Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Democratic race for President status today

Much like how the total number of votes nationwide for each candidate is irrelevant in selecting a President, the actual number of votes cast in all the primaries and caucases is irrelevant to selecting a nominee. Members of the Electoral College select the President and Convention delegates select the nominee.

So far the Democratic contest has results from Iowa (where in 2016 Trump won with 51.15% of the vote) and South Carolina (where in 2016 Trump won with 54.94% of the vote), plus New Hampshire (where in 2016 Clinton won with 46.98% of the 2016 vote) and Nevada (where in 2016 Clinton won with 47.50% of the 2016 vote).

The results from the delegate selection process in those four states are that the left wing of the party, Sanders and Warren, have won 67 delegates or 3.4% of the number needed to win on a Convention first ballot, while the centrist wing of the party, Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar, have won 86 delegates or 4.3% of the number needed to win on a Convention first ballot. (Note that these numbers are still preliminary and could change - not significantly, but they could change.)

Despite all the news coverage, now slightly overshadowed by the great 2020 plague, we really have no significant information about the Democratic race.

But this coming Tuesday is Super Tuesday when Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia will all hold their presidential primaries. American Samoa will have its caucus that day and the Democrats Abroad primary, for Democrats living outside of the United States, will also begin voting on March 3, and conclude on March 10.  A total of 1,357 of the 3,979 pledged delegates to be awarded to the candidates in the Democratic primaries will be allotted as a result of Super Tuesday.

A total of 643 of those delegates will come from two states - California and Texas.  The remaining 714 will be divided between the remaining 12 states, American Somoa and Democrats Abroad. What we know is that in 2016 Clinton won in California with 61.73% of the vote while Trump only garned 31.62%, but Trump won in Texas with 52.23% of the vote while Clinton only garnered 43.24%.

Both California and Texas are likely to go strongly for Bernie in the primaries and California will vote Democratic in the November General Election while Texas likely will vote Trump absent an economic collapse. So we won't learn anything important about who will be President in 2021 from those two primaries.

But the press will make something out of the results no matter how meaningless, just like they did in the first four states.

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