Saturday, March 7, 2020

'Unstoppable' - Biden's delegates amplified by Bloomberg's dollars

Jonathon V. Last (TheBulwark email) thinks Biden has it wrapped.

On Tuesday night I wrote that Joe Biden was now the presumptive nominee.

This claim was based on both his and Bernie Sanders’ performance with various demographic groups and the delegate math going forward.

Some people thought I was being too aggressive in this call. Others claimed that there was still a long race ahead. Still others are now making the case that Bernie Sanders “can still win it all.” Here, for instance, is Elizabeth Bruenig with the most Pollyanna reading of the results imaginable:

Super Tuesday was not the electric showing many fans of Bernie Sanders had hoped for. While some early projections forecast he would win as many as eight out of 14 states and amass a significant lead in pledged delegates, voters delivered a more modest outcome. Mr. Sanders won four states, including delegate-rich California, and ended the night nearly tied with Joe Biden in total pledged delegates… . Still, it isn’t over for Mr. Sanders.

Yeah, no.

First of all, Biden’s lead is about 75 delegates at the moment. That’s a couple mid-sized states’ worth.

But the issue isn’t the size of Biden’s delegate lead. It’s what the map looks like going forward.

The first half of the problem is that the proven nature of Sanders’ coalition means that there are places where he simply can’t compete. Look at the results in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. In these states, Biden was close to an outright majority while Sanders was in the 20s.

There are more places like those coming: Mississippi, Missouri, and Florida. In each of those, Biden is going to be close to doubling-up Sanders. We now know that the nature of Bernie’s coalition is that there are demographics with which he simply can’t be competitive.

Which leads us to the second half of the problem: The nature of Biden’s coalition is that he’s strong everywhere.

The single most telling result from Super Tuesday might have been Vermont. In 2016, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton 86 percent to 13 percent. This time around, Bernie beat Biden 53 percent to 23 percent. Think about it this way: Biden did about as well against Bernie in his home state as Bernie did against Biden in the battleground state of Virginia.

What this means for the math going forward is that there are going to be states where Biden pulls an overwhelming share of the delegates. But even in places where Bernie wins, the delegates are going to be split fairly evenly.

After a three-week aberration where the demographics of Iowa and New Hampshire combined with a multi-polar field gave Bernie a brief boost, this race has returned to the dynamic it exhibited with remarkable stability for an entire year: Bernie Sanders has a solid base of limited support which trails Biden’s broad coalition.

So let me say it again: Barring some very large unexpected event—by which I mean not a gaffe, but something like a health emergency—Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee. The voting will continue, but this is merely the playing out of the endgame.

And now comes Bloomberg’s promised resources into play.

Charlie Sykes (also in The Bulwark email) lays out what Mike Bloomberg will be doing to insure that the Dems will win thus unseating Trump.

In yesterday’s newsletter, we speculated about Bloomberg’s next move. Yesterday he announced his plans to shift his campaign into a targeted effort to elected Democrats in swing states… and to turn his campaign into an epic troll. Via the Wapo.

Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg has decided to form an independent expenditure campaign that will absorb hundreds of his presidential campaign staffers in six swing states to work to elect the Democratic nominee this fall.

The group, with a name that is still undisclosed because its trademark application is in process, would also be a vehicle for Bloomberg to spend money on advertising to attack President Trump and support the Democratic nominee, according to a person familiar with the discussions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations…

Bloomberg’s advisers have identified Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina as the six states that will decide the electoral college winner this year. Staffers in each of those states have signed contracts through November to work on the effort.

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