Democratic primary: It’s not over until it’s over

Click to enlarge.  Source: CNBC.

The Super-Tuesday primary results were a disappointment to the Bernie Sanders campaign, but the primary campaign is far from over.

We won’t know the full results until the votes in California and Maine are counted, but Vox news service reports that Joe Biden only got 60 more delegates than Sanders in Tuesday’s primary vote, and only has 57 more pledged delegates than Sanders overall. Other news services count differently.   I’ll post the full delegate count when the full results are in.

Biden will undoubtedly get the 26 delegates pledged to Pete Buttigieg and the seven pledged to Amy Klobuchar, and probably will get the 44 pledged to Mike Bloomberg.  And if no candidate gets a clear majority on the first convention ballot, he’ll undoubtedly get the 771 superdelegates who are chosen by the Democratic party establishment.

There’s no denying his advantage.  But it’s early times yet.  The Democrats have chosen 1,344 convention delegates, but there are 2,635 yet to go.

Sanders supporters are attempting a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party.  They threaten the power and livelihoods of a good many established politicians and party officials.  So it’s not surprising that the party leadership is fighting back with all it’s got.

There are reports of people in Texas and southern California waiting for hours in order to vote.  I’m cynical enough to think that this was no accident, that the worst problems were in areas of poor people, minorities, college students and others likely to vote for a more progressive candidate.

As a nation, we Americans are divided in many ways.  But there is a consensus among the common people that is not reflected in our political leadership.

The polarization around Trump is real, both intellectually and emotionally, but there are a whole bunch of people – not just the Russians and Trump – who have vested interests in keeping us ignorant of how much we agree with each other on economic justice.  It is, in fact, not at all unusual for some 70% of Americans to agree on:

  • Reducing inequality by creating a 2% wealth tax (70%)
  • Reducing poverty by “ensuring that all families have access to basic living standards such as health care, food, and housing if their wages are too low.” (72%)
  • Creating good jobs by “investing $1 trillion in our nation’s infrastructure, including . . . expanded production of clean energy.” (78%)
  • Capping prices on prescription drugs (81%) and
  • Allowing “people who don’t get health insurance through their employer to buy health insurance from a public plan.” (81%)

Numerous other economic policies gain support in the 60-per cent range, including increases in the Earned Income Tax Credit (60%), the Child Care Tax Credit (65%), “food assistance benefits (62%),” and the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour (61%).  Even non-Hispanic whites without bachelor’s degrees —  the so-called white working class — support “higher taxes on the wealthy” (74%), “government provided health care” (83%), and “equal pay for men & women” (86%).

Source: Working-Class Perspectives.

Sooner or later, these Americans are going to make themselves heard—one way or another.  If it’s not through a certain brave old man, it will be through someone else.

The saving grace of a democratic system is that there is no last election and no final defeat.  It isn’t over until it’s over, and even when it’s over, it’s still not over.


Super Tuesday: Who won and who lost by Matt Yglesias and Zach Beauchamp for Vox news.

Super Tuesday results: the delegate count so far by Ella Nilson for Vox news.   [Note Added Later: These figures are now different from the ones I quoted.]

Five Takeaways from a Super Tuesday That Changed the Democratic Race by Lazaro Gamio and Shane Goldmacher for The New York Times.

Bernie’s Road Forward by Ian Welsh.  [Added Later]

Bernie Sanders Can Still Win the Nomination and the Presidency by Matt Karp for Jacobin magazine [Added Later]

Bernie Sanders unloads on Joe Biden as Super Tuesday makes it a two-way race by Hunter Walker for Yahoo News.

Democrats Rallying Around Joe Biden Could Alienate Generations of the Party’s Youth Support by Lucy Diavolo for Teen Vogue.

Democrats Craving a Brokered Convention: Learn the Lessons of 1968 by Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept.  [Added Later]  Hat tip to Pete’s Politics and Variety.

Here’s Why Texans Had to Wait Six Hours to Vote by Ari Berman for Mother Jones.  [Added 3/5/2020]

Texas voting lines last hours after polls close on Super Tuesday by Alexa Ura for The Texas Tribune.

Super Tuesday: Long lines reported at polls in Texas, California by William Cummings and Bart Jansen for USA Today.

How Polarized Are We? by Jack Metzgar for Working Class Perspectives.

Click to enlarge. Via New York Times


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5 Responses to “Democratic primary: It’s not over until it’s over”

  1. williambearcat Says:

    I don’t like Bernie’s implying the only reason I’m not fervently favoring him is that I’m part of some establishment cabal out to defeat him. Maybe I just don’t like his approach to disagreement.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    The candidate who best appeals to the rust belt from Wisconsin to Buffalo and Allentown will win it.


  3. silverapplequeen Says:

    The corporate Dems are so anxious to make sure Bernie doesn’t win that they will run ANYONE … even if that person hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of beating trump. In fact, they would rather have trump as president than Bernie Sanders. That’s how dedicated they are to corporate interests.


  4. paintedjaguar Says:

    It’s my understanding that the delegates of candidates who have dropped out of the race (Klobuchar, et al) are supposed to be allocated to the remaining candidates proportionately. So for whatever it’s worth, Biden may not collect ALL of the leftover establishment votes in California or in any other early-voting states.


  5. philebersole Says:

    What happens to the delegates of the withdrawn candidates is more complicated than I realized.

    Some delegates were chosen in district elections or caucuses. They will go to the national convention and be free to vote for whomever they choose.

    Other delegates were to be allocated among the candidates at statewide conventions based on the number of voters statewide that they received.

    The delegate slots allocated to candidates who’ve dropped out by the time the state conventions meet will be assigned proportionately to the remaining candidates.


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