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Democratic Primaries

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(42,862 posts)
Sat Mar 7, 2020, 10:12 AM Mar 2020

Bernie Sanders Might Have a Michigan Problem - An analysis of how states have voted so far, particul [View all]


Bernie Sanders Might Have a Michigan Problem

An analysis of how states have voted so far, particularly white voters, shows he’s vulnerable to a reversal of his striking victory there in 2016.

Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Detroit in October. The primary in Michigan is Tuesday.Credit...Scott Heins/Getty Images

It seems clear that Bernie Sanders needs to change the fundamental trajectory of the Democratic primary over the coming 12 days. And at first glance, the next contests — the states voting Tuesday — would seem to offer a promising set of opportunities. Among them is Michigan, where he posted the signature victory of his 2016 bid.

But an analysis of the primary results so far suggests that Michigan might not be as favorable to him as it was four years ago. Instead of giving him a chance to reclaim his momentum, Michigan could wind up dealing him a stinging and symbolic defeat.

[Read: As Bernie Sanders pushed for closer ties, the Soviet Union spotted opportunity.]

Of course, Super Tuesday demonstrates that a lot can change in just a few days. Perhaps Elizabeth Warren’s departure will provide a needed boost. Maybe Mr. Sanders will succeed in blunting Joe Biden’s support in Michigan by attacking his record on trade, or perhaps Mr. Biden will come under scrutiny and lose momentum, just as Mr. Sanders did after his big victory in Nevada.

Michigan will also be the first state in the industrial Midwest to vote; it is possible that the trends evident elsewhere won’t materialize there.

But Mr. Sanders has so far failed to match his 2016 strength across the white, working-class North this year, and that suggests it will be hard for him to win Michigan.

This pattern has held without exception this primary season. It was true in Iowa and New Hampshire against Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. It was true in Maine, Minnesota, Massachusetts and even Vermont on Super Tuesday against Mr. Biden.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden
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