Warren drops out

March 5, 2020 • 10:37 am

Hot breaking news: CNN reports that Elizabeth Warren will hold a press conference announcing her withdrawal from the race. Click on screenshot for the “deets”:

All I can say in response is “well, my vote still counts.” When I voted last night on my mail-in ballot, I hesitated at the top. I wanted to vote for Warren, but thought about this being a two-person race now and decided that I had to vote for the more electable candidate. That would not have been Warren. Still, my pen hesitated before I blacked in the “Biden” oval, because I’m not a huge fan of Uncle Joe. He’s okay, the best of a bad lot for me, and, most important, I see him as more electable than Sanders, no matter what the polls say. We have to vote for who we think can beat Trump, just as I voted for Hillary—regardless of whether they really float our boats.

The big question is whether Warren will endorse Sanders, bargain for her endorsement, or even take a VP slot, which I consider unlikely.

The race has narrowed so quickly!

But don’t neglect the science post just below, which took at least 20 times longer to write than this one.

145 thoughts on “Warren drops out

      1. Bernie is what, 78? If he does get the nomination (I don’t think he will), he needs someone younger. Neither Biden nor Bernie can last beyond one term, in my opinion. Bernie needs to give a nod to his younger (but apparently not voting)supporters and get a running mate that is below age 70.

        1. Neither Biden nor Bernie can last beyond one term.

          If one of them beats Trump in the general election and keels over dead 24 hours later, he will die a hero!

          I wish both Biden and Sanders a long life, but their essential mission doesn’t depend on longevity. The goal is to get rid of Trump ASAP.

          1. But, tRump could always run again in 2024. Of course as soon as he loses the presidency, he won’t have much clout in the GOP. They would never consider running him again…right?…of course right.

            1. Well, I guess Trump could go the Grover Cleveland route and serve two non-consecutive terms. It would be bizarre, but the past few years have been inconceivably bizarre. At the very least, we can hope for a breather and try to put preventive measures in place (e.g. election security laws)before the next storm arrives.

              1. By 2024 Trump will not be able to feed himself. Seriously, the guy has dementia at the very least.

            2. A much bigger danger is that tRump will lose in November and refuse to leave, claiming a rigged election.

              1. A much bigger danger is that tRump will lose in November and refuse to leave, claiming a rigged election.

                That’s true. The Democratic leadership and responsible people in government need to develop a plan of action now, if they haven’t done so already. If Trump did refuse to leave, my hope is that Jimmy Carter, George W., Bill Clinton, and Obama would join together and denounce Trump’s actions. A bipartisan gesture might have some effect. Still, that wouldn’t be enough on its own. It all depends on what the rest of the government bureaucracy chooses to do.

              2. While I think of any president Trump is the most likely to do such a thing, I believe that fear is a bit overblown. He’ll screech and cry like the emotional toddler he his, but I don’t think it will amount to more than just another tawdry, pathetic whinge fest from the orange fool.

              3. Exactly. There is zero chance of it amounting to anything. Fortunately, he has ticked off every general he’s ever had contact with, so a military coup to keep him in power is off the table.

              4. But it would be treason to throw him out. He would still be the POTUS not the president elect so if he declares the election rigged is the military really constitutionally able to throw out a sitting president? They may hate him but they are also sworn to uphold the constitution.

              5. The other danger is that the rank and file troops might actually believe Trump’s accusations that the election is rigged. Trump is constantly spewing out misinformation and his followers just seem to accept a lot of it uncritically. That’s the scary part.

              6. Rank and file troops aren’t going to disobey orders and fight to keep Trump in the White House if he loses the election.

              7. Depends what he has at stake for staying in office. Putin won’t leave until he dies because he fears he’ll be whacked if he does. He needs the power. Is there a smilier motivation for Trump – does he need the power of the POTUS to maintain something he can’t live without?

              8. Of course he’s said so many things that felt like they should have been much, much bigger news than they actually turned out to be, but one of the most fucked up, scary things was when he said he had ‘the army, the police’ on his side.

                That should have been news for months. Every single Republican should have come out and explicitly condemned him. But barely anyone remembered he’d even said it a week later.

