Is Sanders Inevitable?

There's no way to catch him in a six-candidate field.

Earlier this morning, I argued that Bernie Sanders’ big win in Nevada was unsurprising and we, therefore, shouldn’t over-react to it. But that doesn’t mean that the candidates and the party shouldn’t react.

Sanders is now the clear frontrunner, having won or nearly won all three contests thus far. Meanwhile, no obvious single challenger has emerged, which means the five* remaining serious non-Sanders candidates still have enough hope to stay in the race.

The resulting math is highly problematic for those who fear a Sanders nomination will not only make Donald Trump’s re-election more likely but make it much harder for Democrats to win down-ballot. (I’m not sure either of those fears is justified, but that’s a subject for another time.)

So long as the not-Sanders vote is divided, Sanders wins.

Buzzfeed’s Ruby Cramer (“Bernie Sanders Won Nevada. In 10 Days, He Could Make It Very Hard For Anyone To Catch Up.”):

Sanders’s apparently decisive Nevada victory has set up an immediate and existential moment in the nominating process: In just 10 days, Sanders could emerge from Super Tuesday with a delegate lead that other candidates can chase but never reach.

It is one of the surest, most unyielding rules in presidential politics: Once one candidate has a sizable delegate lead, it becomes difficult — at first increasingly improbable, then mathematically impossible — for another to catch up.

[…]

“If he has a three-figure lead, there is no catching up,” said Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager in 2016. “It’s too late after Super Tuesday. Even if the field drops down to two people, that person still has to be beating him by 10-20 points in the remaining contests.”

“This is the fog everybody is in right now. If you aren’t Sanders,” Mook said, “you have to deal with this problem before Super Tuesday.”

David Plouffe, who was Barack Obama’s campaign manager in 2008, said on MSNBC Saturday night that if the primary stays crowded after Super Tuesday, Sanders could have a hold on the nomination.

“If it is more than a two-candidate race, certainly, if it’s a four or five-candidate race, Bernie sanders can walk to the nomination getting 35, 36, 37 percent of the vote,” he told NBC’s Brian Williams.

He later made that more explicit. “But basically, if we’re — Brian, if it’s March 3rd and we’re talking about Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Warren, Biden, Bloomberg, and Sanders, and everybody’s in, Bernie’s going to win almost all the delegates he needs to build an impenetrable delegate lead. That’s just math. It’s not my opinion, it’s just simple math.”

We knew going in that the exceedingly front-loaded primary schedule could mean the race was all but over on by the end of March, if not after Super Tuesday. California and Texas are among the states voting that day and, by themselves, those two states have 643 delegates. A mere 1,991 is enough to win the nomination.

The flip side of that coin is that, so long as the results are fractured, it’s exceedingly likely that no candidate will get to 1,991 and we have the brokered convention that political junkies always pine for but has always been a pipe dream under different rules.

Mike Bloomberg, quite reasonably, is arguing that all the moderates but one should drop out to give that faction a fighting chance of defeating Sanders. But, naturally, he thinks it should be him that remains standing—even though he has yet to be on the ballot and got embarrassed in his first debate appearance.

While I would prefer any of the other five candidates to Sanders, I can’t imagine any of them dropping out at the moment.

Joe Biden has had a major slide in the national polls after his poor showing in Iowa and New Hampshire. But he’s still seen in both the polls and the analytical projections as the top challenger to Sanders. And he’ll likely get a boost from his second-place finish last night. Still, if he doesn’t win in South Carolina, I’d like to see him drop out before Super Tuesday. (The fact we may not know the South Carolina results until Monday, the day before Super Tuesday, may mean even that is too late–especially since early voting in those contests is already underway.)

Elizabeth Warren, who everyone but me seems to think won the Nevada debate, declared last night that her distant fourth-place finish in the caucuses was enough to keep her in the race. But she has zero chance of winning the nomination via the ballot box. Her only hope—and it’s not unreasonable—is to emerge as the compromise solution at the convention.

