Thursday, February 20, 2020

2020 Super Tuesday in Brief

In 2016, the entire election was completely messed up by California being last. Super Tuesday used to mean something. It was an all or nothing day that put an end to a primary cycle that could go on way too long. There's an argument to be made that it cheapens all the other primaries, but big picture, that kind of chaos hurt the race. It makes a two-candidate race a bad thing. It makes the fractured time longer and the healing time shorter.

In 2020, it's a completely different story. With this many candidates, Super Tuesday could end the race in one day, or blow the thing wide open. For those not happy with either of the current front runners, Super Tuesday is a point of hope. There are 1,357 delegates up for grabs in one day. That means the less than 20 delegate lead the front runners currently hold could be wiped out completely. For all intents and purposes, the race begins or ends on March 3. Any candidate could win California, Texas, and North Carolina; lose all the others; and still win the day. Or the current front runners could continue to win big, and everyone else drops out.

California415   Massachusetts91   Alabama52   Maine24
Texas228Minnesota75Oklahoma37Vermont16
North Carolina110Colorado67Arkansas31Dems. Abroad13
Virginia99Tennessee64Utah29Am. Samoa8

This means everyone is still in it, even Tulsi. It's going to get contentious for a while. Everyone believes their candidate is the best hope, and a lot of people believe the other candidates are total betrayals of Democratic values. The thing is, we can't all decide what Democratic values are. That's what it means to be Democrats. We don't get in lock step. We don't all just blindly agree. We are a coalition of ideas. As such, I refuse to call any of these candidates evil. I refuse to call any of them dangerous. I refuse to call any of them secret Republicans. That is just partisan nonsense. This is a pros and cons of every candidate, trying very hard to be neutral, but knowing I'm not going to be.



Elizabeth Warren, Senator-MA

PRO: Our candidate needs to stand for something, and in the starkest terms against this president, Warren is for government. She's for the power of government to make our lives better. She's for regulations and using the blunt force of the government to stand up to corporations. This president has left our institutions in shambles, and she's the only one talking about rooting out corruption.

CON: She's not very good at campaigning. I have serious concerns about her standing toe to toe with the president, especially if her attempts to go after Sanders are any indication.

Amy Klobuchar, Senator-MN

PRO: She's strong. She's smart. She has outlasted candidates I thought would destroy her, and she has seriously turned me around. If her role in the Kavanaugh hearing is any indication, she is going to kick this president's ass across the debate stage and throughout the campaign. We need a fighter, and she's the strongest weapon we've got.

CON: I don't really know what she stands for, other than the status quo. It's not enough to be against the incumbent. A presidential campaign has to be about something, a vision for the country. After four years of this president, we need to be on the path to healing, and I don't know if she's the one to do it.

Bernie Sanders, Senator-VT

PRO: He is the revolution. He is the vision for America. He's exciting, and he comes with his own voting base. If the right's backlash against Obama was this president, then our backlash could be a guy who tears the whole thing down and re-builds it for our benefit.

CON: He makes me yearn for a better candidate. I wish a person existed who stands for what Bernie stands for but who makes me believe he'd actually be good at the job of president. I have a natural fear of any movement that just boils down to one person. I really am worried that he will be so bad at the job that after four years of failure, it will set the whole movement back (see: Jimmy Carter). We need him more as a symbol than a president.

Pete Buttigieg, Mayor-South Bend, IN

PRO: Middle America loves him. He's safe. He's young. He's exciting. He's white. He's a veteran. As a president, he'll be fine.

CON: He's John Kerry. He's Walter Mondale. He's Mitt Romney. He's the boring middle of the road candidate who won't get anyone off their asses to vote. He won't significantly turn anyone off, but he won't bring in the numbers we need to win. 

Joe Biden, Former Vice President

PRO: He has the name recognition, and people love him. No matter what anyone tells you, experience matters, and he has the most experience out of any of them. He can walk in and on day one do the job. The president is afraid of him. That alone should make you give him a second look.

CON: He's a walking disaster. He's old and out of touch. He has never had a campaign without a major gaffe, and his gaffes have already hurt him.


Mike Bloomberg, Former Mayor-NY

PRO: If we as a country have decided we'd rather a CEO than a politician, why not a CEO who was a politician? Despite being the exact kind of rich person we all think is going to screw us, he believes in his own altruism, and he really wants to be remembered as the guy who saved this party and this country.

CON: His record is just too toxic to ignore. He's going to have a lot of trouble with minorities and women. Do we really want to replace a rich guy with a media empire with another rich guy with a media empire?

