March 11, 2020

Biden Prevails on Septuagenarian Tuesday

The former VP notches four resounding wins over Bolshevik Bernie.

Joe Biden continued his march toward the Democrat nomination Tuesday with resounding victories in Michigan (53%), Missouri (60%), Mississippi (81%), and Idaho (49%). Bernie Sanders took North Dakota (49%), and he leads in Washington (32%), though it’s too close to call this morning because ballots are cast predominantly by mail. With Biden’s wins coming on the heels of his Super Tuesday blowout, as we go to press, the former VP has 843 delegates to Bernie’s 681. Tulsi Gabbard is close behind with two delegates. Alright, so maybe “close behind” is a bit of a stretch…

The writing is on the wall for Bolshevik Bernie. He is not gaining traction as it appeared two weeks ago. Instead, his voters simply aren’t turning out to the polls. As The Atlantic’s David Frum argued before Iowa, “The Sanders campaign is a bet that the 2020 race can be won by mobilizing the Americans least committed to the political process while alienating and even offending the Americans most committed to it.” It seems he’s done the latter without accomplishing the former.

A key stat to that effect: “Voters older than age 65 made up about a quarter of the Democrats who cast ballots,” says The Wall Street Journal editorial board, “and Mr. Biden won them 73% to 23%.” Put another way, if you’re old enough to have lived through the Cold War, you’re not going to elect a commie.

Meanwhile, The Dispatch notes, “In 2016, Bernie Sanders won 23 contests, including Michigan, North Dakota, and Washington. Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to secure the nomination until June after beating Sanders in California by single digits. But last night, the Sanders campaign may have reached an early end.” In retrospect, that’s more a sign of Clinton’s incredible weakness than Sanders’s strength.

Then again, can Biden win the general election if Bernie’s hardest-core supporters become alienated from the party? That’s the delicate balance Democrats now face.

Next up: A debate between Biden and Sanders in Phoenix on Sunday, March 15. It will feature no audience because of coronavirus. That’s followed by primaries on Tuesday, March 17, in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio.

Update 3/17: Turns out Biden actually won Washington. The delayed count is finally close enough to be called.

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