              9. Actually I am surprised that Trump hasn’t moved to the populist center and proposed a bunch of giveaways to middle and lower income voters, as well as minorities. It cannot be against his principles because Trump has no principles. He can keep throwing bones to the rich as well. If he did, he may well be unbeatable.

              10. Oh yeah, I think if Trump would have been just a little bit reasonable he could have been popular and in good shape for a 2nd term. But his pettiness and insecurity overpower him and he can’t help but to play to his base.

                But I’m glad he doesn’t have the moderation and control to be more successful.

              1. Maybe a slap on the wrist. Then it’s off to his new reality show…”So, you want to become president”.

            3. There probably will be a Trump running in 2024 but her name will be Ivanka.

              That will be the case even if Trump loses unless she gets implicated in any of the many Trump crimes that are sure to come out following his leaving office.

      2. Sanders/Warren would be a killer team, one that should have emerged last election.

        What speaks against it are the animosities during the primaries where Warren accused Sanders. But Warren ran on the progressive/feminist wave, and that rules out endorsing Fondling Joe.

        1. Two white candidates in the vanguard of progressive wing from deep blue New England do not exactly ticket-balancing bespeak.

          In the unlikely event the Bern secures the Democratic presidential nomination, a Stacey Abrams or one of the Castro brothers (the Texas variety, not the Cuban 🙂 ) would seem a better fit.

            1. I wonder if Republicans/conservatives/capitalist ideologues have fond historical memories of that darling, Fidel’s noble predecessor, Fulgencio Batista.

              1. Speaking of nasty Repugs, there’s a depressing article in the Mar 2 NYer on that weasel, Stephen Miller.

            1. Online betting sites have Nina Turner as second only to Stacy Abrams as favorite for Sanders’ VP choice.

  1. The recent events cause me to wonder what would have happened if Biden had decided not to run. I suspect the Obama would have preferred that, and given Biden’s age, it would have been reasonable for him to stay out this time. Bernie would have been in, but which moderate would have caught fire? Maybe someone else would have tried or one of the other moderates would have claimed that lane. I was partial to Steve Bullock and Jay Inslee, but neither went anywhere.

    1. Neither of these politically effective, liberal, thoughtful governors went anywhere in the nomination process. We lament the lack of young, effective, pragmatic standard-bearers for the Democratic Party—yet here are two such candidates who were quickly eliminated. And we finally ended up with Sleepy Joe and Grouchy Uncle Bernie, both in their late 70s and both with major defects
      in electability. Does this not suggest that there is something wrong with the nomination process? I’m not sure what it was. The media tendency to convert it into a sporting event sure didn’t help.

      1. Does this not suggest that there is something wrong with the nomination process?

        There’s a whole lot wrong with the nominating process. Arcane rules and a general discounting of how people vote, and a select handful of states (the early voting states) having undue significance – the whole thing is a convoluted board game with a good amount of luck tossed in.

      2. “Does this not suggest that there is something wrong with the nomination process?”

        You think? A slogan for the process might read, “Blather, wince, repeat.”

  2. I supported Warren, but she is out. I’m also in Illinois and I’ll cast my ballot for some one who can win against Trump in November.

  3. We can look forward to the two remaining debates being a civil affair. Last one gave me a headache two minutes in.

    1. But he is a real turnoff to African Americans. And, where are the young voters? Bernie is pulling lower numbers in many states than he did against Hillary. I’ve seen no indication that young voters are showing up beyond their historic percentages, which are typically dismal.

      1. I have no memory of having heard why African Americans don’t like Sanders. Could I trouble you for a synopsis?

        (I’m reminded that, when Obama was elected, at least a few African Americans wondered if he were “black enough.”)

        1. Well, he did not win a single state in the south on Super Tuesday where African Americans were a significant portion of the electorate. Exit polls showed African American voters went for Biden, as did voters who made up their minds in the last few days before primary. Biden won SC by a wide margin and with overwhelming African American turnout and support. Bernie did not get any of those voters and his youth army did not seem to go to the polls. Sander’s vote totals were often lower than his performance against Hillary 4 years ago — that suggests people who really did not like Hillary voted for Sanders, but this time they prefer Biden.

    2. Biden is getting more votes. The promise of Bernie was that he would energize young people and create new voters, but it looks like that didn’t happen.

