Shifting Fervor, and Favorites, in the Presidential Race

Feb 28, 2020 · 87 comments
Mark (Philadelphia)
I have been supporting Vice President Biden from the start, something which has required me to grapple with left leaning commenters who blithely asserted that he was actually a Republican and ill equipped to even win the nomination. Hopefully South Carolina has caused these readers, so often white, so often from the deepest of blue states, to undergo a reality check. South Carolina is a state with a conservative constituency and a Democratic electorate which more closely resembles the party than that in Iowa or New Hampshire. And Biden trounced the competition. Now, on to the White House. It’s not too late to hop on the Biden train.
Jane Welsh (Hamilton NY)
I have been a fan of Pete from day one but I recognize that this is probably not happening. I just want to make an observation and I have earned it as a woman of retirement age who competed in a man’s world and fought hard for that. I am saddened by the likelihood that this nation will likely have choices that limit us to a few nearly 80 year old white men, while two very interesting and qualified (albeit different) women are so woefully far behind. Women are still not taken seriously and it makes me angry. On the other hand, if I were a young person, I would be extremely turned off by a system that is unable to recognize that it is time to turn over control to some younger and more imaginative and energetic minds.
garibaldi (Vancouver)
@Jane Welsh The lack of attention paid to Warren, because she is a woman, is disturbing. I also agree that it would be nice to see younger people on the stage. But isn’t it interesting that Sanders’ most fervent supporters are the young, and his least are those over 65?
jck (nj)
The Democratic debates are like the Jerry Springer Show. These are like contestants on TV talent shows like The Voice or Dancing with the Stars trying to perform but being interrupted, insulted and shouted down by Warren or Sanders or others. Then the most obnoxious shouters are declared the winner by the media. Eliminate the debates and ban all political advertising which wastes billions of dollars promoting mostly useless disinformation and false promises.This would negate the current spending advantage of wealthy candidates, their wealthy contributors, and corporations. All candidates could promote their messages on their own websites with almost no expense. All voters could access these sites freely.
Laura Lynch (Las Vegas)
I confess I like aspects of many of the candidates. Mayor Pete is impressive, I first heard him speak before he was a candidate on a late night public radio game show. Senator Warren is effective and good communicator but seems to be struggling. Senator Klobuchar is also an articulate speaker who shines the light on what is important in terms of values. I am sadly not convinced enough people will vote for a woman in the primary. VP Biden and Senator Sanders represent different wings of the party and are quite different in personality and communication style. I wish they could trade a bit. With Biden I suppose we would be going back to where we left off with President Obama, although not really because of all the policies and legislation that need to be reversed. But he understands the merits of incrementalism and compromise. Sanders clearly has convictions but his strong idealism has not been tested in implementation. You can’t just speak loudly and forcefully, you have to make it work in reality. Even FDR and his administration did not get everything they wished for in the middle of the depression, otherwise we would likely have had a version of national health (or every state like Canada). In other words at some point you have to build consensus and even compromise. My main concern is outing President Trump. If that means that Mayor Bloomberg is the best person I would vote for him too.
RGB (Ellicott City, MD)
Those voters' comments reflect many of my own, as well as those of my friends and family. Each day I find a reason why one candidate will be better at beating Trump AND getting the country back on an even keel, and then the next day I reject that candidate for another. My least favorite is Bernie--not because I don't agree with his ideas, but because I find him divisive, humorless and not someone who will bring this sorely hurting nation back together. I love Warren's intellect and ideas that show that she has done her homework. I like Buttegieg's mind, maturity and wisdom beyond his years and that as a practicing Episcopalian, he can respond to the religious right with credibility. Klobuchar has sincerity and intelligence and would also offer a healing presence. And of course, Joe Biden is the common man with experience and compassion that has always been appealing to me. I live in Maryland, so I still have time to decide, but I've never been so undecided in all the 56 years that I have been voting. And, of course, by the time our primary rolls around, for whom I vote may be a moot point.
Lagrange (Ca)
Warren fan here but will vote for whoever is nominated. We have to remember this is not only to kick out Trump but also to get rid of all the dangerous characters like Guilliani, Mulvaney, Miller, Barr?, etc.
Maggie (NC)
Elizabeth Warren for all the reasons Michelle Goldberg outlines today. She’s a real reformer. She gets things done. She knows how to turn the wheels of the federal government, a skill you only get with experience. She’s not a great campaigner, but she’s a highly effective leader. Her plans are detailed and so are most their funding sources. I like Bernie. We need to make government work for people again. I think what he proposes to do in the first months in office by executive order would cause utter chaos. He’s never gotten any significant legislation passed. He’s a great campaigner, but not an effective leader.
bess (Minneapolis)
This is our last chance to elect Bernie. It is somewhat surprising (to me at least) exactly how broad his appeal is given his positions (not to mention his age). I think that if we don't elect him this time, we might not have another plausible chance to elect an equally progressive person for who can say how long. When is the next time we'll have a plausible candidate who actually aims to make us more like the rest of the developed world? I'm 40 and he's the first such candidate in my lifetime. So, even though I have concerns about him and in some ways prefer Warren or Klobuchar or Buttigieg (and really Yang was my strong first choice), I definitely support him now.
