Six states’ Democratic primaries: live commentary

Joe Biden is very likely to win the Democratic nomination, with Sanders needing big breaks in today’s primaries. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont

11:50am Nate Silver on Washington’s count

11:40am In Mississippi, Sanders has 14.8% with all precincts in.  Mississippi has a large provisional vote, so Sanders may exceed the 15% threshold for statewide delegates once those votes are tallied.  Biden won every single county in the three M states.

11:32am However, there’s bad news for Sanders in Washington State.  The latest votes put Biden ahead by 34.8% to 33.5%, reversing a 0.2% Sanders lead in yesterday’s counting.  Dave Wasserman has called Washington for Biden.  Washington appeared demographically friendly to Sanders, and he may not be able to win another state-run primary.  There are few delegates to be decided by party-run primaries and caucuses.

11:24am Thursday In good news for Sanders, he’s the winner in North Dakota by a 53-40 margin.  ND was a party-run primary, not state-run.  There were only 14 polling places for the whole state, and just 14,400 votes total.  Left-wing activists are more likely to make up a greater share of turnout in such low-turnout affairs.

4:00pm Idaho CALLED for Biden.  He currently leads by 48-42 with 74% in.

3:53pm If Sanders stays in, next Tuesday is likely to be brutal for him.  Four big states vote: Florida, Ohio, Illinois and Arizona.  Given Biden’s dominance everywhere in Michigan, he is likely to crush Sanders.  14.5% of delegates will be awarded next Tuesday, taking us to 61.5% of all pledged delegates.

3:49pm In the delegate count at The Green Papers, Biden now leads Sanders by 845 to 706.  Overall popular votes are 37.6% Biden, 30.1% Sanders.

3:44pm With 68% reporting in Idaho, Biden leads by 47-42.  The bottom line, no matter what happens in Washington’s late counting, Idaho or North Dakota, is that Biden is dominating with black voters and both higher-educated and lower-educated whites.  Biden will clearly be the Democratic nominee to face Trump in November.

3:30pm With 22% reporting in North Dakota, Sanders leads Biden by 45-34.  But there are only 14 delegates in this small, strongly Republican state.

3:18pm With 50% reporting in Idaho, Biden leads Sanders by 47-41.

2:57pm Biden has won every county in Mississippi and Missouri, and is barely losing two counties in Michigan.  In the 2016 contest against Hillary Clinton, Sanders dominated in rural areas where there were many lower-educated whites.  Not against Biden.

2:50pm In Mississippi, Sanders’ vote has dropped to 14.9% with 97% in.  If his vote stays at that level, he will miss the 15% delegate threshold for statewide delegates.

2:48pm With all counties reporting initial postal votes in Washington, Sanders leads by just 0.2%, 32.7-32.5.  Many of these votes were cast when other candidates were still in.  I don’t think we will get the remaining votes today; we’ll have to wait a week or two for them to come in.

2:16pm In the first results from Idaho, Biden leads by 43-33.

2:14pm Washington uses an all-postal ballot.  Votes that arrive before election day are tallied as soon as polls close.  With an estimated 64% reporting, Sanders and Biden are tied at 32.8% each.

1:52pm Meanwhile in California, Sanders’ lead has dropped to 6.7% today from 7.0% yesterday and 9% on election night last week.

1:38pm Some good news for Sanders: the North Dakota postal vote has him winning by 40-26 over Biden, but Biden is likely to gain when election day votes report.  Meanwhile, Biden leads by 53-39 in Michigan (55% in), 59-34 in Missouri (66% in) and 81-15 in Mississippi (77% in).  If Sanders does not reach 15% in Mississippi, he will not qualify for statewide delegates.

12:17pm Biden is leading by 54-28 in Missouri with 6% reporting.  There’s a large vote for candidates who have dropped out, which should drop as more election day votes are counted.

12:06pm With all polls now closed in Michigan, and Biden 12 points up without much from Detroit (Wayne county), Michigan has been CALLED for Biden.

11:50am With 3% reporting in Mississippi, Biden has an 83-13 lead.  Most of what’s been counted is likely postal votes, which skew to Biden, but that’s a massive margin.

11:46am CNN analyst Harry Enten

11:43am Biden still leading by ten points in Michigan with 10% reporting.  Twitter commentary suggests Sanders is losing white lower-educated precincts that he won against Clinton in 2016.

11:27am Biden leads by 54.4-41.4 in Michigan with 4% reporting.

11:20am Biden leads by 85-11 in the first Mississippi results.