      1. The promise of Bernie was that he would energize young people and create new voters, but it looks like that didn’t happen.

        That’s tragic, because young people have the most at stake in the political process right now. Trump and the older people who vote for him won’t be around to clean up the mess he’s made. It’s a case of “Après nous, le déluge!”

    3. When it comes to “electability,” nobody knows anything.

      My intuition tells me Uncle Joe, but my political intuition hasn’t proved all that trustworthy of late.

        1. “Who was more unelectable than Trump?”

          There is a profound fallacy at the heart of this statement.

          1. That’s the point. Trying to predict “electability” is not possible. Only after the fact is it known.

    4. “Bernie excites the young vote more than Biden.”

      True, except that it doesn’t seem to get them out to vote in numbers that make a difference.

      1. I contemplate what motivates them to get out to do anything which is not directly in their own self-interest.

      2. Lots of reports of districts that lean young being saddled with 5, 6, 7.5 hour wait times to cast a ballot.

        1. The reports are from Texas and California. Sanders will likely win CA because of early/mail-in voting. Texas restrictions reflect Republican election policies targeting black/hispanic/young voters. But while turnout was significantly up in Texas, it didn’t go to Sanders.

          Elsewhere Sanders was soundly defeated. The youth revolution simply was absent. Virginia is illustrative. Turnout way up, but voters didn’t want Bernie’s revolution.

          Bernie’s theory of youth turnout just hasn’t mapped to reality. Young people just don’t vote enough. I wish they did, especially since I work as a voter registrar in a university community.

        2. Yes but as GBJames notes, they aren’t voting Sanders in large margins. For example, I saw several reports where districts that were 15% youth turnouts in previous elections are at 11% now but turnout is significantly up. Sanders big brag is that he will get the young out in unprecedented numbers which will make up for those Trump Republicans that won’t vote for him. There is no evidence that this is happening in the primaries. This has been admitted to by even Sanders himself.

    5. The young don’t vote. They aren’t coming out for Bernie either. Young voters as a percentage of the primary voters is actually down. This “Bernie will bring the young out” is a fraud.

    6. We are not sure; but Tuesday’s results conform with it (and they definitely did not conform with the Bernie igniting the party narrative):

      1) The much-advertised Bernie Effect among young and first-time voters did not materialize. They were no-shows, as usual.

      2) The swing states, blacks went big for Biden.

      The election will not be decided in CA, MA, NY, etc.

      It will be decided in swing/battleground states: WI, MI, PA, OH VA, FL, and maybe in MN, IA, IN, CO. Biden won easily in places like those.

  4. Warren was my first choice to run in 2016. When she didn’t, I supported Bernie in the primaries over Hillary, but then went all-in for Hillary in the general against Trump.

    After Hillary lost in the electoral college, Warren was my early favorite for 2020. But once the campaign began in earnest after the 2018 midterms, I’ve warmed and
    cooled and warmed and cooled again to her candidacy since.

    Of course, now that she’s dropped out, the jackpot question (as Groucho used to call it on You Bet Your Life) is whom she will endorse, if anyone.

    If she fails to back Bernie, she’ll incur the undying enmity of the hardcore Berners, who will view her as a traitor and fink on par Judas and Benedict Arnold. If she does endorse him, it will make the remaining primaries a slog from here until Milwaukee. If, OTOH, she were to surprise everyone by backing Biden, it would turbocharge the momentum he got coming out of Super Tuesday, essentially making it all over but for the counting, thereby promoting the likelihood of early Party unity ahead of the convention.

    What’s it gonna be, Lizzie?

    1. Suppose she does endorse the Bern, then the Bern gets all inflated and refuses to support Biden at the convention when Biden wins: a signal to his supporters to stay away from the polls and bingo: Trump wins.
      This is my current fear.

      1. As long as Biden arrives in Milwaukee with more than the 1,991 pledged delegates needed to win, Bernie will give him a full-fledged endorsement against Trump.

        Were there to be a floor fight at the convention because neither candidate has the requisite number — a prospect that seems much less likely now that there are only two viable candidates left — things could get ugly fast.

      2. Sanders dropped out and supported the winner and campaigned for her last time but sure let’s spread baseless conspiracy theories that this time he won’t.

