Bernie’s Achilles Heel On Saturday And Beyond

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While tonight should be entertaining, the main event is, of course, Saturday night, when they start to release caucus results. Right now, plenty of people are hyperventilating over the thought of Bernie Sanders leading the national polls, but I’m not one of them. Mainly because I’m remembering a little number I think that a lot of people have forgotten.

It was just mentioned on MSNBC that anyone not named “Bernie” is hoping for an upset on Saturday night. This is undoubtedly true. And for all of its cumbersome nature and jovial madness, nothing is more conducive to an upset than a caucus. That’s because a primary is a “one and done,” you walk in, vote, and go home. But a caucus is like one of those “second chance” online March Madness games, where you get to create a new bracket once yours is busted. If your first choicer isn’t “viable,” then you get to pick another candidate. And that’s a problem for Bernie.

Look, everybody agrees that the Iowa caucuses were a total nightmare. But one thing I’ll say for the Iowa caucuses, once they got their shit together, and finally started releasing numbers, they gave out everything but the Iowa Democratic Chair’s inseam size. To cover for the fact that Mayor Pete got more delegates out of Iowa than he did, Bernie ceaselessly bragged about winning the popular vote in the Iowa caucuses. Like quite a few things Bernie, that’s both true and a lie at the same time.

After the first, “raw” round of voting in the Iowa caucus, Bernie Sanders was comfortably ahead of the field. But after the realignment, when caucus goers whose candidates were not found “viable” moved to other candidates, the story changed significantly. While Sanders still led the popular vote, Pete Buttigieg had cut his popular vote lead by more than half, allowing him tio win the lions share of delegates. And as Trump proved in 2016, it’s all about the delegates, even in the electoral college.

It turned out in Iowa that Bernie Sanders was a one trick pony, either you’re all in, or you’re not. I remember Steve Kornacki at MSNBC reporting, in precinct after precinct where Elizabeth Warren was found to not be viable, her supporters were streaming over to Mayor Pete or Amy Klobuchar, even though Sanders would have been a more natural ideological second choice.

And now we have another caucus on Saturday night, and this one has a twist. For the first time, Nevada offered “early voting” for the caucus, and it was insanely easy. You walked in, got a ballot, marked 1,2 and 3 next to your candidates of choice, and walked out again. Those votes will be tallied and realigned, precinct by precinct over the next couple of days, and the results will be ready to announce after the caucuses close on Saturday night. I don’t know if Nevada is going to go into the kind of tally detail that Iowa did, but if they do, I’m going to be watching that realignment vote tally like a hawk.

This is a huge problem for Sanders, and not just in caucus states, but in the primaries in general. Because if the Iowa Example is true, then Bernie has no room to grow! And while the broad base of the Democratic party may support Sanders if he is the eventual nominee, the “Iowa example” indicates that it may be the only time that the majority of the Democratic party would support him.

Here’s an example. Let’s just say that after Super Tuesday Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren bow out of the race. As the other far left progressive candidate, Sanders would expect to enjoy a boost from Warren supporters flocking to him, allowing him to expand his delegate lead in future contests. But if the “Iowa Example,” followed possibly by the Nevada Example hold true, then those Warren voters are far more likely to join Klobuchar voters in migrating to Buttigieg or Biden, allowing one or the other to catch, and possibly surpass Sanders in polling, and start to eat into his delegate lead.

So there are miles to go before we sleep, and anything can happen. I’m just really hoping that Nevada provides the realignment vote totals as a separate category on Saturday night, since that could provide corroborative proof of my “Iowa Example.” And if my theory holds, then it could show that Sanders support ceiling is far below what he needs to capture the nomination on the first ballot in Milwaukee. And if he doesn’t do that, then he’s in the hurt locker. Don’t touch that dial.

