Super Tuesday Forecast

If the current polls are right, the race will be all but over in five days.

FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich looks ahead to the huge swath of votes up for grabs next Tuesday.

South Carolina has yet to vote, but there’s an even bigger prize lurking right around the corner. On March 3 — Super Tuesday — roughly one-third of Democrats nationwide will weigh in on the 2020 presidential race as 15 states and territories1 cast their ballots. We last checked in on who led polls of Super Tuesday states back in December; suffice it to say that things have changed. According to our primary forecast,2 Sen. Bernie Sanders is now favored to win a majority of Super Tuesday contests. But many of these races are still relatively wide open.

As Steven Taylor explained after both Iowa and New Hampshire, “win” is a concept with no meaning in the Democratic nominating process. While there can be a huge impact on the narrative of the campaign based on media and candidate declaration of wins, all that matters in the end is the amassing of pledged delegates.

Still, the forecast is interesting in this regard:

That Sanders is favored to beat Warren in her “home” state of Massachusetts and is tied with Klobuchar in her home state of Minnesota is rather stunning. And it would be amusing, indeed, if Klobuchar failed to carry her home state after staking her entire candidacy on her proven ability to win in the Midwest.

Rakich has a long analysis of the state-by-state odds and what it could mean for the candidates. But you can see the numbers for yourself.

But, again, it’s delegates that ultimately matter most.

But Super Tuesday isn’t only about wins. For the first time this year, a substantial number of pledged delegates will be at stake — 1,357 of them. And because Democrats allocate delegates in proportion with each candidate’s share of the vote, non-Sanders candidates can rack up plenty of delegates with strong second- or third-place showings. Here is the average number of delegates our forecast thinks each candidate will net from Super Tuesday.

But Rakich is quick to caveat:

But these numbers could, and likely will, change. There is still just under a week before Super Tuesday — plenty of time for the race to shift, as we had a debate on Tuesday night and South Carolina votes on Saturday. And even small fluctuations in vote share can greatly affect the number of delegates each of these candidates gets. That’s because, in order to be eligible for any delegates from a state or district, a candidate must get at least 15 percent of the vote there, and many non-Sanders candidates are hovering right around 15 percent in many states. California is the perfect example. On average, we’re currently forecasting Biden to win 17 percent of the vote there statewide, Warren to win 14 percent of the vote, Bloomberg to win 13 percent of the vote and Buttigieg to win 10 percent of the vote. And because California is worth so many delegates, who gets 15 percent is really important! If those numbers turn out to be exactly right, only Biden and Sanders (whom we are forecasting to get 34 percent of the vote) would get a share of California’s 144 statewide delegates.3 However, even a minor deviation from our forecast (which would not be surprising at all) would be enough to scramble the picture, which is why, in the average FiveThirtyEight model run, Warren, Bloomberg and Buttigieg still get a fair number of delegates.4 That average is drawn from simulations where they get far more delegates, as well as ones where they get barely any.

Basically, anyone who is consistently topping 15 percent on Super Tuesday should get enough delegates out of the day to keep them in the race — even if they win few (or zero) states outright. How good the night truly is for Sanders actually probably rests more on the performance of the other candidates. If several collect hundreds of delegates, it could set us on a collision course for a contested convention. But on the other hand, if the non-Sanders vote is diffused among enough other candidates, it is also possible that Sanders is the only candidate who consistently clears 15 percent everywhere. In that case, Sanders could grab the lion’s share of Super Tuesday delegates — thus putting himself in a dominating position to claim the nomination.

The debate had already taken place when the calculations were done but its impact, if any, certainly hasn’t been factored in.

And, yes, South Carolina will be crucial for Joe Biden—he’ll either get a big momentum shift from a solid “win” there or be toast if he comes in second place or lower. Indeed, I would think he would drop out before Tuesday if that happens.

Four years ago today, I was torn between John Kasich and Marco Rubio. I strongly preferred the former but thought the latter had a better chance of emerging as the non-Trump option. Ultimately, I voted to signal my support for the best candidate rather than vote strategically.

I’m in a similar situation today, although with a less stark choice. I’m ultimately fine with any of the non-Sanders choices but have reservations about all of them. I’d prefer Biden or Buttigieg, followed by Bloomberg, Warren, and Klobuchar. But Buttigieg looks to have no shot at all at the nomination. That means I’ll likely vote for Biden if he wins South Carolina and Bloomberg otherwise.

FILED UNDER: 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. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    …the race will be all but over in five days.

    If this is correct…and Sander’s is the presumptive nominee…then the Presidential Race is also over.
    Trump will remain in the White House, McConnell will remain the Senate Leader, and Dems will likely lose the House.
    Barr will remain the AG.
    Trump will get more Kavanaugh’s on the Supreme Court.
    Watch carefully…you are all witnesses to the end of America.

    10
  2. Kathy says:

    I do understand the purpose of forecasts, but, really, what can one do about the projected result?

    So I’ll quote Harry Turtledove: “That’s why they have the election. To see who wins.”

    I should also recommend a classic story by Asimov related to this topic: Franchise.

    IMO, Asimov did a great job slowly revealing what a voter is in the world of the story, and how the preferences of the people are implemented. If you do read it, look near the end for this question: “Who was elected?”

    1
  3. charon says:

    Bear in mind:

    A) Sanders share of delegates is greater than his vote share because of candidates getting votes but not reaching 15%.

    B) If the field winnows after March 3 that will, therefore, hurt Sanders subsequently.

    C) Sanders does well with Mexican-Americans, not so well with other Latinx. California and Texas are both March 3 states.

    3
  4. charon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Well aren’t you a ray of sunshine? Maybe a Sanders candidacy would not be anywhere near that catastrophic.

    In any case, a lot can happen over the rest of the year, and Trump is becoming more incoherant by the day.

    7
  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    @charon:
    Right, Trump could have a heart attack. But then again, so could Bernie. We’re betting the country’s future on a heart valve.

    7
  6. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: I have slightly more optimism for a successfully Bernie campaign against trump than for a successful Bernie presidency.

    Only 7 bills in over 30 years as a Senator. 4 were in his first term. 3 were of the name-the-post-office variety.

    Barney Frank, who actually had to work with Bernie on regional issues:

    “Bernie alienates his natural allies,” Frank said. “His holier-than-thou attitude—saying in a very loud voice he is smarter than everyone else and purer than everyone else—really undercuts his effectiveness.”

    When both Frank and Sanders were members of the Banking Committee, Frank said to The Washington Post in July 1991 that Sanders was not effective from within the committee, and suggested that Sanders didn’t want to be.

    “But maybe that’s not his goal,” says Frank. “There are some people who seek to have a major effect inside, and others who opt to use the place as a platform.”

    10
  7. Moosebreath says:

    This 538 article has interesting simulations for how the race looks after Super Tuesday based on how South Carolina turns out. The “if Biden wins by 10+%” path has him about 150 delegates behind Bernie after Super Tuesday, with Klobuchar and Buttigieg likely to drop out. If so, the race would be far from over.

    On the other hand, if Sanders wins South Carolina, the simulations truly have the race over.

    3
  8. charon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Right, Trump could have a heart attack.

    Or, he really could be demented and progress to a point that some people will notice. The MAGA hats and GOP pols will not care or, perhaps, know within their Fox bubble, but they are not the entire universe of voters.

    Or, there could be real world events that have some effect.

    James;

    Are you accepting Bernie’s framing that all he needs to win is a plurality not a majority?

    The other candidates seem to think that if his plurality is only, say, 35% that would not be so.