    2. “. . .the jackpot question (as Groucho used to call it on You Bet Your Life) is whom she will endorse, if anyone.”

      Shall I whistle a few bars of “Hurray for Captain Spaulding”? 😊

      1. And when you’re done whistling, say the secret woid, the duck drops down, and you win a $100. 🙂

        1. $100 prize on a TV show seems so quaint. It was a very entertaining show with Groucho pushing his eyebrows up and down, and chewing on an old cigar.

    3. “If she fails to back Bernie, she’ll incur the undying enmity of the hardcore Berners, who will view her as a traitor and fink on par Judas and Benedict Arnold.”

      They shouldn’t be surprised if they are similarly viewed if Biden gets the nomination and they stay home sulking.

      1. Because Bernie supporters are sulkers and can’t tell the difference between Trump and Biden? Really loving campaign season…. sigh.

      1. I think she’ll endorse Biden for a commitment to an item on her agenda (maybe student loan forgiveness).

      2. You don’t give a valuable VP slot to someone who comes in third place in her home state. That indicates that she’s not gonna bring any new voters on board.

    4. Bernie’s people hate Warren, and I doubt Warren is interested in running for anyone as VP. She waited until the end to endorse HRC.

      Biden/Bernie both need to pick someone *much* younger than themselves.

  5. Article in today’s WaPo:

    Power Up: Young voters are turning out in lower numbers than Bernie Sanders expected

  6. Here is a shrewd assessment of the Democratic Party’s categories by Paul Berman:

    “Do you live in a town with a hipster district that is overwhelmingly white and college-educated, and with other districts that are overwhelmingly black? The prosperous whites are the “progressives,” the blacks are the “moderates.”

    Complete article (in Tablet) is at:

  7. I’m kinda sad about this. I prefer Biden, but also think there is good value in an “opposition” that is a bit more detail-oriented and pragmatic than Bernie. While I didn’t necessarily want her as the candidate, I think she forced a lot of the other candidates to be better by being in the race.

  8. “Nevertheless, she persisted dropped out.”

    Doesn’t have quite the same ring, now does it?

    Keep fightin’ the good fight for consumer-finance protection (among other causes), girlfriend.

    1. Yes, she’s a very effective Senator (by far more effective than Sanders). I was going to vote for her until she dropped out. Now it’s Biden for me and my wife. If he gets the nomination, I hope he picks Stacey Abrams as VP; that would be a balanced ticket.

      1. I think Liz would make a more effective senate majority leader than Chuck Schumer.

        And the good news for the Dems regarding the US senate is that it looks like current Montana governor Steve Bullock is going to make a run against first-term Republican incumbent (and obvs household name) Steve Daines — which will put another US senate seat in play.

        1. “I think Liz would make a more effective senate majority leader than Chuck Schumer.”

          Especially after Schumer’s histrionics on the steps of the SCOTUS building.

      2. You think Stacy would say yes to the guy who thinks we do not fundamental change in America?

        1. I think Stacey is a Democratic Party loyalist, who will do whatever the Party thinks is needed to put Trump out of office.

          Plus, the VP slot on the ticket would (win or lose) make her the likely front-runner for the next presidential election, probably in 2024 (again, win or lose, since we’re likely looking at a Democratic nominee who won’t seek a second term if he wins). And winning the election would put her just one 80-year-old’s heartbeat away from an immediate seat behind the Resolute Desk.

          Abrams would also likely be in a sufficiently strong position in accepting the offer to negotiate herself some meaningful responsibilities and power as veep.

          So, yeah, I think she’d accept.

  9. Relying on here, as I do for enlightened analysis of US politics, I was shocked to hear of Warren’s withdrawl (if indeed she does).

    After Tuesdays exhaustive accounts (various and conflicting) of why she was staying in, I realised no one said she would almost immediately quit.

    As Neils Bohr noted: “It is very hard to predict, especially the future.”

    1. I think that was partly because she didn’t drop on either Sunday or Tuesday night. Those were the “logical” choices (Sunday if you want your voters to go to someone else; Tuesday night if your goal is singularly to become President and you saw the results gave you no path to do that).