Similarly, Amy Klobuchar is never going to win enough delegates to get to a plurality. For whatever reason, she has stayed mired in the low single digits in the polls even as the field has winnowed. She finished fifth out of the five legitimate candidates in Nevada. But, going into Nevada, she had more delegates than Joe Biden. So, while I think she should drop out immediately to clear the field for a moderate non-Sanders, she almost certainly won’t.

Pete Buttigieg certainly isn’t going anywhere. He “won” Iowa and finished second in New Hampshire. He didn’t get much of a rebound in the polls from those contests but looks to finish third in Nevada.

And, rather obviously, Bloomberg isn’t going to drop out before Super Tuesday since that’s his first shot at the voters and he’s already poured hundreds of millions into advertising and staffing in those states.

Since we’re not going to winnow the field before Super Tuesday and it’s likely too late after Super Tuesday, the alternative strategy may be simply to let the race play itself out. Several candidates will drop out in the next two weeks simply because they won’t have enough money to continue.

By then, nobody will be able to catch Sanders for the delegate lead. But, barring Sanders running the table, he’s unlikely to win the nomination outright ahead of the convention. By July, we’ll have a whole lot better understanding of the non-Sanders candidates’ appeal to the voters and the delegates will decide either to put him on the ballot or rally behind an alternative candidate.

_____________________

*I consider Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer vanity candidates with no conceivable shot at the nomination.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Campaign 2020, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Polimom says:

    I think a better question at this point might be: How will we change as the result of four more years of Trump. Sigh…

    6
  2. Teve says:

    The Supreme Court is already lost, it won’t matter much if RBG is replaced with Janine Pirro. Factor in the least educated, most propagandized-to voters in rural states having veto power over climate change, health care, etc., maybe we’ll get closer to a political crisis that results in Jesustan going its own way.

  3. drj says:

    Matthew Yglesias at VOX:

    Mainstream Democrats shouldn’t fear Bernie Sanders

    He’d be a strong nominee and a solid president.

    There’s hoping.

    8
  4. All of this illustrates what I was talking about in my post on nomination processes and the way it affects parties. The primary system writ large (using either the R or D rules in a general sense) are not well equipped to deal with a dozen+ candidates.

    3
  5. @Polimom: @drj: I think that in the middle of a nomination process it is hard to see what the general election campaign will look like. It is even harder to imagine certain candidates actually being president (until they actually win, and it transforms our perceptions retroactively).

    The bottom line remains that we are polarized and sorted as voters and that the 2020 general is going to be close regardless of who the nominees are. I think the gloom about Sanders and his down-ballot effects are exaggerated at the moment.

    And I say that without being thrilled in the least about Sanders’ current trajectory.

    6
  6. Bill says:

    David Brooks of the New York Times wrote two days ago that Sanders will probably win the Democratic nomination.

  7. Polimom says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I agree about the down-ballot gloom. I can see it swinging the other way entirely, even.

    I also see possibilities for the Dems if Sanders chooses one of the moderate also-rans as his VP. I think that’s HIGHLY unlikely, but considering his advanced age I suspect folks will put more weight than usual on that running mate.

    2
  8. Gustopher says:

    @Polimom:

    I think a better question at this point might be: How will we change as the result of four more years of Trump. Sigh…

    Sanders is not “electable” but that doesn’t mean he cannot win. All of the conventional wisdom on electability is just “he doesn’t look/act like previous candidates who won” — which is true. But if “electability” was definitive, we would be worrying about Clinton’s re-election.

    Sanders is a big gamble. We’ve never run someone like him. (Not since I was 2, at least, and then I was 2 so I don’t know how the comparisons really work.)

    So, don’t sink into despair yet. He doesn’t have the nomination, yet, and even if he does he still has a chance.

    Perhaps the mood of America is an angry old Jewish man yelling at the waiter that the food is terrible and the portions are too small. (Actually, that sounds about right…)

    5
  9. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    Ken Jennings
    @KenJennings
    Weird how many people who were dead wrong about “electability” in 2016 are still experts on it today!