    1
  9. Scott says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “But maybe that’s not his goal,” says Frank. “There are some people who seek to have a major effect inside, and others who opt to use the place as a platform.”

    It’s the difference between a workhorse and a showhorse.

    3
  10. wr says:

    Nice to see that all the people who just a month ago were chiding “don’t form a circular firing squad” have all picked up their rifles and are planning to start firing.

    12
  11. Jen says:

    I’m not ready to psychologically throw in the towel yet, but this is distressing to read. The age factor bothers me, as does Sanders’ unwillingness to play well with others.

    If he’s indeed the nominee, his choice of running mate is going to matter a great deal to me.

    2
  12. Gustopher says:

    It looks like it’s going to become a three man race after Super Tuesday, with Sanders not having won with a majority of votes in most (if not all) states, nor having a majority of the delegates.

    I think it’s an entirely different race on Wednesday.

  13. gVOR08 says:

    – I’ve not favored Bernie. It’s not over ideology, the country desperately needs a good dose of Democratic Socialism. I don’t see Bernie as being an effective executive.
    – Nonetheless, he’d be orders of magnitude better than Trump.
    – And Pelosi, or a successor (gawd she’s gotta be tired of carrying this load), will set the legislative agenda.
    – The Rs are going to paint the D nominee, even Bloomberg, as a socialist, even a communist. I’m not sure actually being a democratic socialist is going to make much difference.
    – I worry about the general with Bernie as the nominee. My feeling is that as the Rs have chosen to abandon the middle Ds should occupy it. But since 2016 I haven’t felt much confidence in my own, or anyone else’s, ability to read the electorate. The old (since maybe the 60s) Left/Right mirror may not be the way to look at this. I don’t think the few real Independents, or loosely attached “Independents” look at it that way.
    – The supposedly liberal, corporate owned, MSM will look at it as L-R.
    – The establishment, D, R, and MSM are unable to comprehend the anti-establishment mood of the country that benefited Trump.
    – Bernie can profit from the anti-establishment mood. He doesn’t even have to lie like Trump does.
    – Trump won not by virtue of his populist lies or his genuine racism, he won because the fundamentals favored an R, he had an R (freshly) attached to his name, and all the Rs turned out and voted R. Ds didn’t turn out.
    – Partisans are driven more by negative partisanship, voting against the other guy rather than for their guy. And Trump is doing one fine job of driving negative partisanship. And D turnout.
    – In my primary I will vote for whoever appears to have the best shot against Bernie, even fwcking Bloomberg. But if Bernie looks to be the nominee, I’ll become a Bernie Bro, minus the attitude. (I expect some would say I already have enough attitude.)
    – So if Bernie wins Super Tuesday and continues to win and shows up at the convention with a clear plurality, I expect all good establishment Ds to get on a Bernie Bandwagon.
    – And while OTB will remain a place we discuss our unfiltered thoughts, if Bernie is the nominee I expect everyone here, including James and Doug, but excepting the trolls, to donate to Bernie and to work for Bernie. Keep the alternative in mind.
    – Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    11
  14. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We’re betting the country’s future on a heart valve.

    And a VP. Trump has Mike Dense. Choose well, Bernie.

    6
  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    Oh, please, if anyone’s attacking fellow Dems it’s the Bernie Bros. They’ve been at it for four years, pushing their narrative of victimization and bullying anyone who dares disagree with their Old Testament Prophet. Bernie’s been given a pass.

    Have you seen the numbers on his plans? He’ll need to double net taxation. Double. And increase the size of government by 80%. He’s out of his fcking mind.

    11
  16. E says:

    @charon:

    Maybe a Sanders candidacy would not be anywhere near that catastrophic.

    Right…because the right-wing noise machine won’t even think about smearing an avowed socialist…24/7. And it will be beneficial for Democrats to spend the next 9 months explaining that life in Socialist Denmark isn’t so bad. Oh…and that heart issue…it’s no big deal, but yes we still want to see Trump’s taxes.
    Sanders is the death knell for this country, because it will bring us 4 more years of the worst President we have ever seen…4 years in which Trump will be unchecked by anything or anyone in his efforts to fundamentally change this Country.

  17. James Joyner says:

    @Moosebreath: @Gustopher: It could well become a three-way race by March 3. But by that point it will be impossible for anyone to overtake Bernie—there just aren’t enough delegates left to allocate after Super Tuesday and he’ll continue to amass large quantities of them even if the “moderate vote” —to the extent it actually exists—consolidates.

    And I’d think a chunk of Warren voters will vote for Bernie.

  18. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Things that can’t happen somehow seem to not happen. Trumpsky said he’d built a 900 mile concrete wall. You campaign on aspiration. You don’t start with your final offer.

    5
  19. Moosebreath says:

    @James Joyner:

    The 538 article I cited disagrees with you. Their conclusion on the situation after Super Tuesday if Biden wins big:

    “What’s more, the rest of the March calendar contains a lot of states that look pretty decent for Biden (Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi) or at least highly competitive between he and Sanders (Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Arizona). You’d still probably rather be Sanders than Biden. But it would turn the nomination into a highly competitive race.”

  20. Kit says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’ve not favored Bernie. It’s not over ideology, the country desperately needs a good dose of Democratic Socialism. I don’t see Bernie as being an effective executive.

    I don’t see any Democratic presidential nominee taking office with a Senate majority, so any initiative requiring major legislation will not happen. In fact, given the nature of the Senate, we might never see major Democratic legislation ever again. Future presidents have one BIG stick to wield, and as we’ve just seen, they are now basically untouchable. So who dares swing that stick? Bernie and Bloomberg stand out, at least in my mind.

    3
  21. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Am I in moderation or sumptin’?

  22. Kit says:

    @Moosebreath:

    What’s more, the rest of the March calendar contains a lot of states that look pretty decent for Biden (Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi)

    To what extent should Democrats care about a candidate who polls very well in states that will inevitably vote Red in November?

    3
  23. Scott F. says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    This doom and gloom is unwarranted for a Sanders candidacy. Or any Democratic option’s candidacy for that matter. The polls show all of them doing well against Trump in a head to head.

    Trump’s unpopularity during a good economy is unprecedented, he won on an inside straight in 2016 and has done nothing to expand his coalition since then, and he’s so confident of victory you just know he’s going to screw up somewhere bigly. Or as charon notes, he may not find it possible to hide his physical/mental fragility through the campaign and maybe some Trumpkins won’t want to elect someone with dementia to control a nuclear arsenal.

    If the Republicans win in 2020, it will be due to Republican skullduggery and Russian interference. I also have little faith that Trump would concede if his defeat isn’t profound. But, this election isn’t going to hinge on the relative strength of the Democratic candidate or the formidable strength of Trump as a popular and successful incumbent.

    4
  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Kit: I’ve commented that maybe having the initial trials in Iowa and NH, places whiter than the country, isn’t an entirely bad idea if the goal of the primaries is to pick a candidate for the general.

    However, speaking of goal of the primaries is a non sequitur. They weren’t designed to any purpose, they just grew.

    3
  25. Scott F. says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I have slightly more optimism for a successfully Bernie campaign against trump than for a successful Bernie presidency.

    I with you on this.

    The whole of the argument for both Sanders and his supporters is this idea of a mass movement that will somehow drive change from outside the system – this so-called Revolution. “The People will have risen up to demand change for the People!” But, if the Movement isn’t overwhelmingly capturing the electorate of the party that is essentially sympathetic to their call for a new order (as it would appear from the campaign so far), how the hell will this Movement overcome an opposition party that has willingly embraced authoritarianism? If Sanders’ list of legislative accomplishments is so meager and his movement refuses to see that the system will have to be used to change the system, then what’s going to happen exactly?