      A delay in the decision implies she had some additional motives for continuing. Which would in turn imply she’s not leaving any time soon.

      Still, finance plays a big part. Maybe she did fully intend to stay in until the convention, to push some policy direction for instance, but figured out on Wednesday that her money situation wouldn’t even let her do that.

      1. You are right to put “logical” in scare quotes! Since there are all kinds of assumptions built into Warren’s mindset, motivation, and the consequences of different choices.

        ‘A delay in the decision’, didn’t exist, at time time I was refering to, Tuesday. Warren was, simply, still in.

        My main point is that discussions such as here seem to have about zero predictive value. And if some views do, it is impossible tell, ahead of time, which!

        Still, everyone has fun.

      1. Send not to know for whom the bell tolls when you finish third in your own home state.

        It tolls for thee.

  10. It has been a source of irony for me all campaign season that the woke crowd strongly supports an old white man. But there it is. Despite all the diversity of the original group of candidates we are down to 2 old white men.

    Not what I was hoping for, but I can’t wait to vote for one of them in the general election.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Warren doesn’t endorse either one of them. She may say something like, “either one will make a good president and I’ll be happy to support either of them in the general.” In other words, I wouldn’t be surprised if she tries to play things so that she has a chance at VP with whichever one wins the nomination.

    But, like I said the other day, the match up to garner the most votes across the voter spectrum might be Biden and Bernie.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if she tries to play things so that she has a chance at VP with whichever one wins the nomination.

      Apologies as this is something of a repeat from the previous thread, but I don’t see her chances as very good for that. Bernie doesn’t pick up any extra votes from her. Biden would have to think liberals staying home is a bigger problem than midwest Obama-Trump voters to pick her. And if either pick her, they effectively eliminate any chance the party has of winning the majority in the Senate (her Governor is GOP, the moment she steps down from her Senate seat, it will go to a GOPer).

      Still, you never know.

      1. I don’t disagree, particularly with your last, that her governor is GOP and that makes gaining the senate harder if she becomes VP. But I was thinking of what Liz might do, not whether or not Bernie or Biden might decide on her for their VP.

        I’m being a bit negative about Warren in that despite her “I’m only in this to help the working people” public image I think she is perfectly capable of being “slippery” (as Jerry put it) to try and achieve her personal ambitions. I don’t think the problems you mention would dissuade her from trying what I suggest. Other things might.

        Votes-wise I think she would be a good fit for Biden. He appeals to more conservative Democrats and even many more liberal Republicans, as well as the Never Trumpers (except if it’s Bernie). Meanwhile Warren attracts many that are further to the left including large overlap with Bernie’s supporters.

    2. “It has been a source of irony for me all campaign season that the woke crowd strongly supports an old white man.”

      The non-woke, the anti-woke, and those-who-have-never-heard-of-woke also seem to be supporting old white men.

      So I imagine everyone will be pleased with the eventual result.

    3. On today’s NPR “All Things Considered,” reporter Mara Liasson, in analyzing Warren’s situation, in passing mentioned “Bernie Sanders, that OG.” Do I correctly gather that “OG” means “Old Guy”?

      Just congenially curious, at what age does “old” (“white”? “man”?) start?

      Perhaps the U.S. constitution should be amended to specify an upper age limit (for “old white men”?), if it’s such a point of concern.

        1. Yeah, “OG” was initially used as the abbreviation for “original gangster,” a term derived from rapper slang. In common parlance now, I think it’s morphed to mean something similar to “old school” or “old-style.”

          Bernie’s an OG Leftist.

          1. Does that mean WEIT’s own OG Is Original Gangster (this just autocorrected to hamster)not old guy?

        1. “Old starts at 65.”

          I’m just about there. Glad to have made it this far, so far. Not everyone does. I have found this to be a good response to omniscient, impertinent adolescent louts and knaves.

            1. To be honest, I’m 73 and I usually go around thinking, in my own head, that I’m 20 or 30. Probably a delusion. Only some comment by someone about age being a bummer, or a pain in my wrist from arthritis, or when I huff and puff climbing a long flight of stairs, do I think I might be old. Or when I look in the mirror in the morning. “Reserved for the elderly” would not compute in my mind unless someone elbowed me in the ribs and said, “That’s for you.” I’m often reminded that on Wednesday there’s a senior discount at the hardware store. Senior? Golden years? I’m surrounded by it, but I don’t live it.