Mark Keller (Portland, Oregon)
Four things seem clear to me about the race for the Democratic nomination so far: 1) Primary voters and caucus attendees like numerous candidates as their first choice, which is indicative as a strong, deep field; 2) An overwhelming percentage want to defeat Donald Trump as their first priority, and, thus, policy differences among the candidates are the least important in Democratic history. 3) 16% percent of partisans for Sanders currently say they will stay home, rather than vote for another Democrat or Trump (God help us if Sanders is not the nominee and this stat holds true... Stats from latest Emerson U. poll) -- otherwise known as the "Bernie or Bust" contingent). 4) Right or Wrong, the biggest trend right now, is pressure to coalesce around a "moderate" alternative to Bernie, in fear of the idea that a Democratic Socialist cannot be elected. Personally, I suspect and hope that whomever the Democrats nominate will be so much more attractive than the dangerous con man that hangs out in the Oval Office - that Democrats will vote en masse, and decisively. If we don't, God help us, and God help the whole world.
Anna Fisher (East Lansing, MI)
@Mark Keller I hear the sentiment that "we must have a moderate, we cannot have a Democratic Socialist, it will alienate all the moderates." Two comments about that. 1) Choosing a moderate will alienate the youth AND progressives. (Youth are now the largest voting block in the country, and they lean most strongly to Bernie.) 2) A recent poll in Newsweek said that 76% of Dems are willing to vote for a Dem Socialist. I'm all about making our democracy more truly democratic, that's why I'm enthusiastically supporting a progressive candidate.
independent1776 (New Jersy)
A President should have a resume that illustrates a record of success, and experience in Governing. There is no better resume than Bloomberg, the only candidate that has not taken anything from the tax payer, but has given millions for the welfare of the people he governed. He is the only one that can beat Trump
Sandra (CA)
Good morning to all. Please consider how trump and the Republican Senate will go after Biden and the Ukraine. That is all we will hear about if Mr. Biden is the nominee. He is not a strong orator and lately not a strong presence. The Ukraine will be his undoing even though he did nothing wrong. “They” will go after him. For me, Mike Bloomberg is the best to get under trump’s skin and show him to be the inept fool that he is. Mike Bloomberg knows where all the bodies are buried so to speak. He is also genuinely concerned for this nation. He does indeed put his money where his mouth is. He can get it done!
Anna Fisher (East Lansing, MI)
I'm a feminist and struggled over whom to support, Sanders or Warren. I love and respect Warren, but Bernie ultimately won my support because of his authenticity---he's been for these policies for 40 years! He is also strongest on the so-called gender issues, reproductive rights, child care, family leave, etc. Michigan is SO gerrymandered, I can't see the Trump crossovers voting for Warren, but they can, and have, supported Bernie. I'm so terrified at the prospect of 4 more years of Trump!
Matt (Seattle)
A heretical thought to contend, / but they’re more alike than we pretend; / picking Sanders or Trump / may be making the jump / from ‘cul de sac’ to ‘dead-end’.
David Mayes (British Columbia)
Bernie has hit a wall, as the gravity of this election sinks in, contrasted with the strong probability that he would not lead a Blue Wave in Congress, and the disturbing Bernie Bros. Nothing less than a landslide is required to end this nightmare. Without one, we already know how this will play out. Trump will claim the election was rigged against him, refuse to leave, and incite his base to civil disorder
mzmecz (Miami)
I'll vote for whoever the Democrat is that becomes the nominee. Full stop - of Trump.
Frank (Raleigh, NC)
Biden wins South Carolina according to CBS News due to the black vote. (1) Black voters comprise among the highest percentage of poor American voters; (2) Poor American voters lost the most amount of wealth under the Obama / Biden administration than under any administration since Herbert Hoover; (3) The Clinton administration made it possible by abolishing Glass-Steagall; (4) South Carolina has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in modern times; (5) Black voters made the most economic gains in history under a Democratic Socialist President - Franklin Roosevelt. So why are we not hearing these facts?
Jonathan E. Grant (Silver Spring, Md.)
I guess economic prosperity and pulling our troops out of stupid wars we have no business being in are not good enough reasons to re-elect President Trump? Really? Trump has used the US military less than the last several presidents, and when he did, he defeated the caliphate of ISIS. The economy is doing well, and we are taking all prudent steps to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. I guess people prefer war and economic turmoil to peace and prosperity if they are so willing to get rid of the most successful president in the post-WWII period.
Chuck Burton (Mazatlan, Mexico)
First of all your so-called positives are of dubious validity. More importantly, you ignore the legions of compelling reasons not to re-elect him. But by all means, let’s gave a Fair and Balanced discussion. It is easy to see where you get your information.
Mike (Seattle)
@Jonathan E. Grant You're foolish. There are PLENTY of excellent reasons to NOT re-elect your so-called president. "...most successful president in the post-WWII period"??? You're awash in right-wing propaganda. Save yourself. The man is spectacularly unqualified and unfit to be president. Dishonest as the day is long. Not even a grown-up, mentally. Only a fool would consider voting for such a pathetic, miserable human being. And you people are all "proud" of him. Stupidest thing I've ever seen. Like, EVER. A vote for Trump is a vote to destroy America. Smart voters will prevail this time, and send Trump back where he belongs, swindling dopes at Mar-a-Lago.
