Sunday, March 1, 2020

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Turning Point Or Hiccup?

The current stage of the 2020 presidential election might appear
a bit confusing, especially the contest for the Democratic

In the months preceding Iowa and New Hampshire the status of
“frontrunner” has shifted. Although Joe Biden, by virtue of his
name recognition, seemed throughout this period to be leading
the initially large field (28 announced candidates), several others
have enjoyed brief runs as “favorites,” including Kamala Harris,
Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Michael Bloomberg. But in
the early voting, it was 2016 runner-up Bernie Sanders who has
emerged as the leader.

The fourth state to vote before delegate-rich Super Tuesday is
South Carolina, a state where Biden has held a large poll lead
until recently. Then his lead began to erode. But on primary
election day. Biden won by a larger than expected margin. It was
only one state, but he survives to compete seriously on Super
Tuesday and beyond.

Bernie Sanders came in a distant second in South Carolina, but
will get some delegates. It might only briefly slow down Sanders’
early momentum because just three days later, 14 states will vote
on Super Tuesday --- and select one-third of the total delegates.
Sanders leads in polls in most of these states, including California
with its 400 delegates.

Some observers suggested that Sanders early success was making
him unstoppable. Indeed, if he had upset Biden in South Carolina,
then won big on Super Tuesday, it might have been difficult to deny
him the nomination in July. But self-proclaimed socialist Sanders,
not ever a true Democrat, alarms many in the party who feel his
proposed policies would lead to an electoral disaster, and cause
widespread defeats for down-ballot liberal candidates in

Tom Steyer has now announced the end of his campaign. After
Super Tuesday, the field of candidates could be reduced to
Sanders, Biden, Mike Bloomberg (who competes for the first
time on Super Tuesday) --- and possibly Pete Buttigieg and
Elizabeth Warren.

The big question now is whether South Carolina was a  turning
point or merely a hiccup in this nomination race. Time is
running out for those who want to change the narrative for this
elecoral contest.

Copyright (c) 2020 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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