              1. And my dad has been complaining about his age since he’s been 40. He’s 78 now.

              2. “Ha! He probably enjoys complaining.”

                There was once a poet laureate of the State of Tennessee, “Peck” Gunn, who ended one of his poems with, “Nag me so I’ll feel at home.”

    4. I don’t know why anybody thinks she’d be selected to run as VP for Biden. Biden is only here because of his overwhelming support from the black community. He OWES them. And many, many democrats are pushing for a female VP. Abrams or Harris fit that bill times two plus they are more likely to appeal to the youth vote being under the age of retirement.

      As far as being ready to run for president, Warren would be a spry 75 years old by the time of the 2024 convention. As far as what she brings to the ticket, I see no reason to think that she would satiate the Bernie Bros, her home state is a Democratic slam dunk most likely, and she’d be debating Pence once if the debate even takes place so her skills are wasted.

      Abrams brings a great personal story, serious legislating chops, great work on voter registration and anti-suppression efforts, and is from a state that might just go Democratic.

      Bernie won’t take Warren because 1) she took PAC money and 2) he wants a clone. Turner fits the bill for him.

    1. If you gonna say “him money” ya gotta follow it with “him mouth”, if ya wanna be Jamaican, man🤓

        1. Whoops, I spelled “mon” wrong🙀
          I have a bunch of West Indian friends (Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana) and when I broke my upper humerus last summer, to a one they asked about my “hand”. My friend who had a knee replacement talks about her “foot”.🤓

    2. “because he’s putting him money where his mouth is, pouring his billion$, and keeping all his contracted campaign workers, in swing states to support the eventual Democratic nominee through the November general election.”

      Right on. He’s determined to unseat der Drumpfenfuhrer. Thank goodness.

  11. I am surprised Elizabeth Warren did not do better in the primaries. She is intelligent and her policies are better thought out than Sanders. The same is true for Amy Klobuchar for the moderate camp. Both women seem to me far more credible presidential candidates than the old men who beat them.

    Just saying.

    1. Both Biden an Bernie had huge democratic constituencies already baked-in, Biden because of his VPness and Bernie because of his solid showing against Hilary. Personally I think those mattered more than their age, sex, or race.

      So, I’ll make a prediction: should Trump win, Warren will be back in 2024. And, like Bernie this time, she’ll be the liberal to beat, because then she’ll be the one with a baked-in constituency ready for her at the start of her run.

      1. And we’ll have AOC vs. Pete as the two youngsters in the race. (AOC will be 35 years old by October 2024).

      2. Yeah, early on in the presidential nomination process (especially when it comes to polling and money-raising before the primaries actually begin) a lot depends solely upon “name recognition.”

        Biden and Bernie had a big advantage there from the get-go.

    2. Warren’s shift to “wokeness” irked a lot of people. I found it irritating, but I still found her to be head and shoulders above all the other candidates in terms of raw ability (save perhaps Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang).

      I really hoped that she could have got a more respectable haul on Super Tuesday. Then, as Biden’s and Bernie’s many flaws became more apparent, she might have had the juice to enter the convention and get a second ballot nomination.

      But now we have two very old men, radical Bernie and Baffled Biden, to choose from.


  12. My Thoughts after Super Tuesday:

    The results of “Super Tuesday” were a resounding win for Biden. Biden won, big, in the Midwest, in the South, in swing states, among Blacks, among Latinos (outside of CA). He even won MA over Sanders and Warren. Bernie took an old-fashioned whuppin’.

    The predicted big wave of young voters and first-time voters for Bernie did not materialize. And there were very large turnouts in the DP primaries. Bigger than 2008 and 2016 in most places. This indicates a few things: The DP is energized to beat Trump (thank goodness), the DP voters went heavily for the centrist candidate, the young voters continue to no-show.

    Why did Biden win big? Because most of the DP voters on 3-Mar-20 think he is more likely to beat Trump than the other candidates. Bernie may bounce back; we shall see. But the momentum is clearly behind Biden.