    I’m reminded of Southpark’s Underpants Gnomes’ plan: Phase 1: Collect underpants; Phase 2: ???; Phase 3: Profit. Except this time it’s: Phase 1: Build a movement to sweep a Democratic Socialist into the Presidency; Phase 2: ???; Phase 3: A government we have always wanted and deserved.

    7
  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Scott F.:

    The polls show all of them doing well against Trump in a head to head.

    Those polls are meaningless.
    If you think a bunch of people in Michigan or Wisconsin or Ohio or western PA or Florida are going to get out and vote for a Socialist…well good for you.
    Trump and his Russian friends will smear Sanders to no end.
    Trump will destroy that doddering fool on the debate stage.
    Seriously…it will be pathetic.
    Sanders is just a different McGovern, waiting to happen.

    9
  27. just nutha says:

    @wr: Did you really expect anything else? Remember the adage about falling in love/in line.

    1
  28. Moosebreath says:

    @Kit:

    “To what extent should Democrats care about a candidate who polls very well in states that will inevitably vote Red in November?”

    Umm, you do realize that we are talking about choosing delegates to the Convention? You know, the one which will decide who the nominee is? Are you planning to say Trump is going to win your state anyway, so you don’t get to vote at the Convention?

    2
  29. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Oh, please, if anyone’s attacking fellow Dems it’s the Bernie Bros”

    I haven’t seen a lot of Bernie Bros around here. I just see message after message screaming that we’re dooooooomed or that saying Bernie Hearts Castro is a guaranteed winning message or Bernie is the most awful human being on earth.

    I haven’t seen Bernie Bros in the New York Times planning to undo the primaries at the convention, certain that all they have to to do is slip in Chris Coons and he’ll be nominated by acclimation.

    You have been posting nothing but attacks on Bernie for weeks. Of course that’s your right and your privilege. But spare us the “oh, I’m not trashing a Democrat — Bernie Bros do that.”

    7
  30. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Have you seen the numbers on his plans?”

    Hmm, ever see the numbers on any Republican plan? Of course not. Slashing taxes on the rich while expanding military spending is free, and that’s why only Democrats are supposed to account for the potential costs of their plans.

    Remember, kids, you can play just like the Republicans with this one easy mantra — Transferring money from the poor to the rich — it’s free! Transferring money from the rich to the poor — it’s far too expensive to even talk about!

    6
  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:
    That is absolutely not how political negotiation – or any negotiation – works. If your opening bid is ‘I need to double net taxation,’ which is what Bernie would need, you’re done. No one is going to negotiate with you because you’re obviously a crazy person.

    Hi, Mr. Car Dealer, you say the car costs $50,000, I want it for five dollars.

    Dear wife, my opening position is that I’d like to add a pair of hot Swedish twins to our relationship. Let’s negotiate from that starting point.

    Negotiation does not begin with maximalist demands, it begins with finding the outer limit of what’s do-able and starting there. Starting with ‘I need to increase the size of government by 80%’ is not an opening bid, it’s a sign you’re dealing with a nut.

    I’ve done some negotiating and I didn’t demand 10 million a book, I demanded the limit of what they could possibly say ‘yes’ to. You know how many times I’ve gotten my ask? 100%. I have been consistently overpaid – one of the reasons I’m not exactly beloved by my colleagues in the business. I ask, but I don’t fantasize. Had I gone at negotiation the way Bernie thinks he’s going to do it, I’d be behind the counter pulling espressos at Starbucks.

    7
  32. wr says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: “Sanders is just a different McGovern, waiting to happen.”

    Vote blue no matter who — except, you know, unless the nominee is anyone but my favorite.

    9
  33. charon says:

    @wr:

    Some people here are so anti-Bernie they would vote Bloomberg over him. That isn’t me, I am even more anti-Bloomberg.

    Martin Longman at Political Animal (Washington Monthly):

    https://progresspond.com/2020/02/27/the-arrogance-of-michael-bloomberg/

    An excerpt:

    Bloomberg has a good record on two major issues that are of major concern to the left: gun violence and climate change. As for the rest, he’s about the worst fit for the left that can be imagined. On the economic front, he sees Social Security as a Ponzi scheme and thinks a wealth tax would be unconstitutional. On the cultural front, the stop and frisk policy he championed as the mayor of New York was exactly the kind of thing that #BlackLivesMatter rails against, and his record with women makes him a prime target of the #MeToo movement.

    It’s hard to exaggerate what an affront it is to ask women who are sickened by Trump to support Bloomberg, or to the ask the same of folks who have been fighting to end police brutality against minority communities. To see how offensive Bloomberg is to the economic populists, just look at the visceral reaction to him we saw from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the Nevada and South Carolina debates.

    Yet, Bloomberg somehow thinks he’s a good fit for this party and this time. Any objective observer would disabuse him of that notion, but he believes he can just overcome dissent with money. I don’t know what offends me the most, the idea that his ambition should cancel out the values of the Democratic Party or the idea that people are so suggestible that paid advertising can cause them to abandon their principles.

    To me, Bloomie is a spoiler who is helping Sanders immensely by taking votes from the real Democrats.

    And, BTW, we really don’t know if Bloomberg might have even worse negative coattails than Bernie, which I suspect.

    4
  34. Lounsbury says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: yes, you are spot on. But don’t be so bloody melodramatic. It is not the End of America, it’s a nasty hit that will take time to recover from, and will require heavy reforms, but it’s not the end of the world… or America.

    However, it is stunning to see the bloody Democrats blundering into the same idiocy as Labour. Activists, bloody activists.

    2
  35. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    You’re arguing with reality. The counter to ‘those are insane numbers’ is not, ‘oh yeah, how about someone else’s insane numbers?’ You’re yelling, ‘squirrel!’ rather than face reality.

    If you think Bernie Sanders is going to win by promising an 80% enlargement of government and massive tax increases to pay for free medical and free college for undocumented workers – and that’s the attack ad – you’re getting some awfully good pot.

    46 Senators after Jones loses. We need four pick-ups and every one of the Dems in the flippable races opposes M4A. Plus Joe Manchin. Democratic candidates will be begging Sanders not to come to their states.

    So rather than get pissed off at reality, why don’t you show your work. Show us how this is not just fantasy. Tell us what Bernie says when the attack ads start and the rest of the country goes, ‘Holy fuck, that’s what he wants to do?’

    5
  36. Scott F. says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’m not arguing FOR a Sanders nomination, I’m arguing AGAINST Democratic defeatism.

    Trump has been an awful president and his approval numbers have been underwater the entirety of his term. He won in 2016, in part, due to complacency among Democrats and Independents – Clinton was sure to win and Trump couldn’t be all that bad. Both of these ideas has been thoroughly disproven. Trump is vulnerable.

    Yes, the primaries and convention need to play out and Democrats should at least try to field their best candidate (in my opinion that’s Warren). But, then all Democrats need to put on their Any Blue will Do gear and go to war.

    7
  37. Michael Reynolds says:

    @charon:
    I agree Bloomberg’s coattails might be just as toxic as Bernie’s, but he has money to spend to support other Dems and Bernie doesn’t and won’t. Which is why we need a brokered convention. This primary season has been horrible. We’ve tossed out any candidate with a realistic agenda and a capacity to the job, and now we’re down to a socialist nut, a clueless billionaire and the ghost of Bidens past.

    The rumor out here in LaLa Land is that Bob Iger may want the job.

