.

    3. Why would they not stay home? Biden is a right winger, a creepy senile guy who sniffs girl’s hair and who helped the USA become the top country in incarcerating its poor population (the US sadly world leader in this metric).

      In my view, the Democrats should lose with him, and deservedly so. You can support him, and support a corrupt status quo that is disenfranchising voters, rigs elections, and alienates young voters — or have the party crash and burn and hope that an even worse catastrophe than losing once against Trump finally wake them up.

      The USA is a super rich country where about 30 million (poor people) are have no medical insurance. It went down from over 40 million a decade ago but stalled since. Meanwhile the military budget always goes up, and now the USA has a budget larger than the next dozen (or twenty) nations combined. Thanks to Democrats too.

      I was an American voter I would feel sick had I to vote to any of the “establishment” candidates.

      1. A perfect summary of why voters didn’t pull the lever for Sanders.

        All of those black elitists South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama… like right wingers.


        1. And all those Democrats on Wall Street (you have to be a card-carrying member of the DP to get a seat on the trading floor, don’t you?) running down the market falsely because they hate poor Donnie, or because Corona virus or whatever.


  7. Bernie is not my choice in Primary (but I will gladly vote Blue in November, no matter who). Neither was Biden. But, the youngsters who support Bernie so enthusiastically didn’t seem to actually go out and vote. The high turnout is encouraging — it shows many motivated voters who want Trump gone. I support that!

    1. Bernie supporters were treated poorly, sometimes nastily, at the 2016 convention (my wife was a delegate). Hopefully, the Democrats have learned their lessons and wont repeat this profoundly self destructive behavior.

      1. I hope the Bernie fans have learned their lesson. Sitting on their hands got us:


        (An extremely abbreviated list).

        1. Many of them did turn out for Clinton. What they learned was that their scapegoat status is irrespective of what they actually do, as is Sanders’s own. When he drops out and endorses Biden and campaigns on his behalf as he did for Clinton, the public flogging isn’t going to stop.

          1. I think this is because Sanders is better than many of his supporters. IMO, his supporters have ruined his chances more than he has. (Of course, he is partially responsible for how his supporters behave, but not entirely.)

            1. What gets me though is the vast number of people saying “Sanders lost because his supporters crapped on everyone else and they didn’t want to vote for him. Now let’s crap on them and they damn well better turn out to vote for us!”

              1. That’s not what’s going on. I’m seeing Facebook posts this morning from Bernie supporters with the “I may not vote at all” theme. That is what those of us who you think are “crapping on them” are reacting to. We’ve seen this movie before.

              2. From what I heard in 2016 (from the Bernie supporters), it was pretty much just sore losers.

                Right now, on FB, some of my interlocutors are more or less claiming that any outcome except a Bernie nomination means (if and only if case) that the DNC played dirty tricks on Bernie.

                I am just pointing out to them that other outcomes are possible. It’s perfectly plausible that more DP voters prefer Biden to Bernie. For a variety of reasons.

                And, in almost all cases (the Iowa caucuses spring to mind), incompetence (people screw up) is more likely than malice (there’s a vast conspiracy out there against Bernie).

          2. I know many Bernie fans who in fact did vote for HRC (or said that they did).

            But I have to say this: Many of them spent the election castigating HRC and DP and publicly crying, “never Hillary”.

            Their votes were lost and their behavior almost certainly depressed the DP vote. @016 was an historic squeaker.

          3. This, so very much. Luckily, as Charles A Sawicki pointed out, the deck-stacking of 2016 will be reduced or gone this time around. So most Sanders supporters will not feel betrayed by the D party and will stand with Biden. Of course there will still be some voters, who usually don’t vote, and who only would have came out for a leftist candidate. Doubtless, the bulk of Bern feelers will be blamed for not magically making those people show up for Biden, at least if Biden loses. Because why admit that centrist candidates can have flaws too, when you can blame the left?

    2. Have you, by chance, seen any numbers on young voter turn-out for these primaries? If their numbers were up significantly that would be very interesting.