    9
  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    Except that they weren’t ‘dead wrong,’ Hillary won the popular vote by 3,000,000, despite the historic difficulty of holding the White House for three consecutive terms.

    4
  11. charon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I think the gloom about Sanders and his down-ballot effects are exaggerated at the moment.

    Totes agree. I see Sanders as much preferable to Bloomberg, hope Bloomie gets no traction.

    1
  12. charon says:

    @Polimom:

    if Sanders chooses one of the moderate also-rans

    One of my big concerns about Sanders is his personnel choices, Tad Devine, Nina Turner, Brienna whatsherface etc. do not inspire confidence.

    2
  13. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Except that they weren’t ‘dead wrong,’ Hillary won the popular vote by 3,000,000, despite the historic difficulty of holding the White House for three consecutive terms.

    If we judged these things based on popular vote, the “historic difficulty” you refer to wouldn’t be such a clear-cut pattern. Three of the last four candidates running for their party’s third term won the popular vote, but only one of them actually ascended to the presidency.

    1
  14. EddieInCA says:
  15. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Except that they weren’t ‘dead wrong,’”

    The “electability” people were the ones saying Trump was unelectable…

    3
  16. Gustopher says:

    @EddieInCA: Latinos in Florida come in two flavors — Cubans, who have always trended Republican, and everyone else, who have always trended Democrat.

    It’s best not to think of a Latino Vote in Florida. It would be like referring to the Muslim Vote in Iraq, and not considering the Shia and the Sunni separately.

    Sanders did very well with the Everyone Else Latinos in Nevada. So, I don’t see any evidence that he’s changing things in Florida.

    6
  17. Modulo Myself says:

    Sanders is running ahead of Trump in PA and a human centipede of solipsistic dumbasses are already saying he’s toast. Is Sanders a gamble? Absolutely. But he’s going to slide to the nomination so easily on this stuff. It’s funny that outside of bitchy gossip, not a single barrier was erected to stop Bernie. The one person who could have–Warren–had Obama staffers turned advisers to Kaiser Permanente come out shockingly against her M4A plan. She was the only other option.

    2
  18. Polimom says:

    @Gustopher:

    Sanders is not “electable” but that doesn’t mean he cannot win.

    Ahem. Much as I hate to be the one to bring this up, somebody’s got to mention the elephant in the room: He will be 79 years old by the time November rolls around, and he had a heart attack just a few months ago.

    Now I get it that Trump is also old. But he’s the incumbent, and he has some wind in his sails (not to mention an entire personality cult behind him). And more importantly… he hasn’t had a heart attack recently.

    You maybe don’t feel that voters will be worried about whether Bernie will still be alive 6 months after taking office, but I’m betting they will be.

    3
  19. Gustopher says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    It’s funny that outside of bitchy gossip, not a single barrier was erected to stop Bernie.

    Not yet, but you know someone is desperately hoping to be able to use this headline: Bloomberg’s Billions Blasting Bernie Bring Burlington Buffoon Bad Breaks.

    And I don’t put it past Bloomberg to destroy Sanders, even if it doesn’t lead to a path to the nomination for him.

    1
  20. Gustopher says:

    @Polimom:

    Ahem. Much as I hate to be the one to bring this up, somebody’s got to mention the elephant in the room: He will be 79 years old by the time November rolls around, and he had a heart attack just a few months ago.

    I believe we refer to it as the elephant on his chest…

  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    1) Down-ballot Democrats fear Bernie.
    2) Trump does not.
    3) Putin is aiding Bernie on the theory that Bernie is a sure loser.
    4) He’s refusing to release his health records – not a sign of good health.
    5) Bernie has not endured any significant attacks, so he is in no way vetted.
    6) Honeymoon in the USSR. What sort of audio or video did the KGB get on him? Maybe nothing. Maybe not nothing.
    7) He doesn’t have another gear, another act. He’s Johnny One-Note.
    8) He has a long record of not working well with others. He’s a crank, not a player.
    9) Even if elected his agenda has an absolute zero chance of becoming law.
    10) A failed first term would mean more ground lost in the 2022 mid-terms.

