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Thomas Gallatin / Mar. 4, 2020

Biden's Super Tuesday

The former VP grabs pole position in the race for the Democrat nomination.

As the dust settles after the biggest day on the presidential-primary calendar, it’s a Super Tuesday that may go down as one of the most impressive campaign turnarounds in history. Joe Biden was for months the presumptive Democrat nominee, though he nearly frittered away that lead in a lackluster campaign effort, leaving his campaign on life support just a week ago. In the last few days, however, he came roaring back to firmly reestablish himself as the party’s presumptive nominee. And not a moment too soon for establishment Democrats, whose panic over the prospect of socialist Bernie Sanders winning the nomination drove them to near DEFCON 1.

As commentator Erick Erickson notes, “Super Tuesday was formalized by southern Democrats in 1980 to stop the advance of Ted Kennedy against Jimmy Carter and Democrats have used it ever since to blunt the momentum of the far left in their party. They are doing it again this year.”

In just two days following Biden’s big South Carolina win, three candidates, including third-place contender Pete Buttigieg, dropped out and dutifully lined up to endorse Biden. Going into Tuesday, Sanders was leading in the polls in 10 of the 14 states, but as voting numbers came in, like dominoes, the Super Tuesday states fell for Biden; he won nine and possibly 10 of the 14 states up for grabs.

Heading into Tuesday, Sanders had the organizational advantage, the financial edge, and favorable polling numbers over Biden. Yet not only was Sanders beaten, he was beaten badly. That Biden won even Massachusetts, defeating both Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (who limped in at third place in her home state), may have been the icing on the cake. The question is how much longer she’ll stay in.

To that point, if Warren had dropped out ahead of Tuesday and endorsed Sanders, it’s likely that the story today would be much different. Assuming that a large percentage of Warren’s votes would have gone to her ideological comrade, Sanders would have easily won Massachusetts and Maine, and perhaps Texas and Minnesota. Instead of a massive Biden win, the headlines would be addressing the dead heat between him and Sanders.

That said, such speculation still fails to answer why Sanders fared so poorly in the states he was projected to win. The main reason Sanders bombed was that his long-touted youth vote simply didn’t show up.

Adding to Sanders’s misery, Michael Bloomberg suspended his campaign this morning and endorsed Biden. So, unless Warren follows suit quickly and endorses Sanders, it looks like Biden may quickly run away with this, ending any realistic prospect of a contested convention. That said, it will still be far from smooth sailing for Biden. The specter of his questionable Ukrainian deals are certain to come front and center, as well as growing questions surrounding his age and senility. He’s always been a gaffe machine, but even that doesn’t explain some of his more recent flubs.

The two biggest losers on Tuesday were Sanders and the Leftmedia. Interestingly, all the candidates the Leftmedia touted have quickly fallen away.

The final and maybe most important takeaway from yesterday was President Donald Trump’s impressive numbers. In a primary in which the presidential incumbent is essentially guaranteed the party nomination, which typically leads to lower voter turnout, Trump’s numbers were surprisingly high. In fact, if this is any indication of voter enthusiasm for Trump, the Democrats are in big trouble come November. In Texas, for example, Trump received more votes than all the Democrat candidates combined. As of this writing, in California Trump received nearly 450,000 more votes than Sanders, who won the state’s Democrat primary. In short, it looks like Trump is expanding his base.

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