      1. I did see numbers for Virginia — significantly higher Dem turnout. Higher than 2008 or 2016.

        1. Thank you.

          What I’d be interested in most though is stats on “young” voters. The age groups that typically, historically, haven’t voted but that Bernie is supposedly inspiring to get out and vote for him. If young voters are indeed getting out to vote in record numbers but Bernie didn’t win then either there aren’t enough young voters to make a difference or many of them voted for someone other than Bernie.

          Haven’t had time to search myself yet.

  8. I would go about it backwards: If Biden loses against Trump, it leads to far more sinister and damaging conclusions for the Democrats going forward than if Sanders lost to Trump.

    In the former case, they went with the same strategy twice, lose twice and that tells you something, especially to younger voters or just socially democratic minded voters. It says loud and clear that the Democrats have no place for social democratic or north-western European style politics. They might lose a generation of voters to apathy in the best case.

    In the latter case, there is a way forward and keeps voters engaged. It tells them that social democratic politics are part of the Democrat party.

    I voted “no opinion” because I don’t know, but my hunch is that the Democrats go with Biden and will lose against Trump.

    You’ll see Uncle Joe sniffing on girl hair for weeks 24/7 and a lot of people are creeped out enough, see it’s raining outside, and the queues, and wonder “why bother, what difference would it make really” and stay home.

    1. “You’ll see Uncle Joe sniffing on girl hair for weeks 24/7 and a lot of people are creeped out enough, see it’s raining outside, and the queues, and wonder “why bother, what difference would it make really” and stay home.”

      No, this won’t happen, not even close. Biden sniffing hair? Ridiculous compared to pussy grabbing and Putin love. No voter gives a shit about hair sniffing compared to what Trump has done and is doing. No one is staying home, I think you’re out of touch with American voters and their hatred of Trump.

      1. The trouble is that Democrats have, rightly so, made a big show about the intrusiveness and sexual assault of Trump. Trump has countless women who accused him, and there are of course his own infamous statements.

        But the pictures that were shared wildly are Trump uncomfortably close to his daughter. I don’t know if worse pictures exist, but if they do, they weren’t widely distributed.

        Now think of Biden. He may not have accusations against him or he may not be on record with questionable statements (I don’t know), but there is no shortage of him being uncomfortably close, hair-sniffing, with all sorts of girls and women. It’s enough to fill actual compilation, and that’s not all.

        How should Democrats react who were rightfully creeped out by Trump, and who saw his pictures embracing his daughter as damning evidence, but now see compilations where Biden is very touchy with girls and women, sniffing their hair and suchlike?

        1. “How should Democrats react who were rightfully creeped out by Trump.”

          Vote blue no matter who. That’s probably what will happen. Also, Biden fits the ticket of normalcy (whatever that means to Americans) but normalcy was Obama and even W. The political swill is even sickening Republicans who see Trump as bullshit artist in Chief.

  9. That was one interesting election!

    My own take is that Sanders supporters simply alienated too many people, throwing around “corporatist establishment neoliberal” slurs as if it actually helps. The claim to champion the interests of the little guy (and policy-wise it is true) but didn’t effectively reach out to exactly the constituency that turned out to be critical.

    On March 7th we’ll have our primary. Everything else being equal, I would have been a Sanders vote on the basis of policy. But I’ll likely vote for Biden because at this point Sanders supporters need to lose by a big enough margin that they have to give up the “it was stolen” meme. It’s the only way forward, given last night’s results.

  10. Everyone seems worried about Bernie supporters going passive aggressive and not voting if Biden gets the nomination. But what about Bernie Backlash? Ok, it’s a small sample, and it’s anecdotal, but I live in a conservative state. I know many people, friends and colleagues, who are Republicans/Conservatives who have become sickened by Trump. They were preparing to hold their nose and vote Democratic in the next election. Except for Bernie. Like David Brooks, for most of them, he’s just too far left, too radical, too much.
    I think that last night showed that Bernie doesn’t play that well, even among Democrats, in the Midwest or in swing states in the South.