To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen

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24 Comments on "Bernie’s Achilles Heel On Saturday And Beyond"

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Bareshark
Guest
Bernie is done and he knows it. Iowa and New Hampshire was as good as it was ever going to get for him. Nevada will be less kind, South Carolina will be brutal and Super Tuesday will likely cause a “Crash and Bern” effect on his campaign. DKos is in deep denial over this because they so want to ignore how bad he’s been misplaying things this last week. He’s too far in the margin of error with Biden in national polling averages to be considered strong. Enough candidates drop out or enough Bernie supporters leave, his lead will evaporate.… Read more »
Nick Sullivan
Member

Sanders is doing a lot better in SC and the nationals in the past few days. I fear the cliff is approaching and we’re gonna plunge right over it. Maybe then the folks who are absolutely convinced this messed-up country is just waiting for a massively progressive savior will shut the everlasting hell up, and we can actually win in 2024. I’m probably too old and infirm to see it, but I never abandon hope.

Bareshark
Guest

Not THAT much…well within the margin of error when compared to Biden. And a rather 24% on the official poll averages, nothing to get excited about. Sanders has attacked way too many people who didn’t deserve it over the last few days for it not to hurt him in South Carolina and beyond.

I don’t fear the cliff…I’ve survived flying off it before. I intend to do so again. And I don’t intend to quit, regardless of the outcome. I hope you can say the same.

chris whitley
Member

Yes, I fear the same thing. We need middle of the road to win. Although most of progressive stuff sounds good. You can’t go from a Edsel to a Lamborghini. You need a couple cars in the middle.

anastasjoy
Member

I don’t like this portrayal of “left,” “right” and “middle.” I just want a sensible, pragmatic and effective candidate. ALL our candidates are progressive compared to Trump; both Warren and Klobuchar would be highly effective and productive in my opinion. Biden would be adequate; Pete would be WAY over his head at this time; Bloomberg who knows; and Bernie would be a disaster — but he can’t beat Trump anyway. All the others at least have a shot if things go right.

anastasjoy
Member

DKos is the home of smitten Bernie groupies.

chris whitley
Member

I like Joe because trump hates him and is scared to death of him. Joe would pull a lot of his supporters to. The two ladies are good, Amy is getting the short end of the stick in this. And I am hoping Bernie doesn’t get it. Trump would have him for breakfast.

Denis Elliott
Member
I actually was okay with Bernie for a while in 2016 but grew disenchanted. I’d have voted for him of course had he won the nomination but once that election was done and he resigned from the Democratic Party my attitude was fuck off and good riddance. I also recall he held off getting into the race for a while due to speculation that Warren might do so and wanted to defer to her. When she made it clear she was staying in the Senate only then did he decide to run. This time around it was pretty clear long,… Read more »
Joseph
Guest
” Clinton’s efforts to shut others out and use the Party apparatus to do so . . . .” PROOF, please. I want the names of candidates who were kept from running by either Clinton or the Party with HARD EVIDENCE rather than conspiracy crap spewed by the anti-Clinton people. Evidence of a potential candidate who show that “Hillary” or “Clinton’s people” or “the Party” kept him or her from making a run for the Democratic nomination in 2016. But, even if there are any such candidates (I sure as hell do NOT remember any Democrats in 2016 who said… Read more »
Denis Elliott
Member
First of all as I’ve noted I gave Bernie a good look in 2016 but decided Clinton was the better choice. I also worked on her behalf and in West Fucking Virginia btw (where people would literally open the door (having seen a Clinton button) only to slam it in your face sometimes so please step off your high horse. As for 2008 we remember it differently. I don’t recall the Party apparatus trying to force Clinton out before the end of January. Yes, well into the spring when it was clear she wouldn’t catch up in delegates there was… Read more »
anastasjoy
Member
I agree with this totally: “he and a significant number of his supporters are guilty of the same thing they (and to be fair others) accused Clinton of – a sense of entitlement to the nomination.” Absolutely. This whole narrative Bernie is putting out about how the candidate with the PLURALITY should be awarded the nomination, no matter how small that number is, is proof of that. Bernie would actually have ANTI coattails since his whole act is talking about how corrupt the entire existing Democratic Party is and running candidates against Democrats for congressional seats across the country. His… Read more »
p j evans
Member

His campaign spokesperson’s stuff about Bloomberg’s health isn’t going to help Bernie much.
(I voted by mail.)

anastasjoy
Member

Briahna Joy Gray should have been summarily fired yesterday, both for lying about Bloomberg (twice over) and for claiming people asking Bernie for information he promised to provide (his medical records) was just like people questioning whether President Obama was born in the U.S. She’s a bully & a disrupter, and this is hardly her first offense. If he gets the nomination and he’s still in the job, I won’t vote for him in November, and by the time she’s done, I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

Corey
Guest

I guess we’ll see. Sanders is my second choice (after Warren). Klobuchar would be my third but I really don’t trust the rest of the field after Warren or Sanders to act like FDR or Truman Democrats.