    4
  38. gVOR08 says:

    @charon: You are correct in everything you say and quote. Bloomberg would be OK on climate (which counts for a lot, actually). He’d be bad on economic inequality. I’m not at all sure I’d trust him to halt our slide into autarchy. But if he’s able to buy the nomination I’ll work for him, I’ll vote for him, I’d even donate money to him. Any D, even a pretend D, is better than a Trump second term.

    7
  39. teve says:

    @Scott F.: WARREN 2020!

    2
  40. An Interested Party says:

    You have been posting nothing but attacks on Bernie for weeks. Of course that’s your right and your privilege. But spare us the “oh, I’m not trashing a Democrat — Bernie Bros do that.”

    Funny you should type that, as Bernie isn’t even a Democrat…

    4
  41. charon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Which is why we need a brokered convention.

    The math makes it very unlikely anyone not named Sanders can come close to 1991 pledged delegates. It is, thus, a priority to hold down Bernie’s delegate numbers.

  42. Modulo Myself says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Look, even the libertarians at Mercatus think that Bernie’s plan works. What did their study show? It costs 32 trillion but overall saves the economy 2 trillion.

    It’s like the moon shot, but everybody has gone to the moon except America and the American aerospace industrial complex is cool with failure and telling the rubes that it’s impossible as they rake in cash for their top-notch rokets.

    4
  43. Michael Reynolds says:

    @charon:
    I completely agree. A plurality won’t do it, he’d need a majority or at least to get into the 90% range. We need Warren to stay in, Klobuchar to get out. Beyond that I don’t know – Buttigieg is a much better candidate qua candidate than Biden, but the AA voters have a veto, and he’s gotten nowhere with them.

    I want a none-of-the-above convention. Go back to Kamala or Cory Booker or Stacy Abrams or one of the white guy governors like Inslee. Or, if we’re determined to have an octogenarian, Jerry Brown. The question is which will do more damage, the bullies and whiners of #Cult46(aspirational), or Bernie actually at the top of the ticket.

    3
  44. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Kit:

    To what extent should we pay attention to the voices of citizens who are inconveniently geographically distributed? I don’t know, a f*cking lot? As much as we listen to the voices of those who aren’t inconveniently distributed?

    How much should we back a candidate if his supporters don’t give a sh*t about people who don’t vote for them?

    (I recall the constant refrain from Sanders supporters in 2016 stating that Hillary’s wins were illegitimate because she won in the south, which is predominated by black people. You know, cuz why listen to their voices?)

    7
  45. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Robert Samuelson:

    To put these numbers in perspective, the CBO projects that, under existing laws, the federal government will spend $60.7 trillion over a decade. If Sanders’s program costs $50 trillion over the same period, the size of government would expand by roughly 80 percent. If all the spending were covered by deficits, the publicly held federal debt would rise from $16.8 trillion in 2019 to $66.8 trillion in 2030. If all the spending were covered by tax increases, the overall level of taxation would roughly double.
    []
    Even with some added tax revenue, there still would be a $25 trillion gap between Sanders’s spending plans and an equivalent amount of new tax revenue, says analyst Ben Ritz of the PPI. Federal spending would approach 40 percent of gross domestic product, up from about 20 percent now.

    Q: Mr. Sanders, you’ve called for decriminalizing illegal immigration. Would your free medical, free college, free daycare be available for undocumented immigrants?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Goodbye, Mr. Sanders.

    6
  46. Kit says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Umm, you do realize that we are talking about choosing delegates to the Convention?

    I did a bit of digging and it appears that you are 100% correct about that. Thanks. But my point was that it seems strange to hope that a weak candidate can stay in the race by dominating in states that award delegates in the primary but, historically, no electors in the general election.

  47. Michael Cain says:

    My interests are parochial and regional, focused on the West. It looks like the moderates are going to get crushed in the three western states on Super Tuesday, with Sanders coming first and Warren second. Or may already have been crushed, since Colorado and Utah are vote-by-mail and about 70-75% of California ballots cast in primaries are cast by mail (permanent no-excuse absentee ballot list).

  48. Michael Cain says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    No presidential policy proposal survives contact with Congress unscathed.

    3
  49. Michael Reynolds says:

    One more point for those pushing the idea that Bernie will be able to negotiate because he’s starting out with maximalist demands. You’re missing the point: Bernie can’t walk away, the Republicans can. Day 1 Mitch McConnell can say that the Sanders agenda is dead on arrival. But Bernie would still have to be president. So what’s Bernie’s next negotiating position? “Mitch, how about if my agenda is only 90% DOA? OK, 80%? 60%? 30%? Can we do fractions?”

    At what point in this Bernie alt reality does McConnell say, “OK, I said it was DOA but now I’ve changed my mind because…?” Because what? Why does McConnell ever give Bernie anything?

    Bernie Bros are acting more and more like Trumpies, refusing to deal with reality, refusing to show their work, raging at any and all opposition, demanding instant and unquestioning acceptance while threatening schism, ignoring anything inconvenient, playing both siderism.

    A 78 year old man who just had a heart attack won’t show us his medical records. There’s a simple number, the ejection fraction. Tell us your number, Bernie. Why don’t the Bernie Bros want that number? Same reason Trumpies don’t demand to see Trump’s tax returns – reality may conflict with faith.

    8
  50. Kit says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    To what extent should we pay attention to the voices of citizens who are inconveniently geographically distributed? I don’t know, a f*cking lot? As much as we listen to the voices of those who aren’t inconveniently distributed?

    So, given our current system, would you privilege gaining the maximum number of votes in the general election over actually winning the election? I’d love to have both and would support any movement that could make that happen. Not only is it the right thing to do morally, but I believe the country would be materially better off. But that’s not what we have. And I’d rather win than nominate a feel-good guy who loses to Trump. Unlike most others here, I don’t pretend to know how this will play out. But when I hear that Biden could find a path to the nomination through solidly red states, it raises a concern in my mind.

    And for the record, I’d have the same concern for anyone who crushes in solidly blue states while leaving battleground states cold.

  51. Michael Cain says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Exactly. My one question for the Dem candidates, which has not been asked, is “What are your specific plans for governing by rule and regulation in the executive branch, starting on day one?” As a point of reference, everything the Trump administration has accomplished — and there’s actually a lot — with the exception of the tax cut has been accomplished by rules and regulations.

    5
  52. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The question is which will do more damage, the bullies and whiners of #Cult46(aspirational), or Bernie actually at the top of the ticket.

    This is why it is important for Warren to stay in. At least some of Bernie’s movement will get behind another progressive with bona fides, but if the superdelegates were to give the nomination to Biden, they will all stay home.

    Though I can’t imagine how it could come about, going back to Kamala Harris would be an interesting turn I could get behind. I’m convinced that this election won’t be about policy. Trump is all about the emotional pitch (fear and loathing in his case) and Democrats won’t beat that with their plans. Rather, the election needs to be a fight for the soul of the nation. Warren with her consistent anti-corruption stance or Kamala with her prosecutorial prowess would be able to put the focus on Trump’s criminality. There is a swath of gettable Independents and Never-Trumpers who care enough about the American brand to be done with the Corrupter in Chief.

    5
  53. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    everybody has gone to the moon except America

    The French are a people. The Swedes are a people. The Danes are a people. The Brits are several peoples but were not at all diverse when the NHS came into existence during genuinely desperate times. Attempts at socialism in large, multi-ethnic, multi-confessional countries has required totalitarian government. See: USSR and PRC.

    Americans are not Swedes, we dislike each other by race, religion and location, just for starters. There is no community feeling between a redneck in Alabama and a vegan in San Francisco. Ask a vegan if he minds paying more in taxes to buy health care for a pork-munching goober in Tuscaloosa. He’ll tell you sure, but only during a transition during which the propaganda and coercive powers of government squeeze out all the BBQ.