    1. You are seeing exactly what I am seeing/hearing in the midwest.

      And the voting last night conforms with this impression of the swing voters and the Obama08/12+Trump16 voters. They are looking for a non-Trump home; but Bernie is too far to the left and they cannot check his name.

      1. I think you made a good point in an earlier comment too. Bernie will energize a lot of people to vote for Trump, voters who might have sat out the election but will turn out to vote against Bernie.

  11. I just want to put this out there once again: Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat and never has been. He is trying to access the “means of production” of the DP for his own ends.

    As he says on his own website:

    Wednesday, January 29, 2020
    WASHINGTON, January 29 – Today, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced ..

    I-Vt, not D-Vt.

  12. That is a very important point near the end: A Biden candidacy will go farther toward creating a blue house and (hopefully) a blue senate. Also helps in the ‘downstate’ elections. A Bernie candidacy will not do that, and it might lose us the White House as well.

    I have aspirations toward making our nation more leftist socially progressive. But funny thing is, right now the effort to do so will produce more victories for the political right.

    1. Yes Mark, a Senate win is much more important than a presidential win. If there is a democratic majority in the Senate, even a re-elected Mr Trump does not appear such a terrible prospect.
      And on the other hand, a Democratic president without a Senate majority appears a lame duck from the word go. We have seen it more than once.

      1. Agreed that a Senate win is more important, but that won’t happen unless tRump is defeated, too.

    1. Which would make Biden only the third Roman Catholic to be nominated and only the second to be elected president. Al Smith was the first to be nominated (in 1928), and lost precisely because he was Catholic. John Kerry was the third, and lost precisely because he was John freakin’ Kerry. 🙂

      Michael Dukakis, who lost in ’88, was Greek Orthodox, but those folks haven’t qualified as “real” Catholic going back to that little East-West schism thing in 1054. 🙂

  13. After Biden finished out of the money in Iowa and New Hampshire and in only second place in Nevada, I compared him to Smokin’ Joe Frazier stumbling out of his corner in round 14 of the Thrilla in Manila, a fella with one last chance to knock out Muhammad Ali (which Frazier failed to do).

    To extend the prizefighting analogy further, Uncle Joe’s comeback over this past week is the damndest thing I’ve seen since the one staged by an Argentinian middleweight name of Jorge Castro, who was fighting on the undercard of a Julio César Chávez championship bout in 1994, facing a slick American southpaw by the name of John David Jackson.

    For eight and a half rounds Jackson beat the livin’ shit outta Castro, who was behind on all the scorecards and bleeding all over the ring. In the ninth round, Jackson buckled Castro’s knees with an overhand right and the referee seemed on the verge of stopping the bout. But in the flash of an instant, Castro bounced off the ropes and caught Jackson with a picture-perfect left hook that just cold dropped him to the canvas. Jackson struggled to his feet before the 10-count, but went down two more times in a matter of seconds, and the fight was over. Here’s that last round:

    After the fight, Castro called the winning left hook his La mano de Dios punch (a play off of Diego Maradona’s famous goal).

    Joe Biden’s La mano de Dios moment in this primary season came with the moving endorsement he got last week from South Carolina congressman (and Democratic majority whip) Jim Clyburn. It turned things around for Biden in an instant and gave him the momentum that carried him straight through South Carolina into yesterday’s Super Tuesday victories — some of the old Joementum that Biden had heretofore been so sorely lacking.

    In politics, as in sports, you’re never as lousy as you look after a loss or as good as you look after a big victory. But today, ol’ Uncle Joe has the fresh sheen of a winner about him (and is looking more and more like Donald Trump’s worst nightmare, the one he’d tried to shake down Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to avoid).

    Biden wasn’t my first choice, but I’ll be happy to vote for him come November should he continue on to be the nominee. He may just be the steady hand at the helm, and the caretaker president, that this nation needs after four years of Trumpian turmoil.

