Daily Reformer: Super Tuesday cometh

Dance dance dance.

Good morning. 

With Joe Biden’s polling looking good going into South Carolina, supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders are already beginning to say if he has a plurality of delegates but not a majority and then is denied the nomination, they will not support the eventual nominee.

Here’s local progressive lawyer Will Stancil on Twitter

“The idea that a majority of delegates could realign behind someone other than the plurality leader isn’t a sinister DNC superdelegate thing. It’s just an inherent property of delegate conventions. ‘The plurality wins’ is just a first-past-the-post system, which is way worse.” 

I’m sure all of you saying if Bernie Sanders is denied the nomination despite a plurality of votes on the first ballot that it would be the greatest outrage in the history of humanity were saying the same when Tim Walz was denied the DFL endorsement despite winning the first ballot at the 2018 DFL convention. Right? 

I have no dog in this fight, but one thing I’m sure of is that the person with a majority of the delegates wins. And then if your candidate loses, you drink and cry for a day and then get up and work because the current occupant of the White House is unacceptable to you. It’s not what you wanted exactly but it’s an improvement and will make a difference in the lives of millions of your fellow citizens, indeed the entire world. 

And then you can take pride in the fact that you acted like an adult. 

This is not idle speculation, by the way: Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight model now has a 50% chance that no one has the majority of delegates going into the convention. 

Heading into South Carolina’s primary, Pew, which is the best in the business on public opinion, has 5 facts about Black Democrats: Stable and relatively moderate ideology; religious and positive views of religious institutions; more likely than others in the party to view racism as a huge problem; want next president to push hard on Dem policies, even if it makes it harder to get anything done; strongly negative feelings toward Trump.   

The SEIU janitors strike continues today. 

Some reader mail:

A Capitol type disagrees with my analysis that Sen. Tom Bakk remains powerful, with the fun subject line: Bakk ain’t no Jedi.  

“Bakk can negotiate all he wants with Gazelka, the Governor/Speaker will be working with (Susan) Kent. That will matter a lot more.”

A couple readers pointed out that my hockey player gif showed a guy no longer on the Minnesota Wild. Sorry for the faux pas. I’ve revealed my hockey ignorance and thus lost all Minnesota bona fides. I should probably move. 

Maybe a lack of clarity in something I wrote Thursday, about a DFL source who sees big problems with a Sanders ticket in Minnesota. My point was that if Sanders loses Minnesota, that’s big trouble for the rest of the ticket, including the DFL Legislature and Sen. Tina Smith. 

But as I pointed out, a Republican hasn’t won statewide here in more than 15 years, and I don’t see Sanders losing here. 

Political scientist Steven Schier wrote to agree with my DFL source, however, and thinks Sanders runs badly here. 

Please send me more comments, write a guest op-ed for us and tell all your family and friends about this non-boring newsletter you get! [email protected]

Have a great day and a great weekend! JPC

J. Patrick Coolican
J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and toddler son.