    We do not work and play well with each other. We never have. In the middle of WW2, a genuine existential threat, white workers at defense plants went out on strike rather than accept black workers getting equal pay. That’s the United States.

    5
  54. just nutha says:

    @Michael Reynolds: None-of-the-above convention is an interesting idea. Also a good test for blue-no-matter-who.

    2
  55. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Kit:

    So, given our current system, would you privilege gaining the maximum number of votes in the general election over actually winning the election?

    No, of course not, which is why I’m leaning towards supporting Biden. There’s not a path to power that doesn’t run through purple and red states. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina (and to a lesser extent) Georgia, Texas and Ohio. Those are the states in play, the rest of have been decided. It matters that Biden is viewed favorably in red states because red states are the ones that have to be flipped. In some–Georgia, PA–there are conceivably big enough urban locations to overcome the rural population, but in reality it’s likely that any winning candidate is going to have to peel away voters who supported Trump in 2016. Barring that, a candidate has to at least not motivate disaffected Trump supporters who were considering sitting it out. Bitcofeur et. al. aside, there’s a good chance this race is decided by a razor thing margin, and every advantage is needed.

    But when I hear that Biden could find a path to the nomination through solidly red states, it raises a concern in my mind.

    I am not understanding your point. Are you saying that people who are pointing to Biden’s strength in, say, Idaho are banking on Idaho flipping? If so, I think you are mistaken. Biden (or any candidate’s) support in red states matter because:

    1. In southern red states, African Americans make up the majority of Dem voters. We need AA voters to come out in far greater numbers than they did in 2016. And yes, an African American voter in Mississippi may not matter, but an African American voter in North Carolina or Georgia very much might. We pay attention, on a macro level, to these voters concerns, and one of the better metrics we have for sussing out who may motivate them to come to the polls are primaries in southern states.

    And yes, I realize no demographic group is a monolith. Macro trends matter.

    2. If you have to peel away independents and Obama-Trump supporters in red and purple states, we should pay attention to which candidate has the best chance of accomplishing that. Voters in Missouri likely have a better grasp on how an Obama-Trump supporter may be viewing the race than voters in San Francisco.

    6
  56. Teve says:

    Vegans get an inordinate amount of attention, for being half of 1% of the population.

    1
  57. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Among the things you can’t do by executive action are essentially all of Bernie’s agenda. We can stop putting kids in cages. We can re-enter treaties – assuming the other party doesn’t insist on a whole new deal, which would be DOA. We can start listening to scientists again. We can rehire the professionals who’ve quit government in disgust and we can certainly pick better people to run agencies. But we can’t raise taxes or accomplish M4A or free everything for everyone all the time.

    I don’t think the American people want a progressive revolution. I think they want to take a nap knowing someone competent is in the White House. If Obama could run again he’d win walking away, but he was not a revolutionary wild man, he was a soothing, competent moderate.

    6
  58. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    You don’t live in LA. I think that whole 1% lives within ten miles of my house.

    2
  59. Michael Reynolds says:

    @just nutha:
    I rather like the (totally unrealistic) notion of Bob Iger as a man on a white horse. And this has nothing to do with my wife having a movie coming out with Disney. Also nothing to do with me pitching TV and movie ideas. But at the same time, the new guy, Chapek? He seems like a lovely, brilliant man. Ditto everyone at Netflix, Amazon, Apple. . . wonderful people all.

    2
  60. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I got no idea what Bernie can or can’t do. And the simple fact is, neither do you. Despite your fondness for tossing around the word “cult” for anyone who doesn’t agree with your doomsaying, he’s not my preferred candidate.

    But I am smart enough to know that whether or not he can win, if he’s the candidate the one guarantee that he will lose is if “smart” Democrats run around screaming that he’s a commie and he’s going to bankrupt the world.

    What good do you think you’re doing?

    4
  61. wr says:

    @Scott F.: “I’m not arguing FOR a Sanders nomination, I’m arguing AGAINST Democratic defeatism.”

    This, times one thousand.

    5
  62. wr says:

    @An Interested Party: “Funny you should type that, as Bernie isn’t even a Democrat…”

    Well, let’s all vote for Trump then. That’ll show those Bernie bros.

    1
  63. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I think what actually happens is that a large number of people are vegan for a while and then give it up, so at any given time it’s only half a percent, but the percentage of people who were vegan at some point is much higher.

  64. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “At what point in this Bernie alt reality does McConnell say, “OK, I said it was DOA but now I’ve changed my mind because…?” Because what? Why does McConnell ever give Bernie anything?”

    Whereas in Michael’s fantasy world, if any other Democratic president tried to pass something, McConnel would simply say “Yes, sir, may I have another?”

    You are becoming both hysterical and ridiculous. There are arguments for and against Bernie, but you’ve decided to dig in on the idea he’s satan, and that’s it.

    5
  65. Kit says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Thanks for that, Neil! Believe it or not, I tapped out a paragraph outlining a couple of different ways that one might meet my concerns, but I deleted it before posting. Basically, I wanted to ask if strength in North Carolina correlated with voter turn out in other states.

    In any case, you’ve given me food for thought. Thanks again.

    1
  66. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Americans are not Swedes, we dislike each other by race, religion and location, just for starters.”

    And now your loathing of Bernie has led you to start parroting right-wing arguments against health care. Good job!

    7
  67. An Interested Party says:

    But I am smart enough to know that whether or not he can win, if he’s the candidate the one guarantee that he will lose is if “smart” Democrats run around screaming that he’s a commie and he’s going to bankrupt the world.

    What good do you think you’re doing?

    Those Democrats are previewing what Republicans will do to him in a general election, and how will the GOP not be successful with that, considering how ignorant so many Americans are about politics?

    Well, let’s all vote for Trump then. That’ll show those Bernie bros.

    That’s not what I was getting at with that comment…perhaps there is a lot of anti-Bernie sentiment going on around here, but you have to admit, he’s got a lot flaws that could hurt him in the general election…

    3
  68. Gromitt Gunn says:

    To detour from most of the conversation at hand, last night I saw my first Warren ads during evening television, here in a very red part of Texas. We’ve been getting bombarded by Bloomberg and a few Steyer ads here and there. Most of the local political tv spend has been on the Republican primary to replace our retiring Republican Congresscritter.

    The Warren ad was narrated by Julián Castro, and he also appears in it. If this is airing in other Texas markets, and if he is stumping for her in Hispanic areas around the state, I think she could outperform these polling predictions.

    3
  69. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Kit:

    I realize my first reply to you was unduly aggressive. I’ve been engaged in similar conversations all day (a pro and con of working in a politically-adjacent organization is that you never stop talking about politics), and was particularly angry when I replied to you. I shouldn’t have sworn or used such dismissive language, when you were raising good points–you have my sincere apologies.

    4
  70. wr says:

    @An Interested Party: “but you have to admit, he’s got a lot flaws that could hurt him in the general election…”

    I do admit that. I suspect that no matter who was in the lead now we’d be seeing the same kinds of messages about him, although without the reflexive loathing of the Republican contingent.

    3
  71. Kit says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I think everyone is on edge lately. In any case, no offence taken. I’ve read your posts over the years and recognize you as one of the calmer and more level-headed voices here.

    4
  72. Scott F. says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    2. If you have to peel away independents and Obama-Trump supporters in red and purple states, we should pay attention to which candidate has the best chance of accomplishing that. Voters in Missouri likely have a better grasp on how an Obama-Trump supporter may be viewing the race than voters in San Francisco.