    17
  22. Gustopher says:

    @Polimom: Honestly, with two larger than life egos in late-70s frames battling it out over socialism versus authoritarianism… I don’t think anyone would notice until one keels over dead.

    Bernie is a feisty little man. Vibrant, full of life.

    There are lots of reasons Bernie could lose the general election, but it’s not a given. I’m hoping Warren pulls a rabbit out of her hat and somehow wins the nomination, but I’m not going to despair prematurely if it’s Bernie. Or Bloomberg. Or Buttigieg. Or Biden. Or the nice young lady who throws staplers at everyone.

    On the other hand, Bernie might be dead by the time the convention rolls around and the entire question might be moot.

    1
  23. Gustopher says:

    I don’t generally wish for death and chaos, but I’d be kind of thrilled if Bernie got the nomination, and then he and Trump both died (peacefully, of natural causes) between their conventions and the general election.

    I want American politics to somehow devolve into “my dead guy is better than your dead guy.”

    4
  24. Hal_10000 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Sanders is running ahead of Trump in PA

    Bernie wants to ban fracking. That makes PA a very hard state for him.

    6
  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:
    And Sanders vs. Trump in PA is within margin of error. And that’s after Bloomberg has spent millions attacking Trump, and before Bernie takes any serious hits.

    3
  26. charon says:

    @Gustopher:

    Mexican-Americans are not Puerto Ricans.@Polimom:

    @Polimom:

    You maybe don’t feel that voters will be worried about whether Bernie will still be alive 6 months after taking office, but I’m betting they will be.

    That could be a plus if he has an attractive VP.

    1
  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    At this point I’m not sure the long-term outcome isn’t improved if Trump wins. He’ll only get worse, and then we can take Congress in 2022. If Sanders wins, 2022 will be all about gridlock and failure and the mid-terms will be a massacre.

  28. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    At this point I’m not sure the long-term outcome isn’t improved if Trump wins. He’ll only get worse, and then we can take Congress in 2022.

    …with a right-winger in RBG’s seat for the next several decades.

    8
  29. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Clearly, I haven’t a clue what the american electorate wants.

    I may as well make some popcorn and enjoy the ride. Someone else will need to pick up the pieces, long after us.

    2
  30. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: Thomas is no spring chicken.

    I find it darkly amusing that in an election where the primary issue for so many Americans is health care, it may all hinge on the health of a bunch of septuagenarians.

    The life expectancies of Trump, Biden, Bloomberg, Bernie, Warren, RGB and Thomas are really not that long, and the death of any of them could reshape the race, either directly or by tossing the Supreme Court into play at a moment when Americans are paying attention.

    What are the odds they all live until November? Each has a good chance on their own, but that’s a lot of independent probabilities for the bunch.

  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    I don’t see a good outcome in the cards, do you? RBG bet on a future Dem. being able to replace her with a true blue liberal, something she didn’t think Obama could pull off. Now we’re likely to get ‘Judge’ Jeanine Pirro.

  32. EddieInCA says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Clearly, I haven’t a clue what the american electorate wants.

    I may as well make some popcorn and enjoy the ride. Someone else will need to pick up the pieces, long after us.

    This is where I find myself. I’ll vote against Trump. Full Stop. But I’m not fretting either way any more. What’s gonna happen is gonna happen.

    2
  33. Mikey says:

    A 79-year-old with a dodgy ticker, no coattails, and a personality cult that rivals Trump’s, who has given himself the single least appealing political label in American politics and has spent decades not officially joining the party he wants the nomination of…what could go wrong?

    12
  34. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’ve been toying around with an idea that I don’t like — we might need an “unelectable” candidate to completely change the board, otherwise we will just continue to lose ground year after year.

    Not your “We might be better off if Trump wins”, but “Sanders might force a realignment of the parties, and give us the big win we need for long term success.” I’m still on board with Warren, but if it came down to Bloomberg or Biden and Sanders, I don’t know who I would choose.

    1
  35. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    Thomas is no spring chicken.