Joseph
Guest

Irony alert. You have the audacity to say “to act like FDR or Truman Democrats” and include Sanders as one? That’s so hilarious. Neither FDR nor Truman was a fucking opportunist, attaching themselves to a National Party SOLELY to run for President.

Hell, Sanders’ supporters would rule out FDR’s running today for the sin of being a millionaire and Truman would be attacked for being a “corporate Democrat” because that’s where they would actually fall by today’s standards.

Nick Sullivan
Member
I love the ‘FDR Democrat’ riff I often see in the usual haunts. Before I got lifetime-turfed at DK, I would always say that if the site existed in his day, he’d have gotten roasted. I mean, the place goes crazy over stop-and-frisk (and I’m NOT defending it) but FDR was dead-set against a federal ANTI-LYNCHING law! Because it would cost him Southern votes! Was he a racist? Or a politician? The LBJ-love is also funny. One person said over there the other day he was an “FDR-LBJ-Carter liberal.” Yes … Carter. The man Ted Kennedy decided to vanity-primary in… Read more »
Corey
Guest

No one said any politician is perfect. I dislike Bernie’s too good to be a Democrat schtick. But I rather have him over another “no we can’t help Main Street but absolutely can Wall Street” centrist. Blue no matter who but if I have a choice I know what works better and it ain’t someone who protects the 1%.

Corey
Guest

This kinda belies your ignorance of both men (FDR & Truman) and Sanders supporters (IMO). Truman had a massive reputation as anti corruption and demonstrated success at fighting it on the Senate (Sub?)Committee he chaired. FDR was rich AF but ran on “The New Deal” promising the “greatest good for greatest number of Americans.” There’s no way we can win with a milquetoast centrist against a lying firebrand willing to say and do anything to get reelected.

Sanders is himself a millionaire after having published a bestseller.

Nick Sullivan
Member
I was going to put $1,000 on Trump for re-election, but no more. I’m gonna put $2,000. I’ll scrape it together and make some profit. Not much, as he’ll be odds-on by late summer, but some. What a freaking nightmare this whole thing is. Bernie Sanders. Dear God. The House members who won us a majority will run from him so fast they’ll make vapor trails. Or … Bloomberg. The Berner Army will torpedo him worse than they did Clinton. Meanwhile, on the sidelines sit Sherrod Brown, Chris Murphy … kicked to curb is Jay Inslee. Of course, ewww, white… Read more »
Bareshark
Guest

I look forward to taking your money, Nick.

Nick Sullivan
Member

I hope I lose!

anastasjoy
Member

While I love Sherrod, Murphy & Inslee, I don’t think any of them is magic. We HAD stronger candidates. They have mostly been driven to the sidelines. Gillibrand or Harris could have destroyed Trump — only our side destroyed THEM instead. Biden would be adequate, which is guess is the best we’re going to get now. At least he released his medical records.

Joseph
Guest
The other point about caucuses is that the REAL delegates–the ones who actually go to the Convention–won’t be decided for several more months, after the less-publicized caucuses (the district and state ones) go through their procedures. The big Iowa circus–I mean, caucus–that got all that national coverage for months was the PRECINCT caucus and not one single Convention delegate was actually selected. No. The only “real” result from the kerfluffle that happened two weeks ago was the selection of some 11,000+ delegates who will go to a COUNTY convention in March who will then elect some 2100 delegates to go… Read more »
anastasjoy
Member
I have no idea what will happen, but yes, Bernie has hit a ceiling and it’s half his 2016 support. And every day that his staff & name supporters (not Russiam bots, but people like Briahna Joy Gray, Keith Ellison and Pramila Jayapal, who are easily identified) insult other Democrats and insist that Bernie’s campaign is “loving, generous movement,” who are being unfairly “attacked” by others, thereby gaslighting all of us who have been attacked constantly by them, it’s only going to get worse. He should have fired Gray yesterday after her remark comparing those who want him to release… Read more »