    Honest question, Neil… how is it even possible to grasp what an Obama-Trump supporter is thinking?

    In the Venn Diagram of Trump and Obama, I can’t conceive of an overlap anywhere in terms of policy, worldview or temperament. Anyone who would choose to vote for Obama, then turn around and choose to vote for the antithesis of Obama has to be either epically misinformed, mercurial to the point of randomness, or misogynistic enough to put not voting for HRC above all else.

    One could go insane trying to get inside that kind of head. I’d think the effort would be better spent on those people whose motives are more discernible.

    6
  73. the Q says:

    My, my my….how rich….oh, the irony……wow, all you Hillary fans now feel what it was like for Bernie voters in 2016….we were screaming “Hillary can’t win” to all the smug neolib boomers who accused Bernie voters of subterfuge and sabotage of her campaign.

    Now, you hypocrites are doing THE SAME THING you were so apoplectic about the last time: viz undermining the future success of the putative Dem nominee Sanders.

    And as far as all the kvetching about losing the Senate etc….excuse me, how did we do with Hillary at the top of the ticket? Did we get the house back? the Senate? State governors and legislatures?……crickets?

    Why don’t you all shut the phuck up till Nov. 5. Let the true progressives run our candidate and let’s see what happens. It will be a much improved outcome over the clusterphuck you foisted upon the Dems last time with the most hated, unpopular candidate to ever run for POTUS save for the lunatic she lost to.

    And if any of y0u after watching Bloomberg think he or Amy or Pete can best Trump, well, you should join the trumpers in the Village of Delusional Voters.

    Joe or Bernie have the best chance of beating Trump.

    2
  74. Jen says:

    @the Q:

    Hillary did get more votes than Trump. She didn’t get those votes in the right places though.

    Winning blue states by blowing Trump out of the water there won’t be good enough this year either. The electoral college dictates how campaigns need to be run, and if Bernie Sanders can manage to win in red states, wonderful.

    6
  75. Neil Hudelson says:

    Neil… how is it even possible to grasp what an Obama-Trump supporter is thinking?

    Here’s the general insights I have into the minds of these voters, based off of conversations with family, friends, and former co-workers:
    -2008: “I voted for Obama because he was a sunny optimist, because he vanquished Hillary [that is, they didnt’ see him as continuing the Clinton wing of the party], and because he looked a damn sight better than the alternative with the backdrop of an ongoing economic meltdown.
    -2016: F*ck Clinton. I hated the Clintons in ’92, I hated them in 2008, and I’m not voting for them in 2016. I don’t like some of the things Trump is saying, but he says he’s gonna protect social security and medicare. And not to put too fine a point on it, he’s not Clinton.
    -2018: I’m so tired of this Trump shit, but at least he’s not a commie.

    “Anyone who would choose to vote for Obama, then turn around and choose to vote for the antithesis of Obama has to be either epically misinformed, mercurial to the point of randomness, or misogynistic enough to put not voting for HRC above all else.”

    Yes, and?

    5
  76. Neil Hudelson says:

    @the Q:

    Let the true progressives run our candidate and let’s see what happens.

    Considering the racist and sexist drivel you’ve posted here, maybe you aren’t the poster boy for what a true progressive is, eh?

    9
  77. Scott F. says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Yes, and?

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but f*ck ‘em?

    If this is who these people really are, what is the point of trying to design a message to cater to them? You might as well roll some dice.

    Rather focus on the “tired of Trump’s shit” part which has broad appeal and disabuse the “he’s gonna protect Social Security and Medicare” part which would also have broad appeal. Then, go one more time at the “tired of Trump’s shit” part for good measure, because that’s the most important thing for the entire country.

    4
  78. the Q says:

    Neil, you should know drivel, you’re a master of it. And thanks for conveniently avoided my critique and resorting to the pablum of insults.

  79. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:

    There are arguments for and against Bernie, but you’ve decided to dig in on the idea he’s satan, and that’s it.

    Accusing me of parroting GOP talking points is absurd. You’re doing what Bernie cultists do, applying purity standards and demanding unthinking acquiescence.

    I can count, that’s my position on Bernie, I can count Senators. You hate that? Too bad. I don’t fight a side, something you seem to have a hard time grasping. I’m not on a team. I don’t join cults of personality and I don’t fucking fall into line. I’m just trying to understand politics, that’s it.

    You are absolutely right McConnell will fight any Dem. Which is why I’ve repeatedly said this is not the time for revolution, it’s time to calm the country down and return to sanity. Because that is all we can do at this point, with these numbers. Bernie is selling snake oil. Buttigieg and Biden and Klobuchar are not, they’re setting more reasonable, more do-able goals. The wild promises that attract you to Bernie are NOT happening. So why are you such a fan? You can’t possibly believe we’re actually getting M4A.

    Why don’t you address reality? Why don’t you explain how we’re getting programs even Democrats don’t support? Name the Senators who can be elected and who will support M4A. Make a list.

    We’ll be lucky to keep Obamacare and very lucky if we can get to a half-assed public option. And we won’t get either when Democratic Senatorial candidates in flippable states are spending half their time running away from Bernie.

    9
  80. de stijl says:

    Whoever will win will.

    I already spent my one vote.

    At this point, it is out of my effort.

    It will be a new day tomorrow.

    As long as Trump fails to win a new term, I will accept.

    He is / was a true detriment to national long-term well-being. In my mind, an abomination. If he is gone, I will accept.

    I have preferences, but American voters will decide the outcome. I hope they choose well.

    2
  81. the Q says:

    ……demanding unthinking acquiescence…..isn’t that exactly what Bernie folks were saying about Hillary’s horations for their support in 2016?

    My how the worm has turned. Again, these jeremiads from you who are doing EXACTLY what you hated the Bernie bros doing to HRC….undermining and undercutting the chances for a Dem victory.

    So, it takes great pleasure to throw it back into your faces…..now, if anyone can show me a poll where Amy pete Joe etc do better than BS in the 4 states we need to win in the midwest, please bring me the polling data or shut the phuck up.

  82. EddieInCA says:

    @the Q:

    So, it takes great pleasure to throw it back into your faces…..

    That’s how you build a winning coalition! I’m sure people will be excited to work with you post primaries.

    12
  83. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Btw. You can easily ignore political news.

    You can do it for weeks on end. It can be hard depending on your level of addiction.

    If I can do it, you can too. You can disengage. You can stop endlessly refreshing Memeorandum to witness the new big thing.

    The biggest observation I have learned recently is that paying attention doesn’t change the outcome.

    I don’t advocate for apathy, or else I wouldn’t read here. I recommend a healthy distance between observation and result.

    You can observe and advocate, but unless you are way more influential than me, what happens is outside of your control.

    A year ago, I could not have let go as much as I can now. That wasn’t happenstance, but effort. You can let go. You can ignore. The world won’t end.

    4
  84. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Accusing me of parroting GOP talking points is absurd.”

    Sorry, Michael, but “they can have medical care for everyone in Sweden because they’re all white and we can’t because we’re not homogeneous” comes directly from the pages of National Review.

    8
  85. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “I’m just trying to understand politics, that’s it.”

    I believe that I am trying to understand politics, and to do so I am willing to consider the possibility that some or all of my assumptions are wrong. You are making blanket statements, doubling down on them, insisting that there is absolutely no way you could ever be wrong about anything, and calling anyone who disagrees a cultist.

    Pardon me if I don’t recognize this as the path to enlightenment.

    2
  86. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Why don’t you explain how we’re getting programs even Democrats don’t support?”