Jonathan E. Grant (Silver Spring, Md.)
@Chuck Burton Yes, the Wall Street Journal.
Chuck Burton (Mazatlan, Mexico)
Talk about being uninformed. The young voter favoring Bloomberg because she is afraid of Bidens age. I do not know how to break this to you, sweetheart, but Bloomberg is older.
Dennis W (So. California)
With exception of Sanders, cases can be made for any of the candidates left in the race to be the nominee. The primary objective is to put forward someone to beat Donald Trump. Sanders will be as polarizing as Trump for many people and will not fare well in the key battleground states where many voters are more conservative. It seems to me that what they are looking for is a fair share of the American Dream, not 'free' programs for the masses that will surely bankrupt the country. I am good with any of the other Democratic candidates to deliver against Trump .... they just need to be a declared Democrat. Not too much to ask.
abigail49 (georgia)
I don't see how democracy can work if voters just vote for "the one who can win" or the ones in the top spots before a primary is barely in progress. When some candidates drop out and the choices are fewer, sure, change horses. Until then, I will vote for the one whose policies, record and character (not personality!) reflect my concerns and desires, win or lose. Isn't that what it's all about?
Rogue Warrior (Grants Pass, Oregon)
Biden for president. Warren for vice president. I know they are both in their seventies, but beggars can't be choosers. Biden will bring four years of sanity. Warren will bring what vice presidential candidates are supposed to bring, teeth!
Sipa111 (Seattle)
If I have to vote for Sanders for president I will. I'd vote for a dead cat to oust Trump before sitting out this election. I am not a fan of Sanders absolute my way or the highway attitude. Nothing will get done that way and the Democrats who flipped seats in 2016 will suffer, but I will donate to him and vote for him. I wish Sanders supporters would say the same if their candidate doesn't win.
abigail49 (georgia)
@Sipa111 I don't get the "my way or the highway" thing from Sanders. I get that he has strong convictions about helping working and middle class people and clearly sees injustices in our economic and political systems. Someone who has served in Congress for so long knows better than us that compromise on the means of reaching one's policy goals is both necessary and unavoidable. But starting from a place of conviction is also necessary.
LK (NY)
@abigail49 its because Sanders has so little to show after 30 years in Congress,he did not form coalitions or get support for his ideas, and did not implement any of them
abigail49 (georgia)
@LK Really? I would think the people of Vermont would have thrown him out for doing nothing. Maybe he's a workhorse, not a show horse. Maybe he doesn't like to take all the credit like some politicians do. Just a thought.
A Yank Abroad (On The Island)
I'm really tired of hearing about how the Warren is not electable and shrill (see the comments). Several of these people said some version of " I liked Warren, but I don't think she can win." If you vote for her, she wins. It's really that simple. To correct the record, Warren has shown exactly how she would pay for her plans and how to transition towards M4A. Bernie has basically said, I don't know how we'll pay for it, we'll figure it out. Warren got punished for showing the details and Bernie gets a slap on the wrist. Bernie yells the same handful of lines the entire time. He show know mental dexterity or understanding of the details. The last debate Biden was screaming. Most of the commentary was that Warren was "professorial" or angry and Biden and even Bernie strong leaders. As my spouse said, we dissect every female candidate like a frog. If we will ever have a female president, she will have to be an avatar.
Edward Crimmins (Rome, Italy)
@A Yank Abroad Sorry to interrupt with a reality check but Warren only has 8 delegates so far and zero delegates since Iowa. New Hampshire - zero, Nevada - zero and South Carolina - zero. One might consider the fact that since she has no other states where she spent all of her time camped out there that Iowa was all about the selfies. Apologies for making you tired but as a voter I just don't want to waste my vote on someone who failed to pick up a delegate since Feb 3rd. And when you consider that Sanders has overtaken Warren in her home state polling, it might just be because she spent so much time posing for selfies in Iowa when she should have been acting as a Massachusetts senator. Yep, that Iowa, the only state where she has been a viable candidate.
Keef In cucamonga (Claremont CA)
Enter Amy, who has singlehandedly helped Mitch McConnell confirm a whole slate of extreme right wing judges selected by Trump. On second thought, exit Amy. Immediately.
rdelp (Monroe GA)
There are 2 progressive candidates who are explaining in detail how they hope to achieve improving and enhancing the lives of the majority of citizens, as they have done throughout their careers. and people fear them. What is wrong with this picture? It is sheer madness. Would they have rejected FDR or does the Times cherry pick the people they question? The Republicans have jammed devastating legislation that has stripped the majority of citizens rights while moderates have tip toed through decades of the status quo. For those who possess fear of ideas that will bring America up to the standards of Western democracies you are as obtuse as those who are duped by Trump.
ATOM (NYC)
Peter Buttigieg is too much of a neoliberal and flip-flopper for my taste. I will not vote for him in the primary. However, I will hold my nose and vote for him on November 3rd, if he’s the nominee. https://youtu.be/b-w9V9azgp8
That's What She Said (The West)
Today was great for Biden but he needs an excited following. The momentum must galvanize to an unstoppable pace. Likely? California loves progress and Biden kinda ho hum. How many young turned out for him today? That is telling....
