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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

State of the D Race

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.

Astead W. Herndon and Shane Goldmacher at NYT:
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts told her staff she was dropping out of the presidential race on Thursday, ending a run defined by an avalanche of policy plans that aimed to pull the Democratic Party to the left and appealed to enough voters to make her briefly a front-runner last fall.
”I know that when we set out, this was not the call you ever wanted to hear,” Ms. Warren said on the call. “It is not the call I ever wanted to make.”
Though her vision excited progressives, that did not translate to enough excitement from the party’s more working-class and diverse base, and her support had eroded by Super Tuesday. In her final weeks as a candidate she effectively drove former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, a centrist billionaire, out of the race with debate performances that flashed her evident skills and political potential.
[By nailing Bloomberg, she inadvertently helped Biden by wounding his most formidable competitor for center-left voters. -- JJP]




They were disaffected Republicans in affluent Washington suburbs. They were shipyard employees in Norfolk. And they were health care workers in Petersburg.

They all came together on Super Tuesday in an extraordinary surge to the polls in Virginia, propelling former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to an overwhelming victory in a state that just days earlier had seemed up for grabs. The triumph was part of a 10-state sweep for Mr. Biden that resurrected his presidential candidacy, and established him as the centrist Democrat who would go head-to-head with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the standard-bearer of the party’s liberal wing.

In Virginia on Tuesday, it was no contest. Mr. Biden won with 53 percent of the vote, 30 percentage points more than Mr. Sanders. Voter turnout broke a state record for a presidential primary, and was especially high in suburban areas near Washington and near Richmond and Norfolk, as well as in regions with large African-American populations. Petersburg, a mostly-black city south of Richmond, went 75 percent for the former vice president.
Biden leads in the March 10 Michigan primary  and has a prohibitive edge in the March 17 Florida primary:

As we explain in Epic Journey (p. 94), proportional allocation makes it hard for a challenger to catch up once the other candidate has a substantial lead in delegates.