Thursday, March 19, 2020

Biden Moving Toward Delegate Majority. Does Sanders Stay in?

Joe Biden’s triple state win Tuesday night has him at 1,147 delegates toward the 1.991 majority he needs for the nomination (57%). There have been three significant Tuesday primary events starting with Super Tuesday, which Biden won over Bernie Sanders by 10 states to 4. Next, March 10, when Biden won 6-to1 vs. Sanders, and now, March 17 where Biden swept all three states in play. Florida was the big win. Ohio delayed its event due to coronavirus.

Tuesday’s results confirm what has been evident since March 3, Super Tuesday: Sanders will not be the Democratic Party’s nominee. He’s running far weaker than four years ago and his core support group – under 45 years olds – are not turning out in numbers to make a difference. Now the question for Democrats is how to get him out of the race with minimal damage and some upscale benefit.
  • Sanders lost at first due to Democrats’ desire to win in November and the belief he was more of a liability than an asset. Also, many were not enamored with many of his most extreme positions, stubbornly and loudly proclaimed, such as Medicare for All (single government payer) and Green New Deal.
  • His latest losses are now a product of Democrats and voters in general shifting their focus to competence and experience to handle a crisis. Specifically, rejecting more disruption provided by Sanders’s revolution. Biden is winning the competence and experience race.
  • Not only is there no reasonable way for Sanders to win now, but the virus has mostly eliminated physically campaigning. He must weigh the cost to himself and his issue positions from continuing to attack Biden and defying the clear decision of the party to shift to taking on Trump and Republicans.
Can Sanders find an exit strategy that leaves him a player and not a party wrecker?

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