John Patrick Smith (Richmond, Texas)
NEWS FLASH:  If Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren were to nationalize the combined $7.5 trillion dollar wealth/value of America's 621 billionaires and Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (FAANG) and cash it in to pay down the U.S. debt the U.S. will still have a $15.5 trillion dollar debt. With Sanders' and Warren's trillions upon trillions of new social spending programs, Americans deserve to know how they will avoid bankrupting the U.S. economy as Hugo Chavez and Nicholai Maduro bankrupted the oil rich economy of Venezuela with their social spending programs. Dump Trump, vote for Amy Klobuchar.
That's What She Said (The West)
Don't worry Steyer--and Buttigieg and Klobuchar yet to drop--Y'all can be Secretary of Whatever(According to Biden's Wife)
Mark Crozier (Free world)
I'll vote for whoever gets the nomination. Truly, that is the only answer to this question. Any one of them will be a VAST improvement over Donald Trump. #VoteBlueNoMatterWho
IAmANobody (America)
The D Party is so right but so politically self-destructive. Pity because it MUST win to save our Nation from itself! Today the GOP OBVIOUSLY threatens Secular Liberal Democracy (SLD), truth, and about anything that significantly and truly benefits/protects We the People. It balks at addressing the real problems Nature presents us. It feeds on and uses our fears, prejudices. and bigotry. It is regressive and elitist in ways we thought we outgrew. Establishing Theocratic Authoritarian Plutocracy (TAP) is its philosophical governmental goal. Facts of matter are: about 21% fully see this and deeply philosophically relish it, another 21% for parochial reasons are selfishly fine with it, and another 4% just don't see the existential danger in GOP but buy into GOP caricatures of D Party. The GOP has 46% of us. The D Party has the potential to muster 54% against that 46% but that 54% is like herding cats and those herding skills the D Party sorely lacks. The D Party actually does govern/legislate exceptionally well. There is a track record of good D accomplishments. The Ds AND rational patriotic Rs of the past gave us most of what we clinically should claim as good and proper. Try doing without those things! But the D Party seems bent on losing political elections; the GOP laser focused on winning! Message to D Party: FOCUS ON WINNING PERIOD AND NOW! We need you to win big 2020 to save our Nation from itself!
Neal (Arizona)
I'm a Warren fan, and feel great about my early vote for her. I hope she and some competent folks around her take a close look at the reasons she is fading. Misogyny of course, a reward to Sanders for hanging in all this time, media resistance because she has trouble explaining complicated issues in dramatic sound bites? Having said that no one in the field worries me. I can support any of them, even if I had to hold my nose to vote for Old Stop and Frisk. If, however, The DNC jumps in and tries to explain that real votes by real people in what they are now calling the "preference" voting don't matter and tgey should anoint a nominee all bets are off.
Anna Fisher (East Lansing, MI)
@Neal Agreed! If Bernie wins the popular vote, but the Establishment Dems manipulate and sabotage his victory in a brokered convention, then give the nomination to Biden, or some other hand-picked favorite of the Establishment Dems, the D party is done for! Distrust will win out, and many will stay home or not vote for a president in protest (not me personally, but can understand the sentiment.) I'm terrified the DNC will sabotage and disenfranchise the will of the American people.
Edward Crimmins (Rome, Italy)
I've got in narrowed down to three that I cannot vote for and Joe Biden tops that list by far. It dates back many years for me and the climax was the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention And Consumer Protection Act of 2005. That Republican bill that kept coming back like a bad penny every two years, each of the several Congressional sessions where it failed, had one the one commonality on the blue side of the aisle. Joe Biden was walking up and down the halls of Congress, twisting arms and trying to convince his fellow Democrats that everyone needs to protect poor bankers from the predators who were taking advantage of them by declaring bankruptcy. No to Bloomberg, I find him repulsive too. I wouldn't even bother voting for Klobuchar, too full of herself and too desperate. Buttigieg joined her in the desperate category during the last debate but if he came on strong I'd vote for him. I was all about Elizabeth Warren but she is not performing well so I'm sending money to Bernie Sanders and wondering if the Dem leadership is really planning to claim that the whole primary was just Democracy Theater. Plurality yes, nomination no? I would not even vote Democrat on the down tickets.
Mamie (Philly)
For me, the real question is which candidate do you honestly believe will instill a sense of normalcy to the presidency, by listening critically and sensitively to experienced, track record proven economists, climate scientists, health care leaders/administrators, social leaders, legal scholars, generals, diplomats, business leaders, political leaders/advisers, labor leaders, ethics scholars, etc, then have the integrity and moral courage to do the right things to repair a severely divided nation and world alliance damaged by tyrants, including our own.
A Dot (Universe)
In the beginning, I was for Biden. Then Harris. Then Warren. Then Klobuchar. Now strongly and unwaveringly (I think) back to Biden. And if he goes ahead and chooses either Abrams or Harris for VP even before he knows he’s our nominee, I’ll be voting for him ecstatically, not just dutifully. And soooo glad it’s not Bernie.
Liz Must Governorship Go (UWS)
Jeez...Have you heard Stacy Abrams speak? No charisma...uses words like “intersectionality”... Let Stacy do her organizing work... not ready for prime time...If we want a POC as VP...think Harris or Booker...the latter has star potential!