    And this morning, at least, he’s lookin’ like the guy who could drag Trump behind the high-school bleachers and give him the ass-whipping he deserves, as old Uncle Joe once publicly promised to do.

    1. Great comment, but with 2/3 of the contest left to go, I think it’ll be more like this. Assuming Liz doesn’t swing a steel chair at both of their noggins. There will be just as many accusations of the damn thing being rigged, as well.

      1. Trump does have a history with so-called “professional” wrestling. And, as a lifelong conman, his one unbreakable rule is the same as theirs: Never break kayfabe.

    2. That was an incredible fight back, with a single left hook! Thanks for that. However, I do not really see the relevance.

      1. Relevance? You read a comment of mine expecting relevance?

        Figured you to know better by now, Nicky. 🙂

  14. It was pointed out that Bernie only won in states with vote-by-mail programs, suggesting that many voters who voted by mail for Bernie would have voted for Biden come Super Tuesday. I voted for Mayor Pete by mail in CA and certainly would have voted for Biden if I had known my candidate would drop out.

    1. The moral of this story is to not vote early in contests where there are a lot of candidates because the field may winnow a whole lot before your vote is counted!

      On the other hand, if it is a two person contest, like the general election, it pays to vote early…. just in case something…

    2. I would have voted for Biden if I had known Amy was dropping. However, I applaud her and Pete’s decisiveness tactical move to drop a day before super Tuesday.

      And it didn’t matter in MN. We had a big turnout as well.

  15. Well this was an interesting demonstration for me since I guessed yes for Bernie in the previous poll but of course now I think no. It reminds me that even though I’ve been trying desperately to avoid the “media narrative” I am still subconsciously being taken in.

    It makes little sense that Yang felt he had to suspend his campaign after a literally negligible number of voters in Iowa and NH had voted, and it makes even less sense that we can say “Warren is out” after yesterday even though she has not in fact dropped out yet. All voters in all states should get a chance to vote in the primary for the candidate they actually want to be president – isn’t this obvious? The solution of course is to have a national primary day.

    Unfortunately, I suspect it will be hard to get there because it’s in the interest of the parties that a candidate appear to “gain momentum” over time. Without the extended media narrative to manipulate voters, it could mean that with 25 candidates, each one gets about 1/25th of the vote, and the winner (who gets 1/24th or so) will seem to have “come out of nowhere” and won’t be seen as the overwhelming favorite to challenge the incumbent.

    Personally, I think that would be fine, and anyway the year plus of campaigning and debating leading up to a national primary should be plenty of opportunity for momentum for anyone.

    1. “All voters in all states should get a chance to vote in the primary for the candidate they actually want to be president.”

      This would work only with a national primary, as you suggest. But you would also need to do it with rank-choice voting, otherwise you would almost always need a subsequent runoff election to get a candidate with majority support.

  16. Now that Klobuchar has dropped out, I plan to vote for Biden in the primary. I would never vote for someone like Sanders (doubling size of government, support for Castro and Sandinistas, etc) for dog catcher much less president.

    However, I do not think Biden stands a chance against Trump. In one of the debates or campaign events, Lazy Joe will have another one (or likely several) of his senior moments and the clip will go viral.

    The Republicans and Russians will bring up his brain surgery (he had an aneurysm in 1988) and imply he has had another one recently. The brainless Biden meme will erupt and Trump will win. (In case it is not obvious, this is a uprediction not a desire.)

    The Democrats had a perfect opportunity to win back the presidency and the two people they have left are either senile or communist sympathizers. Ugh. I thought Clinton was a bad candidate but compare to the current choices, she was wonderful. Perhaps the Democrats only hope is that one the winner chooses a good vice president (e.g. Klobuchar, Sherrod Brown) and gets too ill to run. Then Klobuchar (or whoever) wins with sympathy and competency. Again this is not a hope but old men with health problems are likely to have health issues under the strain of a presidential run.

    1. “Perhaps the Democrats only hope …”

      Don’t worry, little COVID-19 will save the day!

      I think there is a very good change that the republican administration’s response will be a royal screw up.

