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South Carolina: the preface to a wild and potentially game-changing “Super Tuesday”

by | Feb 28, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

The dawning realization that it is possible Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders may accumulate a virtually insurmountable lead in delegates following March 3’s  “Super Tuesday” is increasing the hysteria among the leadership in the Democrat party and their unending number of media supporters.

The immediate prize is the vote in South Carolina which takes place Saturday. Although some polls earlier in the week seemed to suggest former Vice President Joe Biden might be in trouble,  newer surveys show him winning in the state he called his “firewall.” But the real trophy is next Tuesday.

 The Los Angeles Times’ David Lauter offered a very thorough overview today. Here are his first three paragraphs:

The next 96 hours could determine the Democratic nomination for president.

Between Saturday and Tuesday, 15 states, a U.S. territory and Americans abroad will hold contests that, together, will distribute 36% of all the delegates to the party’s nominating convention in Milwaukee this summer. The voting begins in South Carolina on Saturday, then spreads from Maine to American Samoa on March 3, the Super Tuesday of this year’s schedule.

For Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has garnered a tie and two wins in the season’s first three contests, the balloting could be his moment. If he wins the majority of these contests, he would have a lead so big that his rivals would be unable to overtake him.

The system in California is even more complicated than the usual way Democrats calculate who gets what number of the state’s 415 delegates. “Under the state Democratic party’s rules, candidates can win delegates only if they get 15% of the vote, either statewide or in an individual congressional district,” Lauter writes. “Right now, several candidates seem likely to fall below that threshold, according to the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Affairs poll that we released Friday.”

Things could change, of course, but “All told, Sanders could walk away with more than 200 delegates from California, perhaps significantly more,” Lauter writes.That’s more than 10% of the 1,990 needed to win a first-ballot victory at the convention this summer in Milwaukee.” (emphasis mine). In this scenario, Sen. Elizabeth Warren could receive the lion’s charge of the remaining delegates.

David Brooks is the New York Times’s “conservative” columnist who deviates from Democrat orthodoxy once every other leap year. But his column which ran Thursday—“No, Not Sanders, Not Ever: He is not a liberal, he’s the end of liberalism” –is the distilled essence of the fear coursing through the veins of Democrats.

Of course he begins by trashing President Trump. Brooks is nothing is not consistent on that. But that is the set up to answer the question (after earlier reminding us he had written a column saying he could vote for Sen. Warren),” Now I have to decide if I’d support Bernie Sanders over Trump.” In the end he tells us he couldn’t pull the lever for Trump or Sanders.

His column deftly summarizes some of the reasons he couldn’t , including that (1) Sanders’ “morally unfathomable” apologetics for totalitarian  regimes, such as that of of the late Fidel Castro, and (2) because “Sanders’s leadership style embodies the populist values, which are different: rage, bitter and relentless polarization, a demand for ideological purity among your friends and incessant hatred for your supposed foes.”

If you have a chance, keep an eye on the Saturday results coming out of South Carolina. It will be the preface to a wild and potentially game-changing Super Tuesday.

Categories: Politics