Delph (Sydney, Australia)
Thank you for sharing the eloquent comments of NYT readers. (I'm now more confused than ever about who would make the best next president.) "it’s unlikely God would want people to vote for Trump" - fabulous!
Kaari (Madison WI)
As a Bernie backer the same age he is, I used to say I would "Vote Blue, no matter who". But if the Democratic leadership tries anything funny if he wins the most primaries - after allowing him to run in them - I may not.
susan gioia (hudson valley)
@Kaari I hope you change your mind about not voting if The Dems thwart Bernie. And please know that every time someone posts a comment like this, you're probably losing a vote for Bernie. Yeah, I feel the same way about the diluted and polluted Democratic leadership, but we must defeat Trump. I'm voting for Sanders next month, I voted for him in 2016, and I would so much like to see a real stand up progressive as president- one who will work for environmental reform and a better world. In 1968 supporters of the Democratic peace candidate, Gene McCarthy, went "Clean for Gene" in order to win over voters to their side as they canvassed for him. A lot of people see us Bernie Supporters as too divisive and willing to lose the election if we don't get our way. I'm hearing this more and more and if we don't try to persuade with all Bernie's good ideas, if we don't come to a discussion "armed" with good knowledge about just why he is the best candidate, it will cost us votes. I understand the anger and the bitterness, but please use Bernie as your model. Last night Bernie congratulated Biden for winning the South Carolina primary. I respect him for that and we should try to live up to it. Will I vote for any other Democratic candidate than Bernie? Not until I have to. He's the best candidate I never thought I'd see. Meanwhile, no need to cut our hair to go clean, we just have to persuade instead of insult and not threaten to withhold our vote.
Mark Keller (Portland, Oregon)
Four things seem clear to me about the race for the Democratic nomination so far: 1) Primary voters and caucus attendees like numerous candidates as their first choice - which is indicative as a strong, deep field; 2) An overwhelming percentage want to defeat Donald Trump as their first priority, and policy differences among the candidates are the least important in Democratic hisory because of that. 3) 16% percent of partisans for Sanders currently say they will stay home, rather than vote for another Democrat or Trump (God help us if Sanders is not the nominee and this stat holds true... Stats from latest Emerson U. poll) -- otherwise known as the "Bernie or Bust" contingent). 4) Right or Wrong, the biggest trend right now, is pressure to coalesce around a "moderate" alternative to Bernie, in fear of the idea that a Democratic Socialist cannot be elected. Personally, I suspect and hope that whomever the Democrats nominate will be so much more attractive - than the dangerous con man that hangs out in the Oval Office - that Democrats will vote en masse, and decisively. If we don't, God help us, and God help the whole world.
Ronald B. Duke (Oakbrook Terrace, Il.)
Can Sanders actually go into the convention with a majority? If he does not, the other candidates all being more-or-less committed to stopping him, and Bloomberg being still an impossibility, wouldn't they all ultimately have to throw their support to Biden? Am I daydreaming?
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
The most recommended comment (at the moment) states, I will vote for Bernie in the primary and hope he becomes the candidate against Trump. However, if he is not, I will vote for anyone but Bloomberg in the general election." Unlike Republicans, who understand and practice unity as a guiding principle, many Democrats, on a good day, no longer can see the forest for the trees, on a mediocre day are like trying to herd cats, and on a bad day are perfectly willing to sacrifice our country to four more years of Trump if they can't get their way, something the above comment demonstrates quite clearly. The Republicans cannot reelect Trump. Only the Democrats can do that, and with their ongoing circular firing squad, are quite effectively accomplishing the Republicans' work for them. Come Tuesday, keep in mind that the Republicans have made no secret about their efforts to get their voters to vote in open and semi-open primaries in South Carolina, California, and elsewhere for their preferred (i.e. weakest) Democratic candidate to face Trump. Rightly or wrongly, they have targeted Bernie as such. Thus it is reasonable to assume a couple percentage points of his vote in South Carolina were from crossover Republican votes. Likely the same thing will happen in California. Offhand I don't know which other states have open or semi-open primaries.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
A highly recommended comment in a related article states, "I will vote for the Democrat against Trump unless it's Bloomberg, or unless Bernie gets the most delegates and doesn't get the nomination." Unlike Republicans, who understand and practice unity as a guiding principle, many Democrats, on a good day, no longer can see the forest for the trees, on a mediocre day are like trying to herd cats, and on a bad day are perfectly willing to sacrifice our country to four more years of Trump if they can't get their way. The Republicans cannot reelect Trump. Only the Democrats can do that, and with their ongoing circular firing squad, are quite effectively accomplishing the Republicans' work for them. Come Tuesday, keep in mind that the Republicans have made no secret about their efforts to get their voters to vote in open and semi-open primaries in South Carolina, California, and elsewhere for their preferred (i.e. weakest) Democratic candidate to face Trump. Rightly or wrongly, they have targeted Bernie as such. Thus it is reasonable to assume a couple percentage points of his vote in South Carolina were from crossover Republican votes. Likely the same thing will happen in California. Offhand I don't know which other states have open or semi-open primaries.
LAM (New Jersey)
Biden may not excite you but he is the one candidate who will beat Trump, bring civility back to public discourse and help us regain majorities in both houses of Congress.
