With a Potential Defeat Looming, PPFA Claims a Victory

One of PPFA’s most loyal readers and commenters, “NP,” recently quipped that he was hoping for twice daily posts down the stretch. It was a request I simply could not oblige. When I promised to give you daily posts for the final week, I was giving you all I could.

That said, I thought on this spooky full moon Halloween, I would give NP and other PPFA readers a surprising second post. BOO!

As you’ll soon see, however, I’m kind of cheating here. Most of this column pulls from earlier posts for the purposes of reflecting on the rise of Joe Biden to where he is now: one election from becoming the 46th President of the United States.

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Mediocre Tuesday

Have you ever had a significant other whose prior significant other was particularly good-looking or talented, leaving you feeling a little, um, “inadequate”?

No? Oh. Me neither.

If we had, though, I bet we’d feel a little like today’s slate of primary contests. Super Tuesday spoiled us. Remember when a single state and just a few dozen delegates got us excited? Those were the days. But after mega Super Tuesday, with Joe Biden now on a likely inexorable march toward the nomination, nothing can compare to the exhileration of the unknown. Just 352 delegates? Please. That’s not even one California. It’s barely a Texas-and-a-half!

But I digress. Let’s take a look at Mediocre Tuesday.

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The Pivot

Super Tuesday is behind us, as are a couple dozen Democratic candidates. Now we pivot to the final stage of this protracted primary: a brawl between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, one that could drag on for months. (I feel like we should be listening to this track from Rocky II. Bill Conti, ladies and gentlemen!)

We’re already seeing their supporters tussle online, a clear home game for Sandersites. They’re beside themselves that Democrats would actually nominate Biden, promising (or at least threatening) not to vote for him. Meanwhile, Biden supporters chide them for such language, pretending they wouldn’t be reacting the same way were it Sanders on his way to the nomination. It’s going to be an ugly spring.

Without question, Biden has the upper hand, but can we expect a Sanders comeback? Or at least an open convention?

To both questions, I’m afraid the answer is no.

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Super Tuesday 2020 Previewpalooza

Happy Super Tuesday! The first four states were less about the delegates as much as they were about momentum, media interpretations, and how those factors affect today, the day about 35% of pledged delegates are awarded. (Wishful thinking, am I right? Prepare for days of delegate-counting.)

Coming out of South Carolina, Joe Biden has picked up a slew of high-profile endorsements as the primary has evolved into what I expected: despite Sanders’s plurality support in the opening states, as the choices of non-Sanders candidates dwindles, there’s consolidation around Biden, the leading alternative.

Today, the stakes are clear. Sanders remains favored to win the most Super Tuesday delegates thanks to gargantuan California, but Joe Biden is alive, can claim the most states, and should be within reach of a comeback when the Super Tuesdust settles. Though state count doesn’t matter when picking the nominee, the coverage of the Democratic Primary can very much be shaped by it, keeping the Biden Campaign vigorous.

So the two main questions today are:

  1. Sanders will win the most delegates, but how dominant will that number be?
  2. Who wins the most states?

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Unpacking Nevada — and on to South Carolina

As expected, Bernie Sanders secured a big Nevada win on Saturday, and he remains by far the likeliest Democratic nominee. And yet, perhaps — just perhaps — anti-Bernie Democrats were offered a glimmer of hope all the same.

I’ll circle back to that soon. For now, let’s work our way up Nevada’s results.

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Nevada Caucuses 2020: Preview

We’ve arrived at the third contest of the 2020 Democratic Primary: the Nevada caucuses. Just three days removed from a testy debate — one in which the most targeted candidate is not on today’s ballot and the least targeted candidate is the strong favorite to win the nomination — we’re eager to see how the exchanges were interpreted by voters.

The churlish debate, however, is not the only thing that makes today’s contest unpredictable. For the following reasons, Nevada is a notoriously quirky contest:

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Nevada Debate: The Night Five Democrats Stop-and-Frisked Mike Bloomberg

“Mayor Bloomberg, there’s a lot for you to respond to there.” -Moderator Lester Holt, just five minutes into last night’s debate

Like antibodies attacking an invading virus, the five Democratic candidates who have actually campaigned and won delegates in early states aggressively defended their party from an interloping billionaire. And it didn’t take long.

The Nevada debate was, without question, the testiest debate of this primary cycle. Below, I’d like to share with you my ten favorite lines. (Transcript here)

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