    Why don’t you explain how posting constant messages saying “Bernie sucks, we’re all doomed, I told you so” is going to do any of that?

    Do you really believe that your or I has the power to make the choice here? There are elections going on, and someone is going to win. I’ll support whoever the winner is — even Bloomberg. And I won’t have spent a month trashing the eventual nominee just to make myself look savvy.

    You’re a writer, Michael. If you read a manuscript in which the same character said exactly the same thing every time he appeared on the page, I think you’d that book pretty tiresome.

    1
  87. the Q says:

    EddieInCA….again, the irony of the Bernie haters….all you folks (and HRC) did in 2016 was whine on and on and on and on and on about how the Bernie bros constant belittling of HRC lead to her defeat, only to turn around and DO THE SAME THING TO BERNIE 4 years later.

    Geez, what don’t you hypocrites get about your appalling behavior. Now, if any other Dem candidate is polling higher against trump (like Bernie did in 2016) then just MAYBE your diatribes would have merit, but Bernie polls better than ANY OTHER DEM against Trump.

    And that’s with the Dem circular fire squad sabotaging his campaign.

    1
  88. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’m not going to argue about the details of plans I regard as purely aspirational. But I will object to using Robert Samuelson as a source. He’s about as qualified to write on economics as Larry Kudlow is to be Director of the NEC. Actually, Kudlow left a politics and econ program before getting a Masters, which makes him more qualified than Samuelson, who has a BA in poli sci. His only real qualification in econ is being confused with Paul Samuelson (no relation). He’s one step up from Zero hedge.

    2
  89. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You don’t live in LA. I think that whole 1% lives within ten miles of my house.

    Good to see your sense of humor.

    2
  90. Kathy says:

    I wonder whether in 2016, Republicans argued like this about Dennison.

  91. Moosebreath says:

    @Moosebreath:

    BTW, 538 has updated their predictions for South Carolina, with a double digit Biden victory looking more likely:

    “In six South Carolina polls conducted between New Hampshire and Nevada, Biden averaged 26 percent and Sanders averaged 22 percent. In the six polls conducted entirely since Nevada, Biden has averaged 35 percent and Sanders has averaged 20 percent.”

    2
  92. Jax says:

    @Kathy: They did here, but that doesn’t mean much. Kasich and Cruz seemed to be the top picks. Once Trump won the nomination everybody got on the train.

    2
  93. Kurtz says:

    @Guarneri:

    They are called NeverTrumpers.

    Yup, meaning Republicans with principles.

    2
  94. An Interested Party says:

    Sorry, Michael, but “they can have medical care for everyone in Sweden because they’re all white and we can’t because we’re not homogeneous” comes directly from the pages of National Review.

    This doesn’t look like National Review, nor does this

    @the Q: To use your own words, if Sanders does secure the nomination and loses in the fall, will you finally just shut the phuck up? Just curious…

    3
  95. Kurtz says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Yeah, someone posted about that today. SC is looking good for Biden. We will see how well the correlations between states hold up.

  96. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Ah, well, back then my sanity-retention policy specified to NEVER READ THE COMMENTS. 😉

    1
  97. de stijl says:

    The reason there are comment boards are so people who can disagree will disagree. Built in.

    It is the purpose. Get us riled up. Make noise.

    You can choose to ignore purpose and skew towards acceptance.

    No one expects harmony, it is wicked hard to achieve. We are too individualistic to achieve it, but it is a decent goal worth pursuing. Not harmony in direction, but harmony in intent.

  98. de stijl says:

    Why am I now a hippie?

    In my youth I hated hippies.

    I swear I am not a hippie!

    2
  99. EddieInCA says:

    @the Q:

    Geez, what don’t you hypocrites get about your appalling behavior.

    Pot. Meet Kettle.

    Bernie Sanders pushed for a contested convention in 2016. Now he wants to avoid one.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/20/bernie-sanders-pushed-contested-convention-2016-now-he-wants-avoid-one/

    Bernie Sanders Was Against Plurality Of Voters Deciding Nominee in 2016
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/02/26/warren_bernie_sanders_was_against_plurality_of_voters_deciding_nominee_in_2016.html

    2
  100. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I mean, it was weird to watch it happen in real time. Some of these people actually did vote for Obama, then went Trump. And now they’re still full-Trump.

    Aliens. They body-snatched them. 😉

    2
  101. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Who’d have thought aliens would have such bad taste.

  102. Andy says:

    Here in Colorado, we got our ballots last week. Most people I know have already sent them in. Two for Sanders as protests more than anything, hoping to “bern” the system down in their frustration. Two for Biden, hoping to save him and stop Bernie and pining for a return to normalcy. One for Bloomberg due to the belief that it takes a douchey NY billionaire to beat a douchey NY billionaire.

    The polls seem to indicate an easy Bernie win here.

    I haven’t sent my ballot in yet. Out of those who are left, I prefer Buttigieg and Klobuchar as the least-bad remaining options. But of course, most Democrats disagree and they are getting little traction. For some reason, most Democrats and Democratic Socialists (aka Bernie “independents”) seem to want the oldest possible candidates. Democrats got well-deserved credit for the first black President; I have no inside knowledge, but maybe the first octogenarian President is next on the list of achievements.

    I’ll wait until Monday to decide how I’ll vote. I am actually seriously considering voting for Bernie for the lulz and to hasten the demise of our current partisan system. I’ve been saying for a long time that the Democrats are going to follow the GoP down the rabbit hole and that looks more likely than ever.

    Let’s face it, the country deserves a Trump-Sanders showdown. They are practically made for each other. Two old self-righteous assholes with a host of mean and uncompromising thralls as supporters, who believe their shit doesn’t stink, who don’t play well with others and don’t give a crap about actual governance.

    It’s perfect for America at this moment.

    Should that happen I won’t vote for either one of them in the general election. I’ll let most of America try to justify an inherently compromised “lesser evil” vote and will either go third-party or write someone in who is actually qualified.

    2
  103. de stijl says:

    The hippie and punk ethos are not diametrical.

    We pretended to hate them so we didn’t have to care.

    Punk youth me pretended not to care about stuff I actually cared about, which is not punk.

    I cared. Sold myself short at the time. Fuck you if you don’t care. It is punk to care when no one else does.

    That’s my definition.

    Nihilism is the crappiest b.s. a college freshman ever crapped, and you are staking your life and ethos on Josh from Mankato’s take. Dude is 18; dude + 18 is defiitionally stupid.

    Punk != nihilism.

    To me it was hope for a better world.

    Oh godamnit! I was a bit of a hippie.

    Don’t tell anyone! I will cut you!

    2
  104. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Do any of the people you have contact with think that any Democrat isn’t a commie? I ask because the key factor in the choices in 2008 and 2016 seems to have been “not Hillary.” If “not a commie” is going to be the new lynchpin for support, Dems need to find the “not a commie” in the bunch.

    I’m not sure there is a “not a commie.” But I can embrace the “epically misinformed, mercurial to the point of randomness, or misogynistic” thing. 😛

  105. Andy says:

    @wr:

    Sorry, Michael, but “they can have medical care for everyone in Sweden because they’re all white and we can’t because we’re not homogeneous” comes directly from the pages of National Review.

    If that’s an actual right-wing talking point then it’s an accurate one supported by overwhelming evidence. Small isolated countries with largely homogenous populations DO have much greater social cohesion than big, diverse countries. And social cohesion is directly related to trust within a society and trust is directly related to support for collective social programs.

    And that’s before we even get into questions of scale. The Nordic countries – combined – have a population roughly equivalent to Texas, or less than 9% of the US population as a whole.