    And I could easily see him choosing to retire in a second Trump term, because, as is so often the case with Republicans vs. Democrats, he has a better understanding than RBG of how the political game is played.

    So we end up with a 6-3 Republican-appointed Court, the majority selected by presidents who lost the popular vote, with the three remaining Dems having a much higher average age than the rest.

    4
  36. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Wow. You’re already so tired of whining about Bernie you’re already whining about the mid-terms?

    We get it. You and Eddie and some of the others don’t approve. You know better and you see doom.

    We’ve heard it. We’ve read the same messages day after day after day.

    What is it helping? How is it even making for a more interesting conversation?

    I know you believe you’re right and there’s no way you’re wrong. But can’t you come up with something new to say or just, you know, put a sock in it? “We’re doomed and you’re all too stupid to see it and I’m the only one who knows besides the entire Democratic establishment and Wall Street” gets old pretty fast.

    6
  37. Gustopher says:

    @Hal_10000: Bernie wants to ban fracking. That makes PA a very hard state for him.

    And yet, the polling says otherwise.

    It’s an avenue for attack, but I don’t think there are people who would vote for the socialist but for his opposition to fracking. Are there single-issue fracking voters? No, not really, so this would have to be tied into a larger narrative — “Bernie is bad for jobs” or something.

    He’s an economic populist who talks/shouts about how things are stacked against the middle class. His message already has a lot of “we don’t need jobs, we need good jobs that pay good wages, with good benefits, and maybe some peanuts in the break room. Honey roasted, if you want to get fancy…”

  38. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I listed 10 points. Which do you think is wrong?

    I didn’t just discover Congress, unlike so many Bernie supporters. I didn’t just discover the existence of conservative Democratic Senators like Joe Manchin. Absent control of the House (not a sure thing by any means) Bernie’s agenda doesn’t even get to the Senate. If we keep the House, absent a super majority in the Senate, his agenda dies.

    Can you paint a realistic picture of a Congress able or willing to pass a huge tax increase plus free college plus M4A and the Green New Deal? Can you show me the Senate seats we’re going to take to get M4A passed? Can you make the case that we’ll get to 60? No, you can’t. So, then what? Two years of Bernie railing against billionaires as the inevitable recession arrives, followed by losses in 2022?

    I’m sorry you find it dull. I’m just trying to see what’s there. I’m not pulling for anyone, I don’t think there’s going to be an alternative, I think Bernie’s going to take this. I’ll vote for him. I’ll send him money. I hope he wins. But hope isn’t analysis.

    3
  39. @Michael Reynolds: I tend to agree with your legislative assessment. I do, however, think there is a real chance that if the Dems win the Senate that the filibuster may be rmoved, making the 60 vote issue moot.

    4
  40. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher: Poll taken last month on banning fracking, among registered voters in PA: 48% for, 39% against.

  41. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Sanders has proposed not eliminating the filibuster outright, but using reconciliation to get around it, and having the vp ignore the recommendations of the Senate parliamentarian (similar to something Ted Cruz and Rand Paul proposed in 2017).

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/4/11/18306132/bernie-sanders-filibuster-budget-reconciliation-medicare-60-votes

  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Will Joe Manchin vote to eliminate the filibuster? Will Tester?

    2
  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher:

    Latinos in Florida come in two flavors — Cubans, who have always trended Republican, and everyone else, who have always trended Democrat.

    I’ve seen some coverage saying the kids and grandkids of the Cubans aren’t as solidly R, but I don’t recall seeing any numbers. Also, a lot of Puerto Ricans have come to FL, but again, I don’t see numbers.

    But on Cuban v Mexican descended latinos, there was a book 40 years ago called The Nine Nations of North America. The author divided North America into nine “nations” based on culture and economics. Parts of the states on the southern border were in, IIRC, “Mexamerica”, but SE Florida, reflecting the cultural slit, was in “The Islands”, which included the Caribbean and Central America, with Miami as the capital. The book seems to have stood up well over the years. It predates politics polarizing so starkly on culture, but I think if I looked at a red/blue map, “Dixie”, and the non-Canadian parts of “Breadbasket”, and “Empty Quarter” would match, at least roughly, with red.

