Election 2020 #8


A lot has happened since the debate on Tuesday, February 25th:

    • On February 25th, Jim Clyburn, Democratic Whip of the House of Representatives decided it was time to let the people of South Carolina know that he supports Joe Biden.
    • Joe Biden got 48.4%  of the votes in the South Carolina Democratic Primary, winning 39 delegates; Bernie Sanders got 19.9% of the votes, winning 15 delegates; and no other candidate reached the 15% delegate threshold.
    • Tom Steyer, who had put a lot of time and money into South Carolina, came in third with only 11.3% of the votes. He dropped out that same night.
    • On Sunday, March 1st, Pete Buttigieg ended his campaign.
    • March 3rd was Super Tuesday. By the end oh the day, Joe Biden had taken the lead in delegates. Amy Klobuchar suspended her campaign. That night, she and Pete Buttigieg joined Joe Biden at a rally in Texas and gave him their endorsement.
    • After spending over $500 million on advertising his campaign, Mike Bloomberg won only American Samoa. He ended his campaign on March 4th … endorsing Joe Biden and vowing to continue using his fortune to help prevent the reelection of President Trump.
    • Elizabeth Warren dropped out on March 5th. She has not endorsed any of the remaining candidates … but, she did make an appearance on Saturday Night Live[1]


The Final Five

Counting all remaining candidates in both major parties, we are left with a total of 5 candidates.

05 Remaining Candidates

While you may admire Tulsi Gabbard’s tenaciousness and Bill Weld’s contrast with the President, neither has much chance of success. Representative Gabbard has won only two delegates.  Supporters of Former Governor Weld have been denied their vote in some states because the Republican Committees in those states have canceled their primaries.[2]  Could the President be afraid of any competition from within the party he has in thrall? We are left with three viable candidates for President.

03 Viable Candidates 13-Mar-2020

Two of them debated on Sunday, March 15th.

02 Debaters 05-Mar-2020

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this debate was conducted without an audience and without a “spin room“. It was moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Washington, D.C. to reduce the need for cross-country travel. We went into the debate with the Joe Biden leading in the pledge delegate count.  As of March 15, 2020 at 5:39 P.M., Joe Biden had won 890 delegates and Bernie Sanders had won 736 delegates. California, where Bernie had the lead was still counting and did not finish for several weeks.

Vertical Elipsis 100

Wrapping Up with the Country Shut Down

Since the debate, the COVID-19 pandemic has consumed the news and put the Presidential race in the background. This article has been figuratively “lying around and collecting dust”. It’s time to finish writing/editing and publish it.

Vertical Elipsis 100

Evaluation of the March 15, 2020 Democratic Debate

The debate was underwhelming. Most of the first hour was consumed with discussing the candidates’ healthcare plans from the perspective of the global pandemic.[3]  Bernie Sanders spoke of several areas in which a universal healthcare system would be more effective in this crisis. The only other thing of note was that Joe Biden promised that he would select a female running mate if he is nominated.[4]

At the time of the debate, California was still counting the votes cast through early voting, absentee voting, and votes cast on Super Tuesday. I’ve spot checked the pledged delegate count since then. Today is March 30th. The count has been the same for a while. Maybe California has completed its ballot counting. The current pledged delegate count for the Democratic Party is:

  • Joe Biden ……… 1217
  • Bernie Sanders … 914
  • All Others ………. 171

It’s hard to guess where we go from here. Consider these COVID-19 graphs. [5]4 COVID-19 Graphs AChina was the first country to take action to fight the virus. Their graph (upper left) shows that the death rate has leveled off. The Chinese action was harsh, but it is working. Italy was the first democratic country to seriously attack the virus; Spain was the second. Italy’s graph (upper right) shows a decreasing death rate.  The decrease in Spain (lower left) is less than Italy’s but it is there. Our graph (lower right) still shows a steep increase.

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the face of our election procedures already.

  • Georgia moved its primaries from March 24 to May 19.
  • Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island moved their primaries from April 28 to June 2.
  • Indiana moved its primaries from May 5 to June 2.
  • West Virginia has moved its primaries from May 12 to June 9.
  • Louisiana moved its primaries from April 4 to June 20.
  • New York moved its primaries from April 28 to June 23.
  • Kentucky moved its primaries from May 19 to June 23.
  • Wyoming moved its caucus to vote-by-mail.
  • Alaska and Hawaii moved their primaries to vote-by-mail.

Given the limited data we have on how the virus spreads and the state-to-state inconsistencies in adopting preventive behaviors, Wyoming, Alaska, and Hawaii may have found the best solution. Other states may have to switch to vote-by-mail.

In spite of legal challenges and a last-ditch plea from the state’s Governor, Wisconsin will hold its primary and spring election on the scheduled date … tomorrow, Tuesday, April 7th. Polling places will be limited. Sixty percent of the registered voters have requested absentee ballots. Will the pandemic reduce turn-out dramatically? Will the polls accelerate the spread of COVID-19 in the state? Will we see neither or both unfortunate results? We’ll know about the turn-out on Wednesday. We’ll have to wait about two weeks to learn if there has been a change in the rate of infection.

Can we beat our part of the global pandemic and hold national elections at the same time? It seems that we have little choice.

We can … and, we must.

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End Notes
  1. Her dog, Bailey, made a brief cameo appearance too.
    Return to Point of Reference

  2. These cancellations predate COVID-19. They have nothing to with health concerns and everything to do with maintaining fawning loyalty to Donald Trump.
    Return to Point of Reference

  3. The path of COVID-19 infection and lack of coordination since the debate has provided a lot of evidence of the need for universal healthcare in the United States. Of course, we might have gained a bit more control over the infection and treatment situation if we had a President rather than a Marketeer/Reality Showman in the White House.
    Return to Point of Reference

  4. I recommend Elizabeth Warren. While the Senator might be a bit farther to the LeftRepresentative Joseph Patrick Kennedy III 150 than the former Vice President, they are both focusedSenator Edward John Markey 150 on shifting the power held by 1% of our population back to the rest of us. Additionally, Representative Joe Kennedy III could run for Elizabeth Warren’s seat in the Senate rather than trying to unseat fellow Democratic incumbent, Senator Ed Markey
    Return to Point of Reference

  5. I chose graphs representing the death rate because they most clearly depict change from country to country and, the death rate … not the economy; not the politics; not the social disruption … is the real concern.
    Return to Point of Reference


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