On to Milwaukee!! Five Takeaways from Last Night
Author: Greg Valliere
February 20, 2020
IT WAS CRINGE-INDUCING, it was great theater, it was nasty — welcome to the Democrats’ circular firing squad, Mike Bloomberg. But it didn’t change who’s the front-runner.
1. Bernie is surging. New polls show the Vermont socialist has a widening
lead nationally. He should easily win Nevada on Saturday and is the favorite to capture the biggest prize of all — California on March 3, Super Tuesday. So was Sanders the target last night? Nope, he emerged unscathed, and if he doesn’t stumble in next Tuesday’s debate, the Bernie train might be leaving the station.
2. Rust never sleeps: The Titanic may have less rust than Mike Bloomberg, who mailed in the worst hour of any candidate in this long, destructive process. In the second hour, Bloomberg showed off his policy chops but by then the damage was done. The jury is out on whether this was a fatal blow, but now Bloomberg faces ferocious scrutiny over non-disclosure agreements signed by women who worked for him.
3. Uncle Joe has a pulse, barely: He’ll never be a great debater, but Joe Biden showed some energy last night and he may get a second look if Bloomberg fades. Biden has a plausible path to beating Donald Trump, unlike most of the remaining Democrats.
4. The nasty undercard: Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar seem to genuinely dislike each other; their nasty exchanges helped neither of them. Both may depart in March, and their endorsements could make a difference. The other slumping candidate, Elizabeth Warren, eviscerated Bloomberg and got a fundraising bump, but the leftist lane has been locked up by Sanders.
5. On to Milwaukee !! We wrote a couple of weeks ago that a contested convention is likely in July, with a brokered convention a possibility; no reason to change that assessment. The focus will turn to what used to be called “super-delegates.” Now they are called “automatic delegates,” about 16% of all delegates, who will play a pivotal — and controversial — role if there’s no first-ballot winner.
THERE WERE 103 BALLOTS in the Democrats’ 1924 brokered convention, which lasted for over two weeks — we’re not predicting that — but a contested outcome would be exceedingly good news for Donald Trump, who is so out-of-control right now that he must be vulnerable, right? Not really — a second term for Trump looks more likely after last night.
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