11:13am Remember that Democratic delegates are awarded proportionally with a 15% threshold.  So margins of victory matter, not just winning a state.  A massive win for Biden in Mississippi will earn him many delegates.

11:07am Based on exit polls, Mississippi and Missouri have been CALLED for Biden.

10:42am Wednesday Polls close at 11am AEDT in Missouri, Mississippi and North Dakota.  Michigan has two time zones, with the majority closing at 11am, while the western bit closes at 12pm.  Idaho and Washington close at 2pm.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at the University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Democratic primaries will be held today in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington State. The result will determine 352 of the 3,979 total pledged delegates (9% of the total). Michigan (125 delegates) and Washington (89) are the two biggest states voting. Polls close Wednesday between 11am and 2pm AEDT.

Last Tuesday, Joe Biden won ten states to four for Bernie Sanders. In the next two days, the two remaining contenders, Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren, withdrew, leaving a two-candidate contest for the remaining delegates. Biden dominated the south, but also had surprise wins in Minnesota, Massachusetts and Maine.

The delegate count at The Green Papers gives Biden a 681 to 608 lead over Sanders, but this understates Biden’s advantage. Sanders has an advantage with left-wing Democrats and Latinos, but most of the southwestern states, where Latinos have a relatively high share of the population, have now voted.

In 2016, Sanders benefited from lower-educated white voters aversion to Hillary Clinton, something Donald Trump exploited in the general election. However, the Minnesota county results show that Biden performed well in rural regions, helping him to a nine-point statewide win. This implies that Biden has a greater appeal than Clinton to lower-educated whites.

Biden is winning black voters by massive margins, and he is winning both higher-educated and lower-educated whites. There are few states with a significant Latino population left. An exception is Florida, which votes with three other large states next Tuesday. However, Florida’s Latinos are far more conservative than Latinos in the southwest owing to the Cuban Americans. Florida is also demographically elderly. Florida polls have Biden crushing Sanders.

Biden leads Sanders by 51-35 in the RealClearPolitics national average in polls conducted since last Tuesday. Biden leads Sanders by 22 points in Michigan, and has a small lead in Washington, which should be Sanders’ strongest of the six states. In 2016, Sanders defeated Clinton in Michigan after a massive polling error, but he was performing much better then with lower-educated whites.

There’s also bad news for Sanders from California’s late counting, where his lead over Biden has been reduced from nine points on election night to seven. Late counting in California usually skews left, but many moderates did not vote early, withholding their vote until they knew Biden was the moderate candidate.

358 comments on “Six states’ Democratic primaries: live commentary”

  1. Update for Washington state primary, up to 1.3 million votes counted now (earlier in the thread it was speculated total turnout would be approx 2 million)

    Biden leads Sanders 36.9% to 34.9%

    Over 25% in total cast for Warren/Bloomberg/Buttigieg/Klobuchar

  2. Dr Anthony S Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and just about the only official in the Trump administration trusted to tell the truth about the coronavirus, said last Thursday: “The system does not, is not really geared to what we need right now … It is a failing, let’s admit it.”

    While we’re at it, let’s admit something more basic. The system would be failing even under a halfway competent president. The dirty little secret, which will soon become apparent to all, is that there is no real public health system in the United States.

    The ad hoc response fashioned late Friday by House Democrats and the White House may help a bit, although it’s skimpy, as I’ll explain.
    robert reich, at the guardian:-
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/15/america-public-health-system-coronavirus-trump

    the big sleeper issue of this election is waking up & its a nightmare on elm street. -a.v.

  3. alfred venison @ #355 Sunday, March 15th, 2020 – 11:48 pm

    Dr Anthony S Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and just about the only official in the Trump administration trusted to tell the truth about the coronavirus, said last Thursday: “The system does not, is not really geared to what we need right now … It is a failing, let’s admit it.”

    While we’re at it, let’s admit something more basic. The system would be failing even under a halfway competent president. The dirty little secret, which will soon become apparent to all, is that there is no real public health system in the United States.

    The ad hoc response fashioned late Friday by House Democrats and the White House may help a bit, although it’s skimpy, as I’ll explain.
    robert reich, at the guardian:-
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/15/america-public-health-system-coronavirus-trump

    the big sleeper issue of this election is waking up & its a nightmare on elm street. -a.v.

    And forcibly taking away people’s private health plans would only exacerbate the problem. There is no Public Health infrastructure in place that could cope with that sudden change, combined with Coronavirus. It can’t just be magicked up.

  4. Lol, Bernie Sanders knows he’s going to lose again on Tuesday in the latest round of Primaries, so he’s asking for them to be called off.

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