The Other McCain

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Sanders Wins California, Biden Wins Texas, Brokered Convention Looms

Posted on | March 4, 2020 | Comments Off on Sanders Wins California, Biden Wins Texas, Brokered Convention Looms


As of 8 a.m., Maine remains “too close to call” — Joe Biden leads by about 2,200 votes with 83% of precincts reporting — but what matters more is the delegate count, and it will take another day or two before we have a complete total from Super Tuesday. Biden won 9 of 15 contests, including two states (Minnesota and Massachusetts) that had been considered a lock for Bernie Sanders, so you could say the “Joementum” is real:

Get ready for a long and grueling road ahead as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders battle for the Democratic presidential nomination in a race that could possibly result in the country’s first contested major-party nominating convention in well over a half-century.
The former vice president, surging to victory in the five southern Super Tuesday states and beyond, crowed to supporters at a primary celebration speech in Los Angeles after most of the results were in.
“I’m here to report that we are very much alive,” Biden told a cheering crowd. “This campaign is taking off.”
Hours later, the Associated Press projected Biden the winner in Texas – which had the second-largest cache of delegates on Super Tuesday.
But Sanders, the populist senator from Vermont who’s making his second straight White House run, won California — the biggest prize on a day when one-third of all Democratic presidential convention delegates were up for grabs.
“Tonight I tell you with absolute confidence we’re going to win the Democratic nomination,” Sanders, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist lawmaker, predicted as he spoke to supporters in his home state of Vermont. . . .
Biden . . . was wounded after a lackluster fourth-place finish in Iowa’s caucuses and a disappointing fifth-place showing in New Hampshire’s primary. But a slight rebound in Nevada’s caucuses — where he came in a distant second to Sanders — was followed this past weekend with a landslide victory in South Carolina’s primary. . . .
Fox News contributor and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile termed Biden’s comeback “the most impressive 72 hours I’ve ever seen in U.S. politics.”
That comeback was fuled by a tidal wave of establishment consolidation behind Biden over the past three days, which included rival moderate candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropping out of the race and endorsing the former vice president.

On MSNBC last night, James Carville credited Rep. James Clyburn — the black South Carolina Democrat who gave an emotional endorsement to Biden last week — with saving the Democratic Party. This salvation is purely for the party establishment, and anyone who’s seen Biden’s public appearances lately knows that the doddering old fool is unlikely to be a formidable opponent to Trump in November.

We may not have seen the last plot twist in this story. What happened so far? Until Feb. 3, the campaign was about fundraising, TV debates and polls. Then you had the disastrous clusterfark of the Iowa caucus and eight days later, Biden placed fifth in New Hampshire. So by Feb. 12, everything that the pundits had been telling America during the debates-and-polls phase of the campaign was wiped out by the actual results. A three-week scramble ensued — “The Great Liberal Freakout” — during which there were two more debates, Feb. 19 in Las Vegas and Feb. 26 in Charleston, the first of which saw Mike Bloomberg get destroyed as an establishment alternative, and the second of which was a gang beatdown of Sanders. The next debate is March 15 in Phoenix, but by then we will have had another round of primaries (Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Washington State, and the North Dakota caucus) on March 10.

The next big prizes are Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Arizona on March 17, with a total of 577 delegates at stake. The questions are whether Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren will stay in the race. Bloomberg’s team said they would “reassess” after Tuesday, when the billionaire’s big spending netted him 46 delegates. As long as a brokered convention scenario is possible, Bloomberg will probably decide to stay in it, but what about Warren? So far she’s done no better than third place in any state, and how much money does she have left? There’s no way she can compete statewide in big states like Florida or Ohio, so her only real incentive for continuing her campaign is the prospect that she could struggle on, gather a comparative handful of delegates (maybe 200 total by June) and have some influence in a brokered convention.

UPDATE: Feminists are butt-hurt:

(Hat-tip: Boris Badenoff on Twitter.)



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