The Thinker: Rich Galen


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How Many More Democrats?

Rich Galen

Monday December 2, 2019

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  • Primary watchers are beginning to toss out the idea that the first four states - Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada - could be won by, respectively, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders.

  • That thought led the Washington Posts, Dan Balz to write in his Sunday column:
    "The possibility that the four early states could be won by three or even four different candidates is one big reason that Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, sees an opening for a campaign that skips those four and starts in the states that comprise Super Tuesday in early March."

  • Although measuring different things (national popularity among Dems nationally, not state-by-state), the latest CNN national poll released during Thanksgiving Week shows:
    Biden - 28 percent
    Sanders - 17 percent
    Warren - 14 percent
    Buttigieg - 11 percent.

  • Michael Bloomberg, Kamala Harris, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang are tied at three percent; Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar come in at two percent, and Julian Castro claimed one percent of supporters.

  • That's 11 Democrats who polled above an asterisk.

  • We have been talking about those four early states since before Nevada was a state which occurred in 1864.

  • Those first four states come about a week apart - not space enough to do much organizing, but enough to build on any momentum generated by the previous election.

  • BUT

  • Super Tuesday comes a-calling just 10 days after Nevada's caucuses.

  • There will be 15 jurisdictions ranging in size from California (Pop. 39.75 million) and Texas (29.44 million) to Vermont (627,000), and American Samoa (55,261) across six time zones.


    Bar Bet Answer:

    American Samoa is one hour earlier than Hawaii time, two earlier than Alaska, and three earlier than California.


  • Don't expect any Dem candidate for President to show up and participate in a traditional War Dance at the Samoan equivalent of the Iowa State Fair.

  • While the candidates for President are racing around the country, the House Judiciary Committee plans (as of this writing) to begin working on the Impeachment of Donald J. Trump on Wednesday, December 4.

  • None of the Democratic candidates running for President polling above zero are Members of the U.S. House and so the Judiciary Committee hearings will only get in their way to the extent they are asked about them at speeches or by the press.

  • If and when the action moves to the Senate, though: Sanders, Warren, Harris, Booker, and Klobuchar (or whichever is still a viable candidate) will have to choose between sitting as a juror in Trump's Senate trial or being out on the campaign trail explaining why they are not earning their official pay.

  • Which, by the way, is a question they all should be asked now.


    The answer to your questions are: Rank-and-file U.S. Senators and Representatives make $174,000 per year. Members in leadership positions make more, $193,500. The Speaker of the House makes $223,500.


  • The point is, even after Super Tuesday, there will be about 30 states and other jurisdictions that will have some say in who the Democratic nominee will be as they race toward their National Convention in Milwaukee beginning next July 13.

  • Every four years, the press corps and people like me, begin to lick their chops over the prospect of what we call a "brokered convention," that is a convention which begins with no single candidate holding a majority of the votes necessary to be nominated.

  • According to Wikipedia, both Adlai Stevenson (D) and Dwight Eisenhower (R) went to their conventions with fewer than a majority of delegates committed to them. Stevenson won on the third ballot (defeating Estes Kefauver in the battle of Candidates with Unusual First Names). Eisenhower was elected on the first ballot.

  • If the Democrats come out of the March 3 activity with no clear nominee-presumptive, look for even more public officials to jump in hoping to become the Compromise Candidate - a fresh face in place of the shopworn existing line-up.

  • It is likely that the Big Four: Biden, Sanders, Harris, and Buttigieg will stay in no matter what. Same for Steyers and Bloomberg who have nothing much better to do than spend their own money.

  • The others, though will likely drop from the race, having run out of - as they say in piloting - altitude, airspeed, and ideas.

  • Stay tuned.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Dan Balz column, to the CNN poll, to the Super Tuesday elections and to a video of a Samoan War Dance.

    The Mullfoto is another composite: It rained in the California desert and a cactus bloomed the next day.

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