Michigan and the subsequent 125 Democrat delegates is a critical state for the presidential primary contest between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Michigan (125 delegates), Idaho (20), Mississippi (36), Missouri (68), North Dakota (14), and Washington State (89) all vote next Tuesday March 10th.
However, Bernie has a strong ground team in Michigan, understands the importance in delegate accumulation, and also knows it is critical to defeat the ‘unelectable‘ narrative the DNC Club has deployed against him.
Michigan is also critical for Bernie because his positions on Cuba have damaged his hopes in Florida (219 delegates) voting on March 17th.
If Bernie is going to mount a progressive charge against the power of the DNC apparatus he needs a strong outcome from working class voters in Michigan, Illinois (155) and Ohio (136 delegates). The primary contests in Illinois and Ohio are held on March 17th along with Florida.
Into this critical moment comes Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer who is: (a) part of the professional party apparatus; and (b) endorsing the party candidate, Joe Biden.
Whitmer, whose state’s primary will allocate 125 pledged delegates, cast Biden as an advocate for working families, citing his work on health care, bailing out the auto industry and more during his time in the Obama administration.
“Working families in Michigan need a president who will show up and fight for them, and Joe Biden has proven time and again that he has our backs,” she said in a statement. “Michiganders have grit. We’re tough. We know what it’s like to be overlooked and counted out. And we know that when you get knocked down, you pick yourself up and get back to work. Joe Biden has been right there with us in the tough fights.” (read more)
In many ways the 2020 Democrat primary is even more difficult for Bernie because the potential for his success is/was higher. In 2016 the Club apparatus knew Bernie Sanders was positioned as a primary candidate in name only. The Club had already structured a pre-determined outcome; a road-map specifically designed for Hillary Clinton.
In 2016 DNC Club leadership didn’t initially pay too much attention to Bernie early in the primary because they never gave him a chance. It was only after the primary race was well underway; and seeing an actual fire under the grassroots support he carried; that the Club realized Sanders was factually a threat. Once the machine moved internally to eliminate Bernie as a possibility…. the rest -as they say- became history.
This year the Club obviously took Bernie very seriously and pre-positioned a multitude of defensive systems, all very well funded, to diminish him.
Team Bernie needs a win or split decision in Michigan (125 delegates) and Washington State (89 delegates)… because Idaho (20), North Dakota (14), Missouri (68), and Mississippi (36), are far less favorable.
The importance of Michigan on March 10th, and the alignment of the professionally-black caucus behind Biden, appears to be why Bernie is ceding Mississippi in the south and cancelling trips.
(Via Bloomberg) Bernie Sanders canceled a campaign trip to Mississippi scheduled for Friday and will instead campaign in Michigan, an aide said Thursday. The move means that Sanders is effectively ceding votes in the South to Joe Biden.
Sanders was supposed to campaign on Friday with Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, who endorsed the Vermont senator.
But, after losing 10 of 14 states on Super Tuesday, Sanders is redirecting his focus to Michigan, which holds its primary contest on Tuesday. Biden had particularly strong performances across the South on Tuesday, lifted by overwhelming support from black voters, and is expected to easily win Mississippi on Tuesday.
Sanders won a surprise victory in the Michigan primary in 2016, and the state will be critical to his ability to catch up to Biden, who overtook him in delegates after Super Tuesday.(read more)
This landscape is why the duplicity of Elizabeth Warren is particularly painful for the loyal Bernie Sanders supporters. It would be immensely valuable for Elizabeth Warren to join with Sanders and mount a united progressive charge into the state of Michigan.
With both Sanders and Warren assembling their coalitions in Michigan a win would be much more likely. However, the Club knows exactly this point…. And that is exactly why Liawatha is following Club directions and not endorsing Bernie.
The positive for Sanders is the DNC rule-changes that make every state proportional in delegate distribution. If Sanders can stay a close second in states he does not win and simultaneously expand large margins in the states he does win, then he has a viable path against the machine. However, this approach requires BIG wins in BIG delegate-rich states.
Essentially that’s Bernie’s delegate road-map to the convention:
(1) stay a close second place in the smaller states that he loses; and
(2) have big wins in the big states where he has larger networks.
With that in mind the Sanders campaign likely regrets some of the recent remarks about Cuba that made Miami-Dade voters twitchy. It will be interesting to watch what Team Bernie does in Florida; Bernie cannot concede 219 delegates and still hope to win the nomination, even with optimism toward Ohio (136) and Illinois (155).
March 10th and March 17th are critical dates for Bernie Sanders….