      1. I certainly hope not. I expect (and hope) that Trump suggests a all star panel led by retired bipartisan politicians to deal with the crisis. Depoliticizing public health in a potential crisis like this is necessary.

        1. From the looks of that pic in Jerry’s Jesus’n’Mo post earlier today, VP Pence seems to think COVID-19 is like “the ghey” — it can be prayed away.

        2. Wow, you just predicted that Trump will do something rational. What’s your take on the stock market? (I plan to use George Costanza logic on your instincts 😉 )

      2. I agree that the Trump admin’s handling of the COVID-19 is terrible. However, the lack of a control with which to compare it, the many institutions that will pick up the slack, the fact that the virus will be worse in other countries, and this admin’s consummate ability to blame others for their mistakes, will save them. I’m not saying Trump will win in November, just that I doubt he’ll lose because of the virus.

        1. ” I’m not saying Trump will win in November, just that I doubt he’ll lose because of the virus.”

          He may loose his main “Trump” card: the relatively good economy.

          1. The US economy will take a downturn due to the virus but other countries will hurt worse. It is going to be hard to blame Trump for the virus. His admin’s response could be much better but it is clear the virus is going to spread anyway. Of course, it would be better for Trump if the virus hadn’t come along but I doubt it will be a major cause of his removal.

            1. The relative position of the US vs. other countries on the hurt-by-virus scale is irrelevant. Both the stock market and the “real economy” stand to be visibly damaged and the administration’s reliance on prayer in conjunction with having dismantled protective programs will make a big difference.

              1. You must be kidding. Trump will point to US success against the coronavirus relative to other countries as evidence that his admin’s response was competent and effective. That success may come from US institutions’ efforts in spite of Trump policies but he will take credit for their actions nonetheless.

                For example, the CDC may have to battle against Trump policies to do their job but they dare not speak out against them for fear of Trump’s retaliation hurting them professionally and perhaps making things worse. Their professionalism will work in Trump’s favor. When the crisis has passed, Trump will praise their efforts and no one will mention any problems or conflicts that occurred during the effort.

              2. No, I’m not kidding. What tRump will do is what tRump always does. He will lie from sun up to sun down.

                Everyone with a 401k plan, all those older folk who have excused his behavior because the stock market has been strong, will suddenly notice.

                Why would you think I would be kidding? Because tRump is going to lie?

      3. WaPo just announced that Congress has reached a deal on $8B in emergency funds to battle coronavirus. As I said, other institutions will cover for the Trump admin’s blunders.

    2. It is very hard to watch Biden bungle the Declaration of Independence or confuse his wife with his sister and not have concerns about his cognitive aptitude at this time.

      Given that politics has more to do with appearance than substance, even if the guy is as sharp as he was at 30, its not going to be that hard to frame him as senile.

      He has a terrible record legislatively, which maybe people lack the attention span to follow, but there is also the appearance of personal corruption.

      Its looking like a replay of Kerry, Dukakis and Mondale, if any of them had been both senile and corrupt.

      I agree that Klobuchar would have been a far better candidate.

      Its clear that the Dems hate Trump, but the Dems can’t win without independents, and once again running without substance (and with a candidate that can’t even fake it this time) against Trump is a recipe for disaster.

      And that is before factoring in the “disappointment” of Bernie’s young Hispanic and white voters.

      1. This election is going to be decided in the Midwest and in VA and FL.

        Biden looks set to do very well there.

        What I hear is this (even from self-described life-long GOP voters): I hate Trump. Give me a Democrat I can vote for. I can’t vote for Bernie or Warren: Too far to the left.

        I am not super confident (especially after 2016); but, in my judgement, Biden would do better than Bernie would.

        It’s a judgement call.

        The big wave of young voters and first-time voters that Bernie was supposed to generate did not materialize.

        I think the DP base, many Obama08/12+Trump16 voters, and independents are highly energized by the prospect of a Trump II. No one thought he would win in 2016. Many sat home. Few will do that this time. The big turnouts yesterday indicate this.