Anna Fisher (East Lansing, MI)
@LAM Biden is not well-practiced in civility. I was very disturbed when he said to someone who disagreed with him at a town hall "You're fat!"
David (California)
Biden is already ahead of Sanders in the popular vote in sum of Iowa, NH, Nevada and South Carolina by a huge margin, because South Carolina is a much more populous State than the others. And turnout was huge for Biden, not Sanders. Sanders has revealed his terrible weakness among the key constituency voters of African American heritage. That is an indispensable demographic in the Democratic Party. Sanders in actual fact has no path forward and will soon drop out of the race. Before or after his defeats on Super Tuesday. All of the other candidates in competition with Biden are now seriously considering dropping out as well.
Dr. Diane (Ann Arbor, MI)
Let’s recall how we have achieved some of the most important progressive liberal legislation of the 20th century. Which president gave us Medicare? Medicaid? the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Voting Rights Act? Project Head Start and other school aid? the first Clean Air Act? If you guessed Lyndon B. Johnson you are correct. How did he do it? Horse trading. Johnson worked across the aisle just like Abe Lincoln. This is why I will vote for Joe Biden. Among his other virtues and his qualifications for the job such as experience and education and his well demonstrated heart (there’s a reason lawmakers from both parties request his eulogizing when they pass on), his holding his parents in high regard, his concern for workers; this ability to make friends and build a broad network of allies is what the US desperately needs right now. Like another famous stutterer King George VI who, with Churchill, led his country to victory in WWII, I feel Joe is the person most likely to triumph in the battle for the Oval Office.
Lagrange (Ca)
Although I clearly see your point about LBJ, the thing is GOP is a different animal to deal with no a days! They are not law makers any more with hundreds of bills sitting on McConnel's desk and not getting voted on; they are followers of a cult that are crazed with power and greed and have forgotten why they are there to begin with.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
A highly recommended comment in a related article states, "I will vote for the Democrat against Trump unless it's Bloomberg, or unless Bernie gets the most delegates and doesn't get the nomination." Unlike Republicans, who understand and practice unity as a guiding principle, many Democrats, on a good day, no longer can see the forest for the trees, on a mediocre day are like trying to herd cats, and on a bad day are perfectly willing to sacrifice our country to four more years of Trump if they can't get their way. The Republicans cannot reelect Trump. Only the Democrats can do that, and with their ongoing circular firing squad, are quite effectively accomplishing the Republicans' work for them. Come Tuesday, keep in mind that the Republicans have made no secret about their efforts to get their voters to vote in open and semi-open primaries in South Carolina, California, and elsewhere for their preferred (i.e. weakest) Democratic candidate to face Trump. Rightly or wrongly, they have targeted Bernie as such. Thus it is reasonable to assume a couple percentage points of his vote in South Carolina were from crossover Republican votes. Likely the same thing will happen in California. Offhand I don't know which other states have open or semi-open primaries.
Gary Valan (Oakland, CA)
I voted for Bernie in 2016 and was ready to jump ship and back Warren this time. But she sort of faded and I let go. Back to the Sanders once again. We need a nominee who will care about the forgotten people in this country, the working and middle classes. No one other than these two make the grade.
CalLaw (Atlanta)
@Gary Valan Agreed, Warren and Sanders ready to assist the working and middle class. Now which one can get those programs implemented starting on Day One? January 21, 2021. It's Warren. Warren's plan to pump money into 2 and 4 year colleges to bring down costs and relieving up to $50k in debt - all via the Department of Education's authority - is practical, avoids the Republican controlled Senate, and would immediately help 18-35 year olds. It would give them what the older generation actually had. Warren is proposing a Medicare for All OPTION - that actually is an expansion of Medicare with a transition period. It would also enable people over 50 to buy-in to Medicare - the most effective health insurance program in the country. After Trump, we are want a revolution, but we need a plan. Warren can deliver.
A Dot (Universe)
@CalLaw - I doubt either Warren or Sanders can deliver, unless they somehow first deliver us of Republican obstructionism. And I really dislike how Warren isn’t going after Bernie as vigorously as she is going after Bloomberg. Far as I’m concerned, all three of the aforementioned can drop out.
David (California)
@Gary Valan Think democratic socialism, think Bernie, think Venezuela voting in a democratic socialist government. Democratic socialism is a myth. There is no democratic socialist country. There are socialist countries. There are democratic countries. But no democratic socialist countries.
refudiate (Philadelphia, PA)
I like Amy: she can't win. I admire Pete: he can't win. I appreciate Elizabeth: she can't win. Mike is suspect, and undeserving; Bernie is terrifying, and likely not only won't win but will drag the party down. Joe has experience, knows who to hire in order to restore sensible government; will say but won't do goofy things: and he can win. Give me Joe.
