BIPP: Democrats rehash old arguments going into Super Tuesday

Harry Morris, BIPP Intern

Super Tuesday is arguably the most important day of the primary season. More delegates and states are available than on any other singular day of the campaign. On Tuesday, March 3, 14 states and American Samoa held their primaries. Candidate Joe Biden won 10 of the 14 state primaries, compared to candidate Bernie Sanders’s four states won. Former candidate Michael Bloomberg won American Samoa and suspended his campaign. Biden now stands as the front-runner of the race for the Democratic nomination.

As Super Tuesday arrived, the Democratic field consolidated into two camps: the moderates, led by Biden, and the progressives, led by Sanders. Bloomberg and candidate Elizabeth Warren were also both in the running but were significantly behind the two front runners. Bloomberg also appealed to moderates, but publicly stated that his only realistic chance at the nomination was through a contested convention. This would be if no nominee got the required number of delegates, which is likely if neither Biden or Sanders become a clear front runner.

In the past week, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Bloomberg all ended their campaigns, followed by an endorsement for Joe Biden. Former candidate Beto O’Rourke also endorsed Biden, in addition to a host of lawmakers and mayors. Sanders has received endorsements from the progressive end of the Democratic Party but is also utilizing a highly organized and vigorous campaign. This is the model that showed him unforeseen success in 2016 and has allowed him to have a strong beginning to the primary season.

Biden is coming off the back of a win in South Carolina. He consistently polls better in the south than Sanders, and half of the states that are up for contention in Super Tuesday are in the south. The former Vice President appeared to have the advantage going into the day, but the states of Texas and California are where most of the delegates stem from. Biden won Texas, while Sanders claimed California.

Super Tuesday is an important day for the Democratic Party as a whole. It shows which direction the voters think will be best to run against U.S. President Donald Trump in November. On the one hand, there are the moderates who believe a return to conventional governance and politics will be able to work against the bombastic and unorthodox approach of Trump. It is seemingly a continuation of the politics of former President Barack Obama and of previous presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. On the other hand, there are progressives. Mostly consisting of millennials and first-time voters, they are putting trust into the unconventional Sanders and his emphasis on grass-roots support and socialist policies.

It is a shame that young faces of the primary season have all now faded away. Candidates like Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang offered new ideas and personalities. But the voter base appears drawn to the already established candidates of Biden and Sanders. This feels disappointing as the Republican primaries in 2016 seemed to show that in politics any outsiders can be successful as long as their ideas or personality resonate. Instead of more outsiders in 2020, it seems to be a rehash of what already occurred in the 2016 primaries.

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