        I think people will turn out: Against Trump.

        Bernie would energize more people on the right to vote against him. With Biden, they will be ho-hum, whatever.

        I don’t think anyone who self-describes as a Socialist will be elected to National office in my lifetime.

        1. The problem with relying on “what I hear” is that we all live in bubbles to some degree. I hear from exactly two Trump supporter. If I believed what I hear, the only question would be how big Warren’s landslide would be.

          Biden supporters tend to pragmatic and quiet while Trump supporters hide in my neighborhood.

          1. I have heard from hundreds calling in to my local NPR station, that has state-wide reach (most of MN is very rural and red).

            But, true, it’s only a sample.

            But it has been so universal that it has strongly impressed me. And the swing from 2016 to 2020 supports this analysis.

            I also have many relatives who voted for Trump.

            1. Minnesota is a diverse state but NPR is clearly a biased selection. I doubt many Trump supporters would listen and call in.

              I rarely talk politics with relatives but they can be a good source of information. I read their Trump views on Facebook but do not respond.

              1. Actually, that is not true. Right-wingers and Trump supporters call in to every call-in show dealing with politics on my local MPR.

                You are correct that MPR are Sanders fan boys. But I think they do a better job than most with not letting their biases get in the way.

      2. Give me senile surrounded by competency over sociopathic surrounded by servility every goddam day of the week.

        1. Yes, but what does the American voter say? After being shown some of his flubs last night, I do not see how Biden can win. I will still vote for him but I do not expect much.

          1. My theory is Biden’s flubs will be ignored as long as they aren’t seen to be covering some sort of policy or worldview malignancy. They’ll be regarded as just Joe being Joe.

            He may also not seem like he’s on top of all the details that a Biden administration has to deal with. That also won’t be a problem as long as he is shows plans to surround himself by smart, qualified people that he’ll listen to.

            He’ll still be miles ahead of Trump. Any vulnerability Biden has, Trump has ten times over.

            1. “My theory is Biden’s flubs will be ignored as long as they aren’t seen to be covering some sort of policy or worldview malignancy. They’ll be regarded as just Joe being Joe.”

              Bullseye Paul.

  17. Dear young voters: This is what happens when you don’t bother to show up. I no longer believe you when you talk about all your support for Bernie. I’m much more comfortable with the authentic passion of all those black folks who got out there and actually did something real.

    I have another week to make my decision here in Washington State, and I’m honestly not sure which of the two irritating elderly white dudes my vote will be for. I’m still listening, but only to people who actually voted when they had the chance or are damn sure they will when they do. Otherwise, to use a little millennial language, they can STFU.

    1. The youth just need a Big Man like Clyburn to direct them as to who they are permitted to have an authentic passion for.

      1. Yeah, because if there’s anyone the distinguished congressman from South Carolina Jim Clyburn resembles, it’s another Mobutu or Idi Amin.


        1. To be accurate, the Big Man is an anthropological term from Polynesia:

          A big man is a highly influential individual in a tribe, especially in Melanesia and Polynesia. Such a person may not have formal tribal or other authority (through for instance material possessions, or inheritance of rights), but can maintain recognition through skilled persuasion and wisdom.

          I’m not sure Mobutu or Idi Amin were noted for their “skilled persuasion and wisdom”.

    2. “irritating elderly white dudes”

      I am sure you are just exacerbated with the current candidates but I do not like the often expressed “white men” epithets.

      Most of us liked Obama not because he was black, but because of his enthusiasm and intelligence.

      I agree on elderly though!

      1. “Most of us liked Obama not because he was black, but because of his enthusiasm and intelligence.”

        Very true. However, I was thrilled to vote for a black candidate too.

    3. I voted early, for Amy. I do not regret that (especially since Biden won handily in MN).

      I voted for her as my preferred person for the office of POTUS, not for any other reason.

      As I have posted on other threads on Jerry’s site, I think all the candidates had significant negatives. There was no obvious choice.

