Who won on Super Tuesday? Clearly, it was Donald Trump.
First, let us be clear: Joe Biden did not win on that big primary day; the Democratic establishment did.
It is true that the former vice president outperformed expectations and prevented Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) from rolling up a quick trip to the nomination. But the main reason for Biden’s multi-state win is that Democrat puppet-meisters circled the wagons and intervened. Former mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) were pushed to get out and they did, ceding to Biden the “moderate” lane and guaranteeing that Obama’s wingman would beat Sanders in critical races.
Adding to the Joe-mentum, former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg followed the next day; all three threw their support to Biden.
The Bernie bros, still incensed that the Democratic National Committee torpedoed their man in 2016, are furious that party apparatchiks are blocking their advance once again. Assuming that Biden becomes the nominee, that discord does not bode well for Democrat turnout in November. In 2016, remember that about 8 -10 percent of Bernie’s army voted for Trump, and many others simply stayed home.
Hillary Clinton had a score of excuses for her loss to Trump; one of them was that Bernie Sanders failed to deliver his army. We will almost surely see a repeat of that process.
Sanders and his surrogates are already calling foul. Marianne Williamson, one-time candidate and now a Sanders supporter, said this about the Super Tuesday outcome: “What happened was a coup. And we will push it back.”
Robinson went on: “Bernie was on track to win. Biden had no campaign, and they all knew it. So a few phone calls were made behind the scenes to Amy, Pete, Beto. Several million was put into a pro-Warren super PAC. Voila!”
Biden pushed back against claims that party officials are trying to defeat Sanders, tweeting that “the establishment are all those hardworking, middle class people, those African Americans…they are the establishment.”
To which the Vermont socialist responded: “No, Joe. The ‘establishment are the 60 billionaires who are funding your campaign and the corporate-funded super PACs that are spending millions attacking me.’”
Commentator and activist Shaun King helped stir the pot, tweeting that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow “reported that multiple ‘senior officials’ within the Democratic Party are interfering with the primaries to stop @BernieSanders” which Maddow then denied.
Just before the South Carolina primary, the New York Times ran a lengthy piece describing opposition to Bernie Sanders among “Democratic Establishment leaders.”
This does not bode well for party unity.
As Biden and Sanders duke it out, the focus in coming weeks will be on Sanders’s love affair with Fidel Castro and Joe Biden’s involvements in Ukraine, about Bernie’s inability to say how he’ll pay for all the “free stuff” he promises and Biden’s co-authoring the 1994 crime bill. Sanders will attack Biden’s support of NAFTA and vote for the Iraq war, while Biden will thrash Sanders for failing to do much during his decades in Congress. It won’t be pleasant to watch, unless you’re Donald Trump.
Biden leads Sanders by only about 50 delegates. Only 1,060 delegates have been awarded out of 3,979 in total; more than half of all delegates are yet to be won.
That makes Biden’s small lead fragile, especially since exit polls show as many as 40 percent – 60 percent of voters in these various races have made up their minds at the last minute, and appear persuadable by current events. Biden could be just one more gaffe away from seeing his lead vanish.
Nonetheless, Real Clear Politics puts Biden’s odds of winning the nomination at 84 percent, a stunning turnaround from just two weeks ago when they were at 10 percent.
Probably, Joe will become the nominee, and will run against Donald Trump. Does anyone question who is the more powerful candidate?
Bloomberg reportedly got into the race initially because he was concerned that Uncle Joe could not get the job done. The former vice president has created goofs galore on the campaign trail, frequently becoming “confused” about where he is or whom he’s talking to.
On Super Tuesday, at a campaign rally, he mixed up his wife and his sister. If you’re a Democrat, you have to worry about Biden’s ability to get through a prolonged campaign without serious embarrassment. If you’re honest, you have to wonder whether Joe is experiencing some mental decline.
Democrats know this, but despite 27 candidates entering the race, the safe choice, the centrist choice, became “Sleepy Joe,” as Trump calls him. Compared to all the others, Biden stood out because of his name recognition, and his attachment to President Obama. Mainly he stood out because he is popular with African-Americans, who remember the Obama years fondly.
But Biden has continually lagged in raising money and has been unable to generate excited crowds of the kind that attend Trump or Sanders rallies.
Biden’s fundraising in recent days has surged because of his win in South Carolina and several endorsements, as well as the disappearance of Buttigieg and Klobuchar from the race. He will be competitive going forward, especially if Bloomberg helps fund his campaign, which is likely.
But the former veep’s struggles to raise funds is indicative of a lack of enthusiasm. Money won’t fix that.
And the furor of Bernie’s Army will make it worse.
Biden may be Democrats’ “safe” choice, but that doesn’t mean he will win. Gallup reports that 61 percent of Americans say they are better off than they were three years ago, when Obama and Biden were in charge. Will the nation choose to go backwards? That’s highly unlikely.
Published on The Hill