    What is my personal take on this? I agree with the majority of the DP (so far) that, all things considered, Biden is more likely to beat Trump than Bernie is.

    All of the candidates have/had significant negatives, in my opinion. I will list these in a subsequent posting. There was/is no clear, superb, easy choice. It’s a judgement call.

    My top priority (far above any others) is beating Trump this fall. I will be deciding and advocating in whatever direction appears to me to best support that goal. (For a big slug of motivation on this, I highly recommend reading *A Very Stable Genius* by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig.)

    This election will be decided in: WI, MI, PA, OH, VA, FL. And maybe in MN, IA, IN, CO. The populous coastal states will go Dem. The deep-red states will go GOP. 2016 hinged on 77,000 votes distributed in WI, MI, and PA.

    What I have heard, consistently, over the last few months, here in Minnesota, (FB, articles, callers to my local NPR station (whose staff are pretty much Sanders fan-boys)) is this: “I hate Trump. Give me a Democrat I can vote for. Bernie and Warren are not that: Too far left.”

    This over and over, and in nearly those exact words, from swing voters, Trump 16 voters, Democrat voters, and even many self-described “life-long Republican voters”.

    Minnesota voted on Tuesday. The results fully bear out what I have been hearing.

    Despite never appearing in Minnesota, despite spending virtually no money here, Biden handily beat Sanders*. Compare this result to 2016**, when Sanders beat HRC by 62% to 38% (126K to 78K, 205K total and the caucuses were packed in 2016). The youth vote and first-time vote did not flood in for Bernie.

    Minnesota is a pretty good test case for the Midwest as a whole. In fact, MN is something of a liberal island in a sea of red. If any Midwest state was going to go for Sanders, Minnesota was a top candidate. I predict the rest of the Midwest, where most of those battleground states lie, will conform closely to the results in Minnesota.

    My conclusion: Bernie is not appealing to the swing voters, the middle of the road voter, the Midwest voter, the Obama08/12+Trump16 voter. I think this will continue to play out, especially given Biden’s clear momentum.

    (* 742K total votes, 13% of the Minnesota *population* turned out to vote in the DP primary: 39% Biden, 30% Sanders, 15% Warren, 8% Bloomberg. Votes for Klobuchar and Buttegieg were recorded but won’t count: 6% and 1% respectively (everyone else <<1%). It’s pretty certain that the Klobuchar and Buttigieg votes were early votes (mine was) and (a little less certainly) would have gone to Biden.)

    (** 2016 was caucuses and the 2020 results are a primary; but primaries are a better read of the general DP preference.)

    One consistent theme I have seen from the Bernie supporters: They are unwilling to recognize Bernie’s negatives. I have to think that this is because they do not interact with people who voted for Trump in 2016 or people in the Midwest and in other swing states.

    Coastal, liberal voters may not understand this; but the word Socialist (or Socialism) is pure political poison in the battleground states that will decide this election. It doesn’t matter that FDR was called a Socialist or that Social Security and Medicare were (accurately) called Socialism.

    Bernie doesn’t need anyone to accuse him of being a Socialist. He describes himself as a Socialist. He hugs the term. He has already recorded the videos for the GOP negative ads that will run 24/7 in those battleground states, 17-Jul through 3-Nov, if he is nominated. (As far as I know, he has not changed his positions on Cuba, breadlines in Nicaragua, etc.; certainly not on being a Socialist.)

    If anyone thinks that the word “revolution” is going to appeal to swing voters, working-class voters, Obama08/12+Trump16 voters, Midwest voters, they are being, hmmmm, a bit unrealistic. There may be some miniscule slice of the left wing of the DP that pines for a “revolution”. But your typical voter just wants the abomination out of the White House, a decent job and schools, and to be left alone to figure out how to safely pay their bills, maintain a stable home, and raise their kids.

    Working class voters understand about paying bills. “Free stuff for everyone” won’t wash with them.

    Another point that seems to get missed: Bernie Sanders is not, and never has been, a Democrat. Check his Senate website (https://www.sanders.senate.gov/): He describes himself, now, as “I-VT”. Not D-VT. He wants to gain access to the “means of production” of the DP for his own ends. This would make uniting behind him at least somewhat problematic – though I think the DP would do so if he is nominated (anything to beat Trump).