      I have trouble with the Bernie fans’ refusal to recognize his negatives. (More so in my FB interactions than here.)

  18. Biden is not more likely to beat Trump than Sanders. Besides being ovbiously senile and corrupt, there are numerous videos of Biden touching and kissing little girls in a way that clearly crosses a line. It would be so easy for the Republican propaganda machine to paint him as a pedophile and shout it from the rooftops. Then every Democrat would be forced to defend the child fondling as “not that bad”, which is a terrible look to say the least. Things could get really ugly. We’re lucky they don’t seem to have thought of this yet, but I don’t think we should count on that. As tough a sell socialism is, it’s quite mild compared to Biden’s baggage.

      1. Here’s a “Trump news” video from 2017 cataloging these:

        Now imagine Trump tweeting clips from this with a #PedoJoe and Fox News fanning the flames 24/7 with fake experts “diagnosing” Biden as a predator and branding all who disagree (meanig, of course, Democrats) as pedophile apologists. And the worst part is that it won’t be entirely false. He actually does act like creep in those clips. If his response then is to play it down, it looks like he’s dismissing pedophilia; and if he apologizes, it looks like he’s admitting to being a pedophile. This would be a nightmare to defend. And given that Biden isn’t exactly his sharpest self anymore, he could easily make it worse.

        I really, really hope I’m overreacting and the Rebublicans never think to go this way, but it certainly wouldn’t be beneath them, and they have rather little to lose if they do.

        1. I think Trump and his GOP trolls WILL go this way. However, no one is going to take him seriously now. Even his supporters know he lies all the time. Trump has called Biden corrupt on Ukraine for over a year now. He controls the Justice Dept. Giuliani constantly promises to deliver juicy details he’s just uncovered by his Ukrainian investigation. In all this time, no real investigation has been started, let alone any convictions. I think people understand now that it is all BS.

          1. We should hope so, but I still think fake news against Sanders would be easier to defend. If I were a campaign manager, I’d rather counter decades old, out-of-context clips of my client faintly complimenting Cuba than spend a whole campaign repeating, “No, he’s just a little handsy”.

        2. Foreign trolls posing as Republicans incessantly posting memes that actual Republicans will eat up certainly would go that route. No actual Republicans necessary although they certainly would go that route too.

        3. While Biden’s behavior is a bit weird, it is not over the top, and I think can be accounted for by Biden’s campaign style over many decades, starting in local politics. Notice he’s being a little too friendly in front of dozens of national news reporters and cameramen. The narrator goes out of his way to try to milk shame out of what one might consider mildly bad taste, by recent standards. But notice he is never accused of groping, sexually abusing, or paying for sex with porn stars – which everyone knows is the Orange Tyrant’s MO. No, I think the GOP might just feel like going easy on this stuff because they know Biden (with the financial help of people like Michael Bloomberg), could go very negative on tRump.

          1. Yeah, it’s hard for the Pussy-Grabber In Chief to go after Biden on kissing children at campaign events in front of cameras (rather than in dressing rooms and dark corridors and hotel rooms!)

            The negatives on Uncle Joe are already well known. And they were on 3-Mar-2020.

            1. It is standard procedure for Republican candidates to go after their opponent for exactly the problems they themselves have. You can bet your bottom dollar that they will try to make Biden into a child molesting, woman-pawing, pussy-grabber.

          2. During Buttigieg’s endorsement speech Sunday night, Biden did the coming-from-behind two hand shoulder grab to him too (I noticed a brief flash of “Huh?” on Mayor Pete’s face). He’s just a very tactile guy. I don’t think he has a true creepy intent, though the effect may be that.

    1. “As tough a sell socialism is, it’s quite mild compared to Biden’s baggage.”

      Yesterday’s results don’t align with this statement. In fact they are a strong counter-example. Biden’s negatives are already well known.

      Bernie’s videos of saying he’s a Socialist and praising breadlines in Nicaragua would play 24/7 in every battleground state (where Biden cleaned up yesterday) from 17-Jul to 3-Nov.

