Is everybody ready for what I’m calling Almost Semi Sorta Super Tuesday? There’s six states coming out to have their say tomorrow, Washington, Idaho, North Dakota, Missouri, Michigan, and Mississippi. Michigan is of course the gold ring for this round, but there are a few things to watch for that will all go into the “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” that we’ll all be hearing about on Wednesday.
The first thing to watch should also be the easiest, since it’s the only 7 PM EDT closing, and will most likely be a poll closing call. Mississippi is already clearly enough in the Biden camp that Sanders canceled scheduled rallies there late last week, and sent surrogates to waste their breath instead. Mississippi is not a major delegate haul, with only 36 delegates, but it will set the tone for the evening for Bernie.
Because Bernie’s most important task tomorrow night is to stop the bleeding. He’s already about 75 votes behind Biden, and he can’t afford to fall any farther behind, not with Florida and Georgia, both heavily favored for Biden, and much larger delegate haul states right around the corner. Let;s just say that Biden wins MS with the same SC and AL style blowout, and the delegate split is about 30-6. Right off of the bat, that puts Bernie behind the 8 ball, requiring him to make up 24 votes somewhere to keep from falling any further behind.
In Mississippi I’m going to be looking at turnout. On Super Tuesday and in South Carolina, Biden’s secret sauce was driving turnout, especially voting day turnout through the roof, especially with African American and older voters. There has been an entire week now for the passions of Super Tuesday to cool off. If turnout is high in Mississippi, that will indicate to me that the Democratic base has had enough of these primaries, and wants to rally behind a single candidate and start hammering His Lowness.
And if that happens, then Bernie has a major problem on his hands. As I wrote earlier, Michigan is more than just a high haul delegate state, it’s an emotional statement for both Sanders and Biden. Michigan is the personification state of both candidates’ claim to electability. It is the kind of blue collar “rust belt” state that Trump flipped in 2016 that both men have claimed that they alone can flip back to get Trump out of the White House. But Michigan has pockets of large minority populations, and if they follow the example of Super Tuesday, especially if older Americans follow suit, this could cost Bernie both Michigan, as well as Missouri, which will make it almost impossible to find somewhere else on tomorrow nights map where he can make up the lost delegates. And if Biden can roll up the African American vote in Michigan, it will allow him to campaign on the fact that he has shown that he can energize the black vote that may well have cost Hillary Michigan in 2916.
The rest of the map tomorrow night is almost anti climactic. If my paltry math is correct, Michigan alone has as many delegates as Washington, Idaho, and North Dakota combined. If Sanders comes up short in the first three, I don’t see anywhere out west with enough delegates where he’s favored by enough to make up a large chunk of delegates for the night. And for Bernie, even more so than for Biden, it’s all about the delegates. When the final vote is tallied tomorrow night, 40% of the country will have cast its ballots, and there are two more large,potentially Sanders unfriendly states coming up right after tomorrow.
Basically, Bernie must get no worse than a draw in Michigan and Missouri tomorrow night. If Biden manages to win both Missouri and Michigan by as little as 5-6 points, especially with a large minority and older American turnout, that just builds on the momentum he already has to try to put this to bed in the Georgia and Florida primaries. It’s funny when you think about it. Back in 2016, Sanders insisted in campaigning all the way to the last day to try to run up the delegate count in California to give him moire clout at the convention. In 2020, California could have literally been Bernie’s bottom of the 9th miracle comeback, but it was moved up to Super Tuesday, and is now safely in Biden’s rear view mirror. Funny how such small changes can have such a major impact.
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