Sunday, March 1, 2020

The South Carolina Problem

So the actual results were interesting. I think South Carolina may have created a real problem for the Democrats. Here are my thoughts.

1. The big take away from South Carolina: Bernie did much worse than expected. I thought his floor was around 30% in every state. He got 20% Panic bells should be ringing in his campaign. He will say that they always knew they would not win, which is true, but this is a disastrous showing. He basically has no black support, his students didn't show up, and it seems that two thirds of his base defected to vote for a billionaire.

Going into this race, James Carville said that he sees only two possibilities: Bernie or a brokered convention. After today's weak showing, I'm thinking that Bernie is now a longshot to win this, which means a brokered convention is now much, much more likely. That's a disaster for the Democrats.

2. Biden did a tad worse than I guessed: 48% to 51%. The problem is, I think, he needed well over 60% to change the narrative of his demise. Not only did he not get it, he fell below the significant psychological barrier of 50%. So I think his demise is set and will be confirmed Super Tuesday -- I don't see this saving him. His ego will not let him quit though, not now that he has won a state. Not only will he see himself as controlling the black vote at such a convention, but he's been getting a lot of endorsements from people who will get to vote if there is a brokered convention. So he thinks he has the inside track.

3. Gay Peter did better than expected by a lot; it would not have surprised me if he came in last in this state. So I would consider this a good enough showing to confirm that he remains the likely "moderate" (read: corporate) champion going into Super Tuesday. So do I think he can win the nomination outright? No. I think the best he can do is go into the convention neck and neck with Bernie, but if he doesn't show himself to be the front runner on Tuesday even that may not happen.

4. Warren did a little better than expected, but it's still awful. As the "woman" candidate, this was a lousy showing. Her home state is next on the agenda and she's likely to lose that, which will be embarrassing. But apparently, she's just gotten superpac money to keep her going for some time. Either way, she's playing for a brokered convention now.

5. Amy performed like I expected. She's done. On Tuesday, she gets to lose her home state of Minnesota. I think she drops out after that and goes home to the Senate.

6. Bloomberg is going to wish he was on the ballot as he will think he would have gotten Steyer's 11%, but I think that's an anomaly and would not have gone to him. He's waiting for Super Tuesday to save him, but his real strategy is a brokered convention.

7. Steyer was a surprise, but a one-off. The conventional wisdom is he got 11% because he flooded the state with money. But I suspect the real reason is that he became some sort of protest vote... but against whom? Were these unhappy Bernie/Warren people? Were they Biden/Buttguy people looking for a better moderate? Or did he tap into something not seen in any other states so far? If it's the last, I wouldn't know what that group would be. I'm suspecting he was a catch-all protest vote for people who didn't like Bernie/Warren/Biden/or Pete. I guess we'll see if he can gain any traction in other states.

All in all, I think the big take away is how poorly Bernie did. This seriously raises the chance of a brokered convention, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more likely a brokered convention is, the more likely everyone is to stay in the race in the hopes of having the deciding delegates at the convention, which makes a brokered convention even more likely. Right now, I think that Bernie looks a lot weaker, but no one else looks stronger, so we are looking at everyone staying in the race in the hopes they can win at a brokered convention. The Democrats have a serious mess on their hands.

Let's see if Super Tuesday shakes things out more. Thoughts?


AndrewPrice said...

Steyer just quit. Yeah, I figured this was a one-off.

LL said...

Bloomie is the great white, old, male, billionaire hope for the donkeys. The man they hate above all others, a former Republican. On top of that, many feel that his total hatred of Donald Trump is propelling him and that once elected, he'll turn into a sort of hybrid RINO - anti Second Amendment and anti some of their pet projects, but in favor of black people murdering their children to control numbers.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, They HATE Bloomberg on the left. They're calling him a fascist and a racist and a sexist.

AndrewPrice said...

I'm definitely laughing at the mindless coverage today. Apparently, Biden is the front runner again... unless he isn't. It must be easy to be an analyst. Whoever won the last election is the big winner, no thought needed. Just make sure you put a caveat in there so you can't be pinned down.

Well, we will see come Tuesday. Biden's vote among blacks was much lower than expected (60% compared to 80%), his 48% was overall lower than it should have been, he's still Biden which is his main problem, and Super Tuesday is full of states that don't play well for him. Wanna bet that Bernie the Invincible becomes the (equally false) narrative again after Tuesday?

Tennessee Jed said...

I think Amy might try and angle for Veep.Dems like to have women kinda sorta on the ticket. She really is unlivable though. I still think the insiders want a brokered convention. If that happens, I truly hope the Bernie Bro’s stay home. Warren only gets Veep if Biden gets in. If I was Machiavellian, I could see the Obama’s pusching Michelle as an Elvira stand-in. Secretly, HRC is like the dumb and dumber character “you mean there’s still a chance?”

Tennessee Jed said...


AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I think they're all playing for VP right now except Biden, Bernie and Bloomberg. The rest would all be happy as VP.

As an aside, right now the polls suggest that Bernie does best on Tuesday, Warren and Amy lose their home states to Bernie, Bloomberg and Biden jockey for distant second, Buttguy unclear.

Critch said...

Buttguy has dropped anyone cares. If this gets to be a brokered convention, don't count HRC out...she might just try to ride in on a white horse and save the Dimocrats..

AndrewPrice said...

I'll be damned, Buttguy dropped out. //scratches head

That really helps Biden.

tryanmax said...

Buttguy’s pull-out statement was very carefully worded. Plenty of justification to read between the lines. Democrats don’t let voters pick their candidates. That would be absurd.

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