      As I have said elsewhere, there was no clear, great candidate this time. Bernie’s fans generally (in my sampling) refuse to acknowledge his negatives.

    2. It would be so easy for the Republican propaganda machine to paint him as a pedophile and shout it from the rooftops.

      You talkin’ about the Republican propaganda machine operating on behalf of the former owner of the Miss Teen America pageant who used to go on Howard Stern’s show to brag about going backstage to ogle under-aged females — you know, when he wasn’t busy on the same show alluding as to how he’d like to bone his own daughter?

      THAT’s the guy whose propaganda machine you’re concerned about?

      1. The propaganda machine that swayed the last election wasn’t even American. They just made up whatever ridiculous crap they wanted and Americans were eating that stuff up like it was candy. They freakin loved it.

      2. It’s the same machine that would go against Sanders. I’m simply concerned that what they have on Biden is potentially more damaging than what they have on Sanders.

        1. You’re obsessed with this and have made your point–three times. This comment says nothing beyond what you’ve said before. Enough on this topic, please. I suspect that you’re a Sanders supporter. But even if you’re not, you don’t need to keep saying the same thing over and over.

  19. The electability argument on behalf of Bernie Sanders was that his candidacy would bring to the Democratic ticket a surge of new, young, idealistic voters. This argument struck me as a little fishy on two grounds. First, although Uncle Bernie’s promiscuous use of the word “revolution” would indeed sound exciting to early adolescents, this population doesn’t vote except in middle school mock elections. Second, the 18-29 demographic has always shown exceptionally low voter participation, even when it was excited by a candidate, as in 2008. So, this argument (like a parallel one offered on the Right) turns on the postulation of a missing voting bloc which has somehow always remained invisible in the past.

    We now have some further empirical data on a surge of new Democratic voters. In Virginia, the March 3 primaries showed 45% greater turnout than in 2016, and 15% greater than in the Obama year of 2008. But this surge broke for Biden rather than Sanders by around two to one. I haven’t seen the numbers for other states, but I gather there is a similar trend. A Democratic surge, among both African-American and suburban voters, generally did not go to Sanders, but to Biden. It has, perhaps, saved the Democratic Party from the threat of Corbynization.

    As for Vice-President Biden himself, I watched both a speech of his and, maybe more significant, an interview. The earlier signs of hesitation and senior confusion were pretty much gone. In the interview, he even seemed pretty sharp. I don’t know what kind of anti-dementia pills sleepy Joe has begun taking, but I’d like to find out and get some of them myself.

  20. I think both Mr Biden and Mr Sanders might beat Mr Trump. However, I think Mr Biden’s support basis is larger than Mr Sanders’.
    ‘Black’ and ‘moderate’ vote vs ‘young’ vote.
    The latter not having materialized as yet.
    Note if I could vote in the US, I’d be happy to vote for either, although I would have been happier to vote for Mr Inslee, Ms Klobuchar, Mr Yang, Ms Warren, Mr Buttigieg or even Mr O’Rourke.
    As many have pointed out, their choice of VP is important, these old wrecks may be liable to be pushing the daisies before their first term is over.

  21. Bernie isn’t going to give in, of course, and apparently Warren won’t, either.

    I want Biden to win, but honestly I’m fine with Bernie’s and Warren’s choice to stay in. I think it makes the candidates more responsive to their electorates, forcing them to think more critically about what they’re going to support and how they’re going to argue for it in front of voters. It’s better to hammer out good arguments now and float trial ballon arguments (and have them fail) now than in the middle of the general. Last and hopefully least, lots can happen between now and November. Sanders already had a heart attack. Who knows what scandal these folks might still have hidden. Demonstrating to voters that you have a second strong candidate “on the bench” is IMO at least some insurance should the main candidate make some terrible misstep or not be able to continue for personal/health reasons.

        1. In that event, we’d have essentially the 2016 Philadelphia DNC redux, with Bernie falling in line behind the winner with a somewhat muted endorsement, while his more extreme devotees among the delegates raising a ruckus of their own.

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