  44. @Kylopod: But it won’t be up to the president. It will be up to the Senate.

    @Michael Reynolds: Note I said “real chance” and not “will happen.”

  45. @gVOR08:

    I’ve seen some coverage saying the kids and grandkids of the Cubans aren’t as solidly R, but I don’t recall seeing any numbers.

    I do not have any number handy, but it is my recollection that this is correct–that by the third generation the partisan allegiance is no longer firmly R.

    Moreover, the Cuba issue is simply not as salient as it was even a decade ago.

  46. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08: I think there are a bunch of books with that theme. I read a 10 year old one with 11 nations, and America has made a lot more sense.

    Not because I think that the author(s) got their 11 nations exactly right, but because it got me thinking about those cleavages more than just rural vs urban, America vs. slave states.

    1
  47. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher: One thing that struck me was that it made sense of cities like Indianapolis and Denver. OK, Indy’s the state capital, but Springfield IL is a podunk. Now Indy’s a transport hub, but that followed the city. Why is this major city rising up out of nothing but cornfields? Sits at the border of Foundry, Dixie, and Breadbasket. Made it’s living as a border town trading and providing financial services.

  48. An Interested Party says:

    …with a right-winger in RBG’s seat for the next several decades.

    Which will put even more pressure on the Democrats to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court when they have the chance to do so…and for anyone who wants to question the legitimacy of doing that, all that needs to be mentioned is the name of Merrick Garland…

    3
  49. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: There’s a number floating around that fracking accounts for 250,000 jobs in PA. You frequently see numbers like ‘the auto industry supports x million jobs’ or ‘finance creates y million jobs’. If you added them all up, we’d all have like five jobs. Apparently the real number for fracking in PA is more like 30,000. Nice, but hardly make or break in a state like PA. Oil and gas simply are not labor intensive industries.

    Now, if we look at the eventual environmental cleanup jobs and the medical caregivers needed for those affected by the pollution from producing and burning the gas, we could probably bump up the job total quite a bit.

    2
  50. Teve says:

    Polls only tell you part of the picture, there’s also intensity. If polls told the whole story we’d have moderate gun regulations by now. But the minority who are opposed to it are Ride or Die.

    1
  51. Gustopher says:

    Covid-19 death rates by age.

    80+ years old … 14.8%
    70-79 years old … 8.0%
    60-69 years old … 3.6%
    50-59 years old … 1.3%
    40-49 years old … 0.4%
    30-39 years old … 0.2%
    20-29 years old … 0.2%
    10-19 years old … 0.2%
    0-9 years old … no fatalities

    I think this could reshape the electorate. And the candidate field. And support for M4A.

    It also appears to kill more men than women.

    If a pandemic shifts one of the most important industrial economies from the party of climate change denial to supporting efforts to halt climate change… go pandemic?

    I just hope it gets here before my 50th birthday. I don’t want my odds of death to triple.

    1
  52. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    Wait, this only has a 3.6% chance of killing me? Take-out food has a better chance. Sport+ mode has a better chance.

    By 65 your body is an aging building, the plumbing’s fucked, the electricity is intermittent, the elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor, when you tug on the shade it doesn’t always curl up, sometimes you need to pause and catch your breath on the stair landing, the cable only shows Lifetime, how many dumb sexual references do you think I can keep generating?

    Where was I? Oh, right, 3.6%. I mean, seriously. How big a wimp do you have to be to be scared of 3.6%? I live in LA, I don’t exercise, I drive too fast, I drink too much and I love me some barbecue. Life is too short to worry about how short life is.

    2
  53. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “I listed 10 points. Which do you think is wrong?”

    Yes, you listed the conventional wisdom, just as if it came from the mouth of Chris Matthews.

    I’m not arrogant enough to pretend to know if your predictions are right or wrong. I’m just a little tired of the doom-saying from people who insist that things will remain exactly as they are at this very minute for the next nine months.

