After Super Tuesday, What Is The State Of The Democratic Primary?

Mar 4, 2020

What are the major takeaways from Super Tuesday? We’ll tally up the votes and take a look at the path toward the Democratic nomination.

Guests

Anthony Brooks, On Point’s 2020 correspondent. (@anthonygbrooks)

Matt Bennett, co-founder of Third Way, a Washington think tank that promotes center-left policy ideas. He worked on both of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns. (@ThirdWayMattB)

Dawn B. Vaughan, government and politics reporter at The News and Observer. (@dawnbvaughan)

Larry Cohen, board chair for Our Revolution, a progressive political action organization that spun out of Senator Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. Vice chair of the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission. (@OurRevolution)

From The Reading List

NPR: “Joe Biden’s Big SC Win And What It Means For Super Tuesday” — “Former Vice President Joe Biden had a big night in South Carolina, showing his promised strength with black voters.

“If he had lost, Biden’s campaign would likely have been dead. But he far exceeded expectations, with a nearly 30-point win in the state’s Democratic presidential primary.

“‘And we are very much alive,’ Biden said during his victory speech Saturday night.

“Biden lives to fight another day — some would say a super day — and he helped make the case for himself as the principal alternative to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But he’s still the underdog heading into Super Tuesday because of his structural disadvantages.”

The New York Times: “How the Democratic Establishment Stumbled as Sanders Surged” — “Late last year a group of first-term House Democrats, anxious over the party’s fractious presidential race, convened a series of discussions intended to spur unity. Led by Representatives Colin Allred of Texas and Haley Stevens of Michigan, they considered issuing a collective endorsement of one moderate candidate.

“The group held phone calls with Joseph R. Biden Jr., Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg. But the lawmakers could not agree: Some were torn between the options, and others worried about alienating voters at home who backed other contenders, like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. A few issued solo endorsements of Mr. Biden, but the grander plan disintegrated.

“‘There was not time to reach consensus over one candidate,’ said Ms. Stevens, who eventually endorsed Michael R. Bloomberg, recalling the ‘fast-moving’ blur of the lead-up to Iowa.

“That effort was just one in a series of abandoned or ineffective plans to rally the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, and the leaders and institutions of the political establishment, behind a single formidable contender who could stop the ascent of Mr. Sanders, a democratic socialist promising a revolution in government.”

USA Today: “Biden’s South Carolina win gives me hope that Democrats will reject Sanders and beat Trump” — “On Feb. 4, 2004, I clambered atop my desk in the open floor-plan office of the Wesley Clark for President Campaign. This being somewhat unusual, even in the chaos of a campaign headquarters, the room hushed quickly.

“With all the enthusiasm I could muster, I informed the Clark team that we were, starting immediately, all volunteers. Despite placing third in New Hampshire, second in a few other states, and first in the Oklahoma primary, our campaign was dying. Our polls were dropping, and money was drying up; we needed every dime to keep the lights on and the candidate on the road. Staff salaries were being suspended, along with other campaign luxuries, like advertising and field work.

“About 10 days ago, I’m guessing a senior staffer at the Joe Biden campaign headquarters was eyeing her desk warily. Things were looking a bit grim. But I wouldn’t be surprised if she jumped up on that thing Sunday with a very different message for the team: ‘We. Are. Back.'”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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