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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Amy Out, Joe Up

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well under way.

The day after Buttigieg quit the race, so did Klobuchar.  Both endorsed Biden, as did Beto.

Anna Palmer at Jake Sherman at Politico:
BIDEN is consolidating establishment Democratic support with speed and precision as he makes the case that he -- and only he -- can steer the party through an election with President DONALD TRUMP atop the ballot. He’s rounding up prominent supporters -- like PETE BUTTIGIEG, AMY KLOBUCHAR and BETO O’ROURKE in Dallas on Monday night -- and finally beginning to raise the millions he needs to continue deep into March and April. BIDEN is so eager for unity that he told a local reporter in Houston on Monday that he would ask BUTTIGIEG to be in his administration.
Philip Wegman at RCP:
“It’s not apple to apples,” Tim Miller said in comparing the 2020 Democratic primary to the previous Republican one. He was the spokesman for Jeb Bush last time around, the once mighty Florida governor and presumed establishment champion. But Bush dropped out after a disappointing showing in South Carolina and the other candidates, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, refused to make peace to oppose the upstart front-runner Trump. Klobuchar and Buttigieg are not so hard-headed.
Miller said that by walking away before Super Tuesday, the two moderates have given Biden “a realistic path toward the nomination.” He added, however, that these endorsements “were necessary, but not sufficient, for stopping Sanders.” It is possible, the former GOP flack said, “that a consolidation might not matter because, in the end, voters might be for Sanders.”
But consolidation does have two immediate and undeniable effects, observers from across the spectrum say. First, it gave Biden the spotlight 24 hours before voters cast their ballots. Second, and perhaps more critically, it signals to donors that that there is no longer an embargo on Joe, that they can give freely and generously to his campaign.
 Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns at NYT:
Late last year a group of first-term House Democrats, anxious over the party’s fractious presidential race, convened a series of discussions intended to spur unity. Led by Representatives Colin Allred of Texas and Haley Stevens of Michigan, they considered issuing a collective endorsement of one moderate candidate.
The group held phone calls with Joseph R. Biden Jr., Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg. But the lawmakers could not agree: Some were torn between the options, and others worried about alienating voters at home who backed other contenders, like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. A few issued solo endorsements of Mr. Biden, but the grander plan disintegrated.
“There was not time to reach consensus over one candidate,” said Ms. Stevens, who eventually endorsed Michael R. Bloomberg, recalling the “fast-moving” blur of the lead-up to Iowa.
That effort was just one in a series of abandoned or ineffective plans to rally the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, and the leaders and institutions of the political establishment, behind a single formidable contender who could stop the ascent of Mr. Sanders, a democratic socialist promising a revolution in government.