    We all know what the challenges are. You have apparently decided that Sanders and his voters are too stupid to be aware, and to contemplate dealing with them.

  54. Polimom says:

    @gVOR08:

    Apparently the real number for fracking in PA is more like 30,000. Nice, but hardly make or break in a state like PA. Oil and gas simply are not labor intensive industries.”

    Except using labor intensity as a measure of fracking’s impact on the PA economy is extremely myopic. The infusion of money into the region has been enormous. Infrastructure repairs and building, school improvements, road pavings…. sometimes by the energy company right out of the gate so they can access the pads.

    One can drive across a township line out there and know instantly if royalty payments are coming in. It’s that dramatic a change. Do you really think folks there will rush to shut that off?

  55. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I’;m sorry, I thought we talked politics, here. This..

    Yes, you listed the conventional wisdom, just as if it came from the mouth of Chris Matthews.

    …is just a facile and inapt Twitter burn.

    You support a man who has no ability to deliver anything he’s promised. And you’re angry when I point that out. Your objection is not to the accuracy or inaccuracy of my analysis, but to my lack of faith in your chosen leader. I could counter with my own Twitter-ready burn by asking what we’re supposed to call the Bernie Cult? #Cult46 (aspirational?)

  56. DrDaveT says:

    Mike Bloomberg, quite reasonably, is arguing that all the moderates but one should drop out to give that faction a fighting chance of defeating Sanders.

    My thought was similar — namely, that all the Democrats but one should drop out, leaving one to offer a D alternative to Bernie or Bloomie.

  57. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “You support a man who has no ability to deliver anything he’s promised. And you’re angry when I point that out. Your objection is not to the accuracy or inaccuracy of my analysis, but to my lack of faith in your chosen leader.”

    You misunderstand. He’s not my “chosen leader.” I’m for Warren all the way, and have mixed feelings about Sanders (although I prefer him to Biden). So far, however, he does seem to be the voters’ chosen leader, and if that’s going to happen then I’m going to rally behind him as I would any Democrat who won the nomination. I’m not going to sit around wagging my finger at people and saying “oh, you made a terrible mistake.”

    You can call the “cult” whatever you want, but if you’re smart you’ll call them “my fellow Americans and fellow Democrats.” If Bernie is going to be the guy — and my state doesn’t vote until the end of April, so I don’t have any choice in the matter — then he will be my guy. And instead of saying “ooh, look, he’s scaring the moderates” I’d rather hear smart Dems saying “hey, moderates, let’s look past the labels and the Republican spin and hear what he’s really saying.”

    I don’t want a war, I want a winner. And if the candidate chosen isn’t the one who looks like he has an easy road to victory, then let’s build that road instead of moaning that some other candidate would have been easier.

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  58. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I have said from Day 1 I will support any Democrat. If Bernie is the guy I’ll vote for him, Tweet for him and send him money. As I’m a Californian there’s not much point organizing locally, but last election I went to Vegas and canvassed neighborhoods there. If I can make it work schedule-wise, I’ll do the same wherever I can help.

    But all of the above would be much easier if Bernie wasn’t talking absolute rot. What did we Boomers do after McGovern got his ass kicked? We grew cynical and went off to get jobs on Wall Street and buy McMansions. Who was the next Democrat elected POTUS? Conservative Southern Democrat, Jimmy Carter. And then, Bill Clinton. Where did all that McGovern enthusiasm go? Right where all the Bernie enthusiasm will go – into cynicism and indifference.

    The country is not interested in a socialist revolution led by a guy who rants about locking up oil executives (for what crimes, exactly?). Open borders, no fracking, no nukes, free college, free health care, free day care, free free free, all paid for by a massive tax increase passed by what, a tie-breaking vote from our new V-POTUS in a 50/50 Senate that’s eliminated filibuster?

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  59. charon says:

    @DrDaveT:

    My thought was similar — namely, that all the Democrats but one should drop out, leaving one to offer a D alternative to Bernie or Bloomie.

    Or two can stay in to combine delegates and get over 50%.

    Or, maybe, someone wins on a second ballot.