Tom Steyer, Rich

PRO: You really have to ask yourself why he's running. He is the only candidate focusing on climate change, which we all claim to think is important. He's looking at an admittedly weak field and saying he can do better. Honestly, I think he can do better.

CON: He's a rich guy with a savior complex. He's going to have as much trouble as our current president navigating a government that won't just do whatever he says. He has no government experience. If he really cares this much, maybe start by running for Governor.


Tulsi Gabbard, Congressperson-HI

PRO: She's talking about taking down the system in ways no one else is. The lawn signs I see the most are Bernie, Warren, and Tulsi. She has a base that loves her. She's a veteran. She stands for something. If she can come from last place and take this nomination, she'll be worth listening to.

CON: Setting aside all the more extreme things about her, in the spirit of even-handedness, let's just focus on experience. She's just a Congressperson, from a small state. She has never held a leadership role. She doesn't really have a plan, she doesn't have experience, and she doesn't lead any sort of coalition. Also, she's the only candidate left where you really have to ask why she's still in it at all.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Nulla Lex Ink. said...

Well Adam (if I may call you that), I gotta hand it to you, you were right! And I'm actually glad, despite the fact that I don't like Biden. It makes me feel good to know that a lot of folks bucked the trends of IA and NH having so much influence. Sort of wish I hadn't backpedaled on my initial predictions though. I had been saying since about mid 2017 it would largely be a Biden vs. Sanders race, but his resounding early losses had me convinced he was done for and the moderate representation would either be someone else or a gaggle of candidates. Not gonna lie, part of that was for a very petty reason; I wanted to joke that he only did marginally better every time he ran, haha. Oh well, just a lesson to trust my gut, trends, logic and mathematics more with these races.

What did you think of the results? A lot of people think Sanders is done for, but I personally believe the notion is ridiculous, because he's only losing by about 60 delegates right now and the counting isn't even done yet, so that gap may be closed and he may even pull ahead. Regardless though, the difference isn't insurmountable by any means. I think if Warren drops out, and she seems to be planning to do so despite her promise to stay in (because I'm sure when that was made she thought she'd at least place second in some races), it will be a very interesting and competitive race, one I'm sure I will enjoy documenting whenever I get around to my presidential writings project. If she doesn't I think this is safely Biden's. In a two man race though, I lean more toward Bernie at the moment, because while Biden does have the advantage of more positive media coverage and so many notable endorsements, I think his results were so good this time because of how recent all of those were, you know? And like you said, the dude is a huge gaffe machine, so if anyone could derail themselves despite all that, it'd be him, as he has sort of already proven; admittedly it was a crowded field, but still man, I maintain he could be a big paper tiger, just not as big as I let myself believe for a few weeks.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts man, and indeed your thoughts on how this will play out, if you have any and don't mind sharing them :)

March 4, 2020 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Daroff said...

A few days ago, I was also saying Bernie would close the gap with the remaining delegates, but he’s now 91 delegates behind. There are still about 100 Super Tuesday delegates left to apportion, mostly in three states Bernie won. I expect him to pick up more in Colorado and Utah, but he needed California to be huge to keep it more even. At this stage in 2016, Bernie was behind by almost twice as much. But Biden currently is up by about a million votes. Biden is the safe choice and people are too scared to be bold.

I think the span of time between March 17 and April 28 is going to be excruciating. Bernie will still be behind by a lot, but he’s going to make a hard push in New York and Pennsylvania. But that’s over a month with no major updates and the nomination in limbo. I’m not going to post again until March 18 because there are still too many delegates in play to make any determinations.

My advice, honestly, only spend time analyzing this if it lowers your stress level. I do this to keep myself sane. I voted, I stand by my vote. And I’m going to support whomever the democratic nominee is. You already know who you support. Stick with that, no matter what the strategic virtue is. Primaries are the time to vote for the one you want. The General is the time to vote to win. Don’t worry about what other people do with their vote unless you’re going to go out and canvass or phone bank. There’s too much noise, too much wasted energy.

March 8, 2020 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Nulla Lex Ink. said...

Well, it seems old Bernie lost again. Didn't even fight to the convention this time, which is strange because I feel like he'd have had a better chance this time around than he did in 2016. I understand his choice though but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed.

Oh well. We now have 15 VPs who have been heads of tickets, so that's neat. Biden's also the third one to be at the head of the ticket after leaving office, right after Mondale and Nixon. And he's the first from Delaware. He's also the oldest nominee ever, so we got a few neat facts to add to my list now.

April 8, 2020 at 2:20 PM  

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