LM (SE USA)
We have great candidates who have a hard time being heard and well known because of all the socialist/hard left/billionaire/papa Joe rhetoric running rampant. Pete is young. He is also super intelligent, stable, and a veteran. He would surround himself with an excellent cabinet and advisors and listen to them carefully weighing his options on any given issue with laser sharp vision. Having said all that, my preference is Amy Klobuchar. I wish people would listen to her and more importantly watch what she does. She is a fighter. She is a scrapper. She also goes places the rest of the field do not think is worth the trouble. Like Knoxville, TN at 8:30 a.m. today. It has been 15 yrs since a Democrat running for President has graced this area with his/her presence. And what happened? Lots of people got up early on a Saturday morning and listened to her speak with an eagerness that was papable and electric. Yes, I'm glad to say Trump really isn't "all that" after all around these parts. Plenty of people looking for a sane and smart alternative with experience. Amy is exactly that, and obviously thinks outside the box and is tenacious to boot, with a great sense of humor. It would be well worth your time to take a really good look at her and her common sense, good for America policies. It is NOT TOO LATE!
KMW (New York City)
President Trump. And he wasn’t even on the Democratic stage. His poll numbers have been rising steadily and hopefully they will continue. He is sure to win.
LAM (New Jersey)
Let’s hope not — unless you want America to become a fascist dictatorship over the next 5 years.
Bill Evans (Los Angeles)
This brings backs my faith in an honest elder statesman I had wanted from the start. I have been shaky since Joe looked shaky. I was intending to vote for Bloomberg on Tuesday, though now my heart is happy for the elder Democrats. I'll sleep on it and vote on Monday afternoon. I'm really happy for Joe! I have to believe Joe would make it a lot easier for moderates to keep the house and maybe get a shot at the senate. I also can see how Bloomberg is helping to keep the moderate's faith in a party that has looked fractured. In honesty, this shakes my up. This is like a call the Democrats felt for Trumam in 1948, maybe the Democrats needed to fear losing it in order to wake up.
David (California)
Biden's astronomical victory in South Carolina makes it now very unlikely he will not win the nomination and presidency. A huge change from before the South Carolina results were announced. Steyer's dropping out means most of Steyer's supporters will go for Biden as well. Others will drop out very soon, Biden's poll numbers will skyrocket, and the money will flow in now. Sanders just had a terrible, terrible set back. The number of voters voting for Sanders was well below expectations. Sanders is a Senator in the whitest State in the union.
Kevin (Colorado)
There are too many non-viable candidates that couldn't get elected Borough President of Brooklyn if they were running for that office. Lets make this easy and get the candidates down to one progressive and one centrist after Super Tuesday, instead of having to endure death by a thousand CNN Town Halls along with the usual cacophony on baseball team sized panel shows.
Brewster (NJ)
What we need is a debate, a real debate..no attacking other candidates or bringing up past in consistencies People who haven’t learned from their actions are should have ...learned. Everybody gets a clean slate...everybody being the 5 highest polling candidates. 3 subjects on which each candidate will explain their ideas. Explain with proof of how certain programs will be funded. No rebuttals, that’s the job of the people who will be effected by these programs. 5 minutes on each subject, no arm flailing and finger pointing. A valid presentation for people to analyze on their own merits. And if you are going to be potentially elected, we should know what we are putting in office.. Which means all medical records divulged We want to know what’s under the hood of the car we are buying! I would suspect when this done..Bloomberg would pass muster, he seems to lead with reality and not some ideology that is inflexible. Would like to see Mayor Pete and/or Amy K on ticket to transition to a younger political future.
moderation (arizona)
I voted for Steyer in appreciation for his launching of Need to Impeach. He had the courage of his convictions when others did not ... and we owe him for that. That said, I see him as Secretary of Treasury in a Biden Administration. I see a Biden - Klobuchar ticket as a winner (although my preference for VP nominee would be Tammy Duckworth, if she would take it, which I assume she won't given she has 2 small children). Also in the Biden Administration, Andrew Yang should be Secretary of Commerce or Labor (or whatever role he wants to craft for himself), Mayor Pete Secretary of Defense, and Steve Bullock should be Interior Secretary. And yes, Stacy Abrams would be an excellent Attorney General! I want the Democrats in the Senate to make Michael Bennet their leader as he's way better an option. Kamela Harris might be the best choice for the next Supreme Court vacancy (as I like an appointee who, like Sandra Day O'Connor, had served in elective office). Bernie, Elizabeth, Cory (who is young enough to run in 2024, 2028, and 2032), Kirsten and the rest of the gang have the tough job, i.e., craft the domestic agenda that will meet the needs of our nation, move it through the Congress, and get it to Biden's desk.
Tony (New York City)
I don't care who gets the nomination because the candidates are all good. Whoever is the nominee we will support them and we will remain in the democratic process to ensure that our concerns are heard by our representatives. We are in a democratic movement and if this new virus doesn't tell people that we should have health care I don't know what will, We need to defeat Trump and get all people out to vote Maybe you don't like Bernie but this country needs to move forward not backwards. We need to all be part of the solutions we are a generation of proactive change
Elipm (Hamden, CT)
Elizabeth Warren: ‘By far the most qualified’. Absolutely! Bernie just isn't - every issue would likely be as 'personal' for Bernie as it is for trump. Warren's intelligence, determination and thoughtfulness would serve her (and us) well in office. Biden while probably past his best game, would have easy access to outstanding support people for his administration - and be responsible enough to use them.
delores (queens)
@Elipm Unfortunately, Elizabeth Warren's shrill, near-hysterical pitch grates on the nerves. And she's constantly sinking her sharp little teeth into another candidate's ankle. Klobuchar = common sense, good humor, and calm wisdom. Depressing the way the television media marginalizes our best.
