Vote Like You Mean It on Tuesday

by on March 2, 2020 · 1 comment

in Election, San Diego

Today: some analysis on where the presidential campaigns stand, and a rundown of resources to help undecided voters make their choices.

by Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / March 2, 2020

The decision to move California’s primary election to earlier in the season has made the state a bigger player in the nominating process. And California’s Democratic voters have been watching closely, and reports now indicate that millions held on to their ballots strategically.

Twenty percent of the 16 million ballots mailed had been received as of Sunday, with Democrats and No Party Preference voters being more likely than Republicans to have NOT cast their votes.

The withdrawal of Amy Klochubar, Tom Steyer and Pete Buttigieg leaves voters with a binary decision: can the Democratic establishment undo Trump’s policies or will it take a grassroots wave to promote more fundamental change? There are problems with each approach to be considered. (Klochubar is endorsing Biden. Word is that Buttigieg is considering that option.)

Going the “safer” route at this point means voting for former VP Joe Biden or billionaire Mike Bloomberg. Going “bigger” means voting for Senators Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. (It’s my observation that Representative Tulsi Gabbard has no path forward.)

Bloomberg’s big wallet means he isn’t going anywhere yet. Persistence is integral to Warren’s brand, so she’s not giving up no matter how many insults Sanders supporters throw at her.

The long view going past the primary should be that Democrats need to vote with their hearts rather than their heads. What Donald Trump does well involves making an emotional connection with voters.

At this point it’s safe to say the prevailing emotional view on the left sides of the electorate is a lack of enthusiasm for the candidates on the other side of whatever binary choice has been made.

Should Biden or Bloomberg emerge victorious come the convention, there is, as far as I can tell, no strategy for harnessing the grassroots energy of the Sanders and Warren movement. It will take more than ad dollars and institutional support to unseat an incumbent president with a cult following.

And, I fear, the opposite is true.

Rather than reaching out to voters left behind by the withdrawal of their candidates over the weekend, the limited ranks of cultish Sanders fans (#notallBerners) spent their social media time hurling insults at Steyer and Buttigieg supporters. It’s unlikely that Joe Biden’s crew would do more than make a token statement of support should Bernie emerge victorious.

The problem here is that neither side can win in November by themselves.

The ideal solution would be for whatever side loses to focus their energies downballot. While this isn’t likely to be as satisfying for the big emotional investment activists have made with their candidate, it is vitally important.

Regardless of who gets elected, flipping the Senate is a must since #MoscowMitch has made it perfectly clear he’d rather see the country turn into a smoldering mess than compromise. Dozens of State Legislatures around the country are going to be facing redistricting battles. And local officials in blue states are going to be the front line of defense against the ongoing cruelty and incompetence of the Trump administration.

Polling for Super Tuesday favors Bernie Sanders at this point. His campaign continues to draw huge crowds and attract voters who don’t feel like they have a role to play in conventional politics.

I expect that Warren’s campaign will attract more voters, if for no other reason than she hasn’t been snotty about other candidates dropping out. If no candidate has enough delegates to win on the first vote at the democratic convention, she would be a logical consensus choice.

Biden’s early missteps in campaigning (neglecting California, for example) may be correctable now that’s he’s showing he really is in it to win it. Enthusiasm counts for a lot, and based on the number of public officials jumping on the Biden bandwagon over the weekend, his delegate count will rise.

Bloomberg is the wildcard in all this. Can a guy with all the money in the world and the charisma of a pet rock pick up a significant block of delegates? Some pundits think he can. And there certainly is a bloc of local elected officials (Congressman Scott Peters and Assemblywoman Shirley Weber come to mind)

IF and it’s a big IF, the Union-Tribune decides to endorse another candidate now that Buttigieg has dropped out, I think their choice will be Mike Bloomberg.

Monday: Should you have filled in the circles for Klobuchar, Buttigieg or Steyer on your mail-in ballot but not sent it in, you can go to one of the four locations (plus the registrar’s office) set up for handling such issues and request a new ballot.

The offices are open Monday from 8 am to 5 pm, and Tuesday from 7 am. to 8 pm. Residents can check the wait times of various locations on the registrar’s website, sdvote.com.

The satellite offices are:

  • Chula Vista: 690 Oxford St.
  • Spring Valley: 8735 Jamacha Blvd.
  • Carmel Mountain Ranch: 10152 Rancho Carmel Dr.
  • San Marcos: 3 Civic Center Drive.

On Tuesday if you need a new ballot you can make changes at your regular polling place. Be advised that the process will take additional time.

Editordude: the above was slightly edited to incorporate the updates into the main text.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Avatar Gary Pike March 4, 2020 at 10:56 am

Bloomberg is OUT as of March 4, Biden is utterly mentally incoherent.

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