What A Difference A Day Makes II

Well. Super Tuesday is over, and there have been some surprises. Joe Biden had a solid showing and seemed to have beaten back the assault by Bernie Sanders, at least for the moment. The primaries are quite definitely a two-person race now with Biden regaining his status as the front runner. Whether the sudden dropout of Amy Klobuchar and Mayor Pete was engineered by DNC Pressure or political horse-trading by Biden, the gambit paid off. Clearly, late deciders who might have voted for either Klobuchar or Buttigieg showed up anyway and voted overwhelmingly for the former Vice President. 

Bloomberg and Warren did exceptionally poorly. Warren finished a distant third in her home state of Massachusetts. If she stays in the race after today she clearly needs an intervention by loved ones. Bloomberg has spent somewhere between seven hundred million and one billion dollars to win American Somoa and a pitful amount of delegates in all the other states where he finished third or worse. 
The good thing about being the frontrunner is that it makes it easier to raise money. But it also puts a target on your back. Not that Biden has much to worry about in terms of winning the nomination. But it will be interesting to see how Biden acquits himself in what will largely be a one on one debate with Sanders on March 15 in Phoenix. 

Of course, two weeks is an eternity at this stage of the campaign. Still, I think Sanders’s utterly stupid defense of Fidel Castro when given a chance to clarify earlier remarks has given his opposition a soundbite that keeps on giving. On the other hand, Biden needs to stop being such a gaff machine. This aspect of his personality becomes less appealing the closer he gets to be the one in charge of the nuclear football.

There is one other thing that had an impact on Bernie’s numbers yesterday. Many of that vaunted age demographic he is so popular with, those 18-29 years of age, did not show up. Dealing with this age group in the business world, I can tell you they are mostly lazy and unreliable when it comes to doing what it takes to get things done. Attending rallies with your friends is exciting and fun. But drag yourself away from the video games and texts and sexts and videos to vote? That’s the boring part someone else should be doing. And that could be Bernies’ biggest problem going forward. 

No Wonder He Left Town

As I write this, Joe Biden is in fifth place in New Hampshire. That is not good news for the Biden campaign nor the Democratic Party. No one expected the former Vice President to win Bernie Sander’s home state but a fifth-place finish? He is already having trouble raising cash. After this performance, Sleepy Joe might have difficulty raising dust. The media has already been writing Biden’s political epitaph, and they are just waiting for his doomed campaign to give up the ghost. 

Mayor Pete and Amy Klobuchar are the flavors of the week coming out of New Hampshire. Of the two, Amy is by far the more palatable, but her staying power will depend on whether she can distinguish herself going forward as well as she did in the debate. Senator Klobuchar tentatively raised her hand to be the lone candidate to say that she did indeed have a problem with a Socialist heading the Democratic ticket. That gesture represented what many in her party are thinking but are too afraid of the far-left base to say. Her surge came right after the debate and that one small action was a big part of that, in my opinion. 

The real winner last night, however, was not even on the ballot. He was not on the debate stage last week. Michael Bloomberg could not have had a better night. With no clear front-runner now the Democrats are looking at the very real possibility of a brokered convention. With moderates feeling disenfranchised and the far left feeling cheated once again by the DNC’s most significant problem might not be Donald Trump, but rather their voter turnout.