Peter Taylor (Lexington, KY)
@Elipm The Wall Street Journal analysed Elizabeth's plan and after that the stock market went up. Apparently they don't believe they can pass congress. Bernie's ideas aren't new but 150 years old. They are also ridiculous and again the biggest won't pass congress. If you want progressive think about wise transitioning to an Americanised nortic model. Yes, they are way different than the other two. After the Trump debacle the Republican Party was in tatters and Democratic Party on the cusp of having the government in their hands for two generations then bam the "progressives" split the party in two. I'm not optimistic about any political situation at present and we face lose lose. I'm a depression that this nation is the most unhappy that it's ever been. You have anger and hate on both ends and totally divided.
Que Viva! (Colorado)
Fortunately, we have President, VP and cabinet. With a democratic win, regardless of who, it will be super interesting how many candidates end up in the new administration. Imagine most of them called to fill vital roles. Any of the nominees will be a President who consults with and relies on a professional team. This is the real issue here. Who will generate a team that will handle crisis and makes sensible shifts for the people?
Chevy (South Hadley, MA)
Bernie Sanders electrified an overflow crowd last night in Springfield. Warren will lose our home state. She made a strategic mistake in outing Sanders over his alleged statements that a woman could not win against Trump and has fallen in the national polls ever since. Despite Hillary's three million vote margin, Warren's subtext was clear: a woman is overdue for the White House and, therefore, she or Amy must get the nod. That logic doesn't play well with me and that's when I switched from Warren to Sanders. The sole reason for Warren to stay in the race after Tuesday will be to win as many delegates to the Convention as she can to be a part of the brokering that occurs. Pete Buttigieg continues to be impressive and would more than hold his own in a campaign against Trump. The successful nominee should seriously consider giving ex-Mayor Pete the nod for the Vice President slot, enabling him to add national experience to his resume while investing in him as the future of the Democratic Party. On a personal note, I talked to people this morning who favored Bloomberg but flat-out refused to consider Sanders, the "socialist". Similarly, Sanders supporters threaten to stay home if Bernie finishes with the most delegates but is denied a second time. This is exactly the attitude that will result in the election of Trump. Let's come up with that "unity ticket" and Make America Sane Again. Vote your heart in the primaries; support the Democratic nominee.
Lora (Tampa)
@Chevy I'm from Agawam, though I live in Florida now. I have friends and family who attended the rally last night. They came out supporting Sanders, even the ones who went in leaning towards someone else. Today, Bernie had a crowd of at least 13,000 people at his rally on Boston Common. I so happy that my original home state is feeling the Bern!
A Dot (Universe)
@Lara - Feel The Bern all you want — in Vermont, not in D.C.
Steven T. Corneliussen (Poquoson, Virginia)
In my view, with the republic facing a political depravity crisis, Pete Buttigieg is the anti-Trump in plain sight.
delores (queens)
@Steven T. Corneliussen I loved it when he started attacking Klobuchar, and she annihilated him in one calm blow.
J.C. (Michigan)
It's obvious that a lot of people don't know what being a "progressive" means. One person thinks Amy Klobuchar is a progressive. She isn't. Another person who labels herself progressive labels Sanders' platform "utopian dreams". If you stand firmly against bold progress, I don't know how you call yourself a progressive. If you're risk-averse and just want someone to hold your hand and tell you everything is okay, even when it isn't, don't call yourself progressive. You're standing in the way of progress. Be who you are and vote for who you want, but be honest about it. If you're an old school centrist liberal, own it and vote it. Just don't call yourself a progressive and then criticize everything and everyone who is to the left of you.
LAM (New Jersey)
Silly semantics
garibaldi (Vancouver)
@J.C. Good comment about political identity. Somehow, in the United States, the term “liberal” has come to include just about everyone who is not right of “centre,” whatever that is. In countries like Canada or the UK, many of us would make a distinction between a liberal and a progressive.
Des Ein (NY)
I find "gatekeeping" rhetoric like this very unhelpful, and fear that parts of the democratic party are being dragged into an ever-deeper purity spiral. I know so many people who want similar outcomes as Sanders supporters over a 20-30 year timescale, but favor and more importantly, trust, a more incremental approach. Criticizing such moderate-minded Democrats is at best unhelpful, at worst it could lead to 4 more years of Trump
Carole A. Dunn (Ocean Springs, Miss.)
I have been a staunch Bernie supporter for many years. I thought he was the best choice for president in 2016 and I think he is the best choice this year. We have been under right-wing and Neo-liberal government for too long, and we are not only going nowhere as a country; we are backtracking. Our healthcare and education systems are going downhill, poverty and homelessness are growing and Americans have fewer opportunities to better themselves. Our standard of living doesn't begin to measure up to the other industrialized nations and too many Americans are living lives of stress and outright despair. We may have the strongest military in the world, but wherever we go we cause death and destruction and accomplish nothing. I will vote for Bernie in the primary and hope he becomes the candidate against Trump. However, if he is not, I will vote for anyone but Bloomberg in the general election. Bloomberg is another would-be dictator who looks down his nose at too many people.
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