Is Bernie Inevitable? Can We Trust the South Carolina Results?

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Today, I believe,  will be the most important day of the Democratic primaries. It’s been predicted that Joe Biden will win the South Carolina Primary anywhere from 4 to 12%. There is an outlier poll that shows him up 22% but I’d be surprised if he won by that much. Although many democrats are afraid of a Bernie Sanders nomination, a similar amount do not see Joe Biden as their first choice to be able to take the White House this fall. It is a conundrum for some: Do they vote for the unabashed “Democratic Socialist” on the ticket or for one of the others who, even though many in the media describe as moderate, clearly are not in any way.

Will this primary reinvigorate Joe Biden’s campaign going into Super Tuesday which is only 2 days hence? I personally doubt it even if he wins by as much as 12 points. He has 2 days to do something in those 14 states and it wouldn’t matter if overnight he received $50 million in donations: How and where would he spend it in just 2 days? Besides, many of those states have already started voting. As of yesterday, it was reported that California  os over the 60% mark in early voting. So I see South Carolina falling this way: Biden, Sanders, Steyer (he’s spent 13 million ), then probably Buttiegeg , Warren, and Bloomberg, in that order. Who will get the delegates? Well, Biden and Sanders because I don’t see anyone else breaking through the 15% mark (maybe Steyer, but it’s doubtful). So Biden and Sanders will split the available delegates, say 55% to Biden, 45% to Bernie. Unless…and here’s where it may become complicated.

Last evening, President Trump held a huge rally in Charleston, to a packed arena of 14,000. In his speech to his supporters, he suggested they go out on Saturday and vote. There’s no Republican primary and South Carolina is a “open” primary state meaning that all registered voters may vote. He teased them to vote for Sanders. Now, how many Republicans actually go to the polls won’t be immediately known. In fact, there may have been some that were going to go anyway. But if, just a thought experiment here, 6-7,000 showed up to vote for Sanders, how would that impact the final result? When I first read about this I was not enthusiastic at all. I don’t like the idea of people attending an election to purposefully skew the result. Most states have closed primaries to prevent anything like this from occurring,But 14, including South Carolina, are open. My state (Arizona) is open, except for presidential elections.

I think that if, in 2016, President Obama had encouraged democrats, in open primary states, to go out and vote for any republican other than Trump, there would have been some amount (a lot!) of outrage. It really is a form of election interference even though, in my opinion, no matter what, it’s far too late for Biden. It’s not illegal, but the ethics of calling for some voters to turn out and skew results? Very problematic. Hopefully, few will show up.

This one will be the end for some: Bloomberg is still out trying to buy the nomination, running some very slick ads that I’ve seen locally in the past few days. He seems to be already running against Trump, mainly, but there have been a couple I’ve seen that are trying to blunt his supposed poor treatment of women. Warren is done. She probably won’t even win her home state. In fact, today, Sanders is already there, in Massachusetts,   campaigning to large crowds. By Wednesday morning, expect Bernie Sanders to have what will appear to be an insurmountable lead in delegates. Of course, anything could happen beyond then, but even those #NeverBernie people in the media will probably be moaning about his inevitability.

Could Mike Bloomberg have a good week? He’s certainly spent enough money (closing in on $600 million) that he may become a spoiler, but since most people I talk to (democrats) view him as trying to buy the presidency, I doubt he will  reach the 15% mark in any of the upcoming states. What’s the saying though? Never say never. I suspect the field will be substantially smaller after Super Tuesday.

 

 

 

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