    Here’s hoping that der Drumpfenführer is out on his ass on 20-Jan-2021.

    1. Very good post. Yes, Biden should probably get the nomination over Bernie for all of the reasons you state.

      But, wow, Biden sure has a lot of negatives. He has to be one of the weakest Democratic candidates in the last 50 years. He is clearly showing his age, and has a far more tenuous relationship with the truth than people realize. His lying goes at least back to his failed 1988 presidential campaign, where he was caught fibbing about his education and stealing speeches from the likes of RFK and Neil Kinnock. Look it up, seriously.

      And his record of being a shill for the credit card companies his positively shameful. Also, there is this minor issue of his son Hunter.

      Biden will thus offer a rich vein of material for the Republicans to mine for attack ads. And Joe doesn’t seem to have the agility anymore to counter them. In the coming months, he may be even more teleprompter- dependent than Trump is, and will present many more cringe-worthy moments when forced to speak of the cuff.

      1. Yes, I lived through all of that too.

        Biden’s negatives are all well known and have been plowed over many times. And people knew this last Tuesday.

        With regard to mendacity and stretching the truth: The Liar in Chief will have a hard time capitalizing on that!

      2. On our local NOR station at lunchtime today, the Bernie spokeswoman called Biden’s victory in MN, “a slim margin”.

        39% to 30% is not a slim margin. It’s a yawning canyon. And the “wasted” Mayor Pete and Amy votes would very likely have gone to Biden, another 7%.

        I am not fond of magical thinking …

        Especially with Trump II and the SCOTUS on the line.

  13. One reason I do not see mentioned (forgive me if I somehow missed it) why I like Mr Biden to win is Mr McConnell. The latter nastily abused Mr Biden by contorting Mr Biden’s words into a fictional “Biden Rule” that allowed him to steal a SC nomination from Mr Obama.
    Would it not be great to see Mr Biden nominating a few SC Judges, giving Mr McConnell his comeuppance?

    1. If Biden wins the presidency and the Dems capture at least 50 seats in the senate, I’d bite the bullet and watch C-SPAN the first time there’s a SCOTUS vacancy, just to see the Democratic nominee get crammed down Mitch McConnell’s gullet.

      Onliest thing would bring me even more pleasure would be to see McConnell get his ass handed to him in his run for reelection in Kentucky this November by likely Democratic senate candidate Amy McGrath.

      Now, THAT would have me up on my feet belting out the Hallelujah Chorus.

        1. Good one; hadn’t seen that before. And I dig the Reservoir Dogs/Pulp Fiction mash-up to kick things off, too. 🙂

  14. I still say keep your eyes on Ivanka. She’s a trump through and through, completely self serving. She’s also savvy in that she never offers an opinion during real time controversy, she’s continually amassing her resume of photo opps showing her belonging on the world stage. Her PR efforts will easily win over the trumpers. I’d even see her dad anointing her as the last minute VP replacement on the 2020 ticket (I think she’ll be old enough then)… he keeps his mob like family close, and when he’s ready he resigns, she becomes the first woman prez, and of course she pardons him. I can’t believe myself even entertaining this, but my faith in “this could NEVER happen” has diminished and almost disappeared. I hope I’m just being crazy and 100% wrong.

    1. Ivanka doesn’t have *it*. IMPOTUS DJT has a real knack for connecting with angry poorly educated white people and that’s just not Ivanka’s world. And she can’t fake it.

      Plus the Trump name will be garbage within the GOP if he loses. I’m pretty sure he’ll be indicted once he loses the shield of the presidency and GOP pain and embarrassment is going to linger for years to come.

  15. Bob Wills mentions the Alamo in San Antonio Rose.

    For some misguided and ultimately ineffective reason I registered as a Republican a couple of years ago. It actually took more than a year before I got any mail or emails from any Republican Party affiliated organization. But then came a flood of opportunities to support Trump. I put off changing my registration. In Utah you can only vote in the Republican primary if you are a registered Republican. I got to vote against Trump in the primary and will get to vote against him again this year. Foolish but kind of satisfying. Utah went for Sanders and that was not much of a surprise.

    I am tired of Democrats giving the Republicans all the best arguments against their candidates.

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