Super Tuesday lived up to its name; New York’s primary will be a real contest

With Super Tuesday now in the rearview mirror, it’s on to … Idaho. And oh yeah, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Washington next Tuesday.  It’s like a mini-Super Tuesday.

Joe Biden’s wins in ten state primaries this week were stunning. The positive energy coming from voters indicates that they want Donald Trump out of office, and they will go with the candidate they view as having the best chance of defeating him.

The cascade of centrist Democrats who have withdrawn from the race has facilitated Biden’s wins and focused things incredibly quickly. It seems likely that other former candidates who dropped out before the past week might jump on the Biden bandwagon soon.  Mike Bloomberg is aboard.  You can already see a classic “team-of-rivals” effort coming together to remove Trump.

From an original field of 28 candidates we are, in only the first week in March, down to a two-person race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the latest to drop out being Elizabeth Warren. She was under great pressure from the Bernie Sanders camp to get out of the race to leave him alone in the left-wing lane.  Whether or when she endorses Sanders or Biden remains to be seen.

Sanders does not seem to handle adversity very well. He will be screaming even louder and making exaggerated claims about how he is leading a revolution that will add millions to the body politic and which will in turn make major life expenses free.  In 2016 few people expected him to defeat Hillary Clinton, so he was never really vetted.  Things will be different this year.  Sanders is a mirror image of Trump, with both of them holding extreme positions that their rabid fans accept.

Imagine for a moment how differently things might have turned out in 2016 if the anti-Trump Republican candidates had in early March coalesced around one alternative to him.

Real dyed-in-the-wool life-time Democrats are saying that they prefer a real Democrat as their nominee, not an independent socialist who every four years pretends to be a Democrat. The majority of the party is, as Biden suggests, looking for results, not a revolution – and a revolution, BTW that in nearly every one of the 18 state contests so far, has been shown to be lacking the army of millions of new voters that Sanders is expecting.  Exit polls, in fact, show that new voters are being added to the Biden column.

There is a long way to go in this primary, with even more twists and turns, but Super Tuesday was a tipping point. Defeating Trump remains a serious challenge for Democrats but the will of people who want to restore civility and decency to America will be awfully powerful.

New York’s April 28th primary should be incredibly interesting

New York has traditionally been an afterthought in the quadrennial presidential sweepstakes but 2020 looks to be different.

When petitions were filed for presidential candidates with the State Board of Elections (BOE) last month there were originally eleven candidates. The BOE on Wednesday, March 4th was required to certify the April 28th Primary ballot of presidential candidates who filed petitions in its offices.

Warren announced her withdrawal from the race on March 5th.  So does the State BOE hold the presses and remove Warren from the ballot anyway, or do they follow their originally announced procedures with March 4th being the cut-off date?  Will we be left with left with a four-way ballot on April 28th featuring Joe Biden; Tulsi Gabbard; Bernie Sanders; and Elizabeth Warren, or just three?

It is clear that regardless of what the BOE decides, April 28th will really be a two candidate showdown for New York’s convention delegates.  After Florida votes on March 17 New York will be the last of the large states to go to the polls.

The total number of delegates in New York is still, even in the face of the population growth of California, Florida and Texas, one of the largest potential hauls in the country, totaling 274, not counting “super delegates.” The selection method is as follows:

  • 184 delegates who will be apportioned among the state’s 27 congressional districts. Candidates must receive at least 15 percent of the vote in the congressional district to be awarded any delegates. With only two candidates in contention it is likely that both Biden and Sanders will win delegates in every CD.
  • The 23 members of the Democratic National Committee from New York, and 21 Democratic Members of U.S. Congress, one Democratic Governor and one Distinguished Party Leader shall be automatic unpledged delegates (46). These are the so-called “super delegates” who will not vote at the convention unless the nomination is not settled on the first ballot.
  • The state convention shall elect 29 pledged delegates who qualify as party leaders or elected officials.
  • The state convention shall elect 61 pledged-at-large delegates and 24 pledged alternate delegates.

The State BOE, at the time of petition filing, received petitions from delegate candidates supporting various presidential candidates, but such petitions were only registered with the BOE in 14 of the state’s 27 congressional districts, including the 26th and 27th districts in Western New York.  Seven different presidential candidates had delegate slates filed for them in various CDs, but delegate candidates who were supporting Michael Bennet, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang will not appear on ballots now that their choices for president have dropped out of the race.

Delegate candidates filing in support of Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren filed in the 14 contested CD delegate elections (except in district 22, where Warren people did not file.)

In the 26th and 27th districts here are the delegate candidate line-ups:

  • 26th District – 7 delegates to be elected
    • For Biden: Timothy Kennedy; Leonard Lenihan; Jennifer Hibit; Demone Smith; Gayle Syposs; Rashied McDuffie; Rebecca Dyster
    • For Sanders: Brian Nowak; Betty Jean Grant; Charles Hess; Callie Lockwood; De’Jon Hall; Theresa Shaffer; David Caligiuri
  • 27th District – 6 delegates to be elected
    • For Biden: Margaret A. Murphy; Terrance L. Melvin; Jacalyn F. Whiting; Bradley T. Felton; Jeanne M. Crane; Craig R. Bucki
    • For Sanders: Anne Elizabeth Carr; Ryder Littlejohn; Wendy Mitchell; Jerome T. Janik; Deborah Yeomans; Zachary Van Den Bosch

Oh, BTW, there is also a special election for Congress in NY27 on April 28th, and the Republicans, as is their style, have removed any opposition to Donald Trump, therefore cancelling the Republican presidential primary on April 28th.  That in turn removes a major reason for many Republicans to come out to vote in NY 27 on that date.  Great planning!