Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Maybe Bernie Sanders Shouldn't Have Doubled Down on Cuba the Week Before Super Tuesday

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown - March 04, 2020 at 09:45AM

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were the big winners on Super Tuesday. Former Vice President Joe Biden took top place in nine Democratic Party presidential contests yesterday, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) was the top choice of Democratic voters in four states. The biggest states holding contests yesterday were split between the two candidates, with Texas going for Biden and California going for Sanders.

Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia also went for Biden yesterday, with Sanders winning in Colorado, Utah, and his home state of Vermont. (The Maine primary results are still not out.) This gives Biden at least an additional 337 delegates (bringing him up to 390 total), and Sanders at least 270 new delegates (bringing him up to 330 total).

The roughest night was had by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), who not only finished third in her home state of Massachusetts but failed to win top place in a single state. Warren picked up just 27 new delegates in yesterday's primaries, which now gives her a total of 36.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) earned one delegate in American Samoa, which may at least be enough to get her on the last Democratic primary debate stage with Biden, Bloomberg, Sanders, and Warren. Gabbard did not take first place in any states.

Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg got the most votes in American Samoa, earning him four delegates. Bloomberg also picked up a few delegates in Arkansas, Colorado, and Texasbringing him to a total of 12but overall failed to make much of an impact.

What does it all mean? For one thing, it means there were a whole lot of irate leftists on Twitter last night. Sanders supporters seem to have been counting on Biden's big shaming yesterday, which clearly didn't pan out.

(Perhaps Sanders following up his early primary wins with praise for Fidel Castro's literacy programs wasn't the best move?)

Many on the left blamed Warren for supposedly siphoning off votes from Sanders and have been calling for her to drop out.

The night also cast doubt on the idea that Sanders is better at motivating voter turnout than Biden.

In states with the biggest differences in voter turnout between yesterday and Super Tuesday 2016Virginia and South CarolinaBiden was the top candidate. And "exit polls for five southern states that Biden won—Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia—found that young voters did not show up at the polls in the numbers they did in 2016," notes USA Today.

And while it will surely do nothing to dampen enthusiasm for hysteria about "money in politics," Bloomberg's huge personal cash infusion doesn't seem to have helped him subvert democracy, or whatever it is that establishment Democrats have been fretting over. Besides embarrassing himself in a spectacular fashion, he helped show that fears about American oligarchs openly "buying elections" are overwrought.


FREE MINDS

Libertarian Party (L.P.) primary contests were held yesterday in California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. In North Carolina, the top vote-getting L.P. presidential candidates were Jacob Hornberger (8.7 percent), John McAfee (8.2 percent), Kim Ruff (7.9 percent), Vermin Supreme (5.9 percent), and Kenneth Armstrong (5.3 percent). But the top choice overall was no preference/none of the above, with nearly 30 percent of the vote:

As of Wednesday morning, California and Massachusetts winners were still unclear (with Hornberger, Jo Jorgensen, and Supreme leading in California).

Meanwhile, McAfee announced Wednesday that he was leaving the L.P. presidential race.


FREE MARKETS

California legislators are making changes to a much criticized "sex worker permit" bill, but its sponsor still doesn't seem to get it. "We want to identify who can be the folks that can help us sound the alarm when there are any problems," Assemblyperson Cristina Garcia told NPR, adding that the bill would apply to "dancers, web performers, porn stars."

Garcia's comments "confirm[ed] the suspicions of adult performers that AB2389 is a law enforcement bill disguised as a workers' safety bill," writes Gustavo Turner at XBiz. More:

The bill would, among other things, require government-sponsored training of sex workers on "safety" issues—something that Alana Evans, president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG), said groups like hers have long provided for performers themselves. From XBiz:

"[AB2389] is an unnecessary thing for the government to get involved in," Evans added, before tallying up the annual cost to California taxpayers to $468,000 dollars, or $1.1 million if a new set of amendments Gullesserian has recently proposed were to be adopted.

"That's over $1 million to have people do something I already do," said Evans.

[…] The segment's final guest was Antonia Crane, introduced as "a stripper and a sex worker for 26 years and a leader of  Soldiers of Pole, a California exotic dancers union."

Asked about whether her group thought the state should be more involved in their work, Crane was unequivocal and succinct. "'Role for the state?' I'm with Alana. Kill the bill," she said. "This is a money grab dressed up as a safety issue."

More here.


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