    The scale and diversity of the US come with limitations that the Nordic countries don’t have.

    My home state of Colorado has about the same population as Finland or Norway or Denmark. Yet we don’t have the social cohesion to do what they’ve done.

    Technocratic “solutions” to problems only go so far because people and societies are different with different values. The Nordic countries are exceptional and one can’t simply transplant their methods and expect them to work.

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  106. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: So do I (but I’m not optimistic. 🙁 )

  107. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: The circular firing squads that you’ve been describing occasionally over the past few days are beginning to form. On the positive side, most of the cast of idiots (h/t: Mad Magazine) here will jump on the “I knew [whoever] was the right choice all along” band wagon just like Rush and Levin and Medved and Beck and Prager and Lars Larsen and Larry Elder and… well, I could go on… did for Trump if [whoever] wins. If [whoever] loses, they will do the same kinds of recriminations that the GOP did in the wake of Romney (and probably come up with the same “cannot fail/can only be failed” bs that gave the GOP Trump (and a win–[h/t: blind hog proverb]).

    What you need to hope is that they will hold their fire until the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November. Will they? I honestly don’t know–they are a cast of idiots, after all.

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  108. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: You don’t have to be a hippie; you can be the avatar of a new “beat” generation.

  109. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Andy: Boomers (and Silents). We don’t want to get off the stage. If we can figure out how to control things here from hell, we may never get off it. (Just ask the Q. 😀 )

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  110. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The labels we use as youths haunt us in our decripitude.

  111. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    To me then, the difference between their 1974 culture and my 1977 culture was vast and unbroachable. The Way We Were, The Streak.

    Barbra Streisand and The Clash was not a situation of rapprochement.

    My new way negated that, which was foolish on my part, but felt truly correct then. I was snotty.

    Probably very similarly as to how early adapter 1967 folks felt about 1964 culture.

    Even though that was was what they basted in when younger. A new, huge gap.

    The first time I visited Graceland I was a scoffing derisive youth. The second time, I appreciated what he did when he was a young man, still not so much of the later songs and vibe.

    Suspicious Minds does kick ass, I must admit. That’s a damn good song.

    Imagine there are cover versions aplenty.

  112. de stijl says:

    Elvis Costello recorded What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Live And Understanding in 1979.

    I wore that out back then.

  113. de stijl says:

    The lyric that stuck me most:

    Where are the strong? /
    And who are the trusted?

  114. de stijl says:

    EC was so remarkable you forget The Attractions.

    They were phenomenally great.

    The was bad on me. I hyped Elvis Costello and neglected The Attractions.

    I can listen to all of Get Happy! in order on Youtube for free just by looking it up.

    Which I will now do.

  115. Kurtz says:

    @Andy:

    Is your argument that social cohesion – – > public support for collective social programs?

    Or is it about practical limitations in a geographically large, socially diverse country?

  116. wr says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “If “not a commie” is going to be the new lynchpin for support, Dems need to find the “not a commie” in the bunch.”

    Well, Bloomberg is definitely not a commie.

    Oh, unless he gets the nomination. Then he definitely is a commie.

  117. wr says:

    @Andy: Do you have any idea what the populations of England and France look like this century? Here’s a hint — they’re not all white. And yet somehow they both manage to provide health care to all their citizens. It’s a standard game to switch the conversation to “social cohesion.” You don’t need to have the citizenry all bowling together in order to have a government that works for the common good.

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  118. Neil Hudelson says:

    @wr:

    Do you have any idea what the populations of England and France look like this century? Here’s a hint — they’re not all white. And yet somehow they both manage to provide health care to all their citizens.

    If I’m not mistaken, their safety net was largely built decades ago, while their population has greatly diversified in this millennium.

    And with that diversification has come a lessening of social cohesion. I’m not arguing that diversification should be stopped, but one should recognize that forging a coalition of multiple cohesive units is a harder task than governing one small cohesive unit.

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  119. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Of course there’s many “not a commie” to choose from. Indeed, they are called Obama-Trump voters for a reason. Despite it being a trope on the left, I haven’t actually met a conservative-ish swing voter* who says “Ya’ll called Romney and McCain racists too, so why should I believe Trump is a racist?” Similarly, people don’t have too much trouble distinguishing between “People Called a Socialist By The Opposition Campaign” and “The Guy Actually Calling Himself a Socialist.”

    *I’ve met plenty of conservative NON-swing voters who say this. That’s because they don’t like to admit that they are voting for the adamant racist out of their own free will. Much easier to plead stupidity and blame it on the libs. Bonus points if they can work in something about how the poors/POC/immigrants just lack personal responsibility whilst claiming that they have no agency whatsoever to judge Trump’s racist statements and actions on their own merit.

    1
  120. Andy says:

    @Kurtz:

    Is your argument that social cohesion – – > public support for collective social programs?

    Or is it about practical limitations in a geographically large, socially diverse country?

    Both are factors.

    @wr:

    Do you have any idea what the populations of England and France look like this century? Here’s a hint — they’re not all white.

    This isn’t just or even primarily about skin color. And both those countries implemented their systems when they had a more homogenous population.

    It’s a standard game to switch the conversation to “social cohesion.” You don’t need to have the citizenry all bowling together in order to have a government that works for the common good.

    Well, history and social science disagree with you. “Social cohesion” is not something that was invented by right-wingers.

    This shouldn’t be controversial. With high social cohesion, as is the case with the Nordic countries, you tend to see stable governance, high trust and a greater willingness to provide collective benefits. With low social cohesion, you tend to get unstable governance and even civil war, and low trust results in much less willingness to provide collective benefits.

    Furthermore, universal health care, like any other collective benefit, does not sit apart from the society it serves. It is not some separate technocratic package that can be cut and pasted from one country to another.

    1
  121. wr says:

    @Neil Hudelson: “one should recognize that forging a coalition of multiple cohesive units is a harder task than governing one small cohesive unit.”

    And therefore we should give up on ever making any social progress. Because, you know, it’s hard.

  122. wr says:

    @Andy: Honestly, Andy, I have no idea what you’re arguing for here, unless you’re saying that because we’re not all Midwestern pig farmers we should give up any idea of having a government that actually works for its people.

  123. Andy says:

    @wr:

    Honestly, Andy, I have no idea what you’re arguing for here, unless you’re saying that because we’re not all Midwestern pig farmers we should give up any idea of having a government that actually works for its people.

    Well, I was pushing back against the argument that “social cohesion” is a right-wing talking point.

    And a government that works for its people is entirely the point.

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  124. Neil Hudelson says:

    @wr:

    That tactic you have of putting ludicrous words into peoples’ mouths, do you think its effective? Win you lots of arguments, does it? Makes you look intelligent, rather than flailing?

    Just curious.

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  125. Kurtz says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    He’s not the only one that does that here.

    By the way, your answer about the thinking of an Obama-Trump voter is pretty spot on in my experience as well.

    I would like to add one thing though. If you look at Obama and Trump a certain way, there is one connection–outsider status. For some people, especially those who are struggling, it’s not about identification with a party or anideology–it’s about the system itself.

    For some, supporting a non-traditional candidate is more important than anything else, because a normal politician can’t be trusted. For them, a normal politician can be presumed to be using the system to enrich themselves rather than their constituents.

    1
  126. An Interested Party says:

    For them, a normal politician can be presumed to be using the system to enrich themselves rather than their constituents.

    An ironic statement considering that the current president is far from a normal politician but he is doing everything he can to enrich himself rather than most of his constituents…

  127. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @An Interested Party: Yeah, but that come under either “live and learn” or “the problem with being a cynic is that it’s hard to keep up.”