There have been lots of messages from the Democratic candidates running for the presidential nomination on winning political strategies. Now that some votes are being cast, we are seeing what Joy Reid has called “proof of concept” with regards to those messages or strategies. Or I should say, we are seeing more of lack of proof of concept so far from many of the candidates.
I’ll start with my preferred candidate — Elizabeth Warren.
- Warren has put forward many good plans in my humble opinion. And she has argued that she can take the fight to Trump and the Republicans. But she has not been able to win any of the early contests. And she did badly in SC. Her latest strategy is that she has built up a ground organization that will keep her going “for the distance” to the nomination. I contributed money that I really cannot afford to be honest to try and keep her going. But Super Tuesday is really her last chance. Yes, this will piss off many of my fellow Warren supporters, but we have to face facts. If Warren doesn’t start to build up some delegates during Super Tuesday, there is no real long haul.
- Sanders has argued that he can build a massive political movement that will transform this contest and the country. There seemed to be some evidence of this with the results in NV, at least when it came to Sander’s outreach to Latino voters. But he got killed in SC when it comes to expanding his support to Black voters. Yes, Sanders has committed supporters, but he needs to attract others who are not already fans of his. I will admit that Sanders is my second choice, and considering my first choice candidate is not doing well, I hope Sanders can adjust his campaign to build inroads with other voters in the Democratic Party. But Sanders has shown inflexibility with his message or simply hasn’t figured out a way to make appeals to Black voters and more moderate voters in the Democratic tent.
- Biden claims that he can appeal to moderates, white blue collar voters, and heal the wounds that divide this nation. But Biden failed to appeal to those same voters in IA, NH, and NV. And he didn’t endear himself to Latino voters either. However, Biden does appeal to Black voters. Yes, no Democratic candidate can win the nomination or the election in the fall without Black voters. But are winning the hearts and votes of Black voters enough to get you the Democratic nomination? Hell if I know.
- Buttigieg is also claiming that he can appeal to a diverse coalition of voters and provide unity to the nation. And he makes the argument that he is of a new generation. In fact, as some have pointed out, Buttigieg has been offering himself as something akin to Obama. Yes, Buttigieg got white voters in IA and NH to vote for him. But while it is great to get white voters, if you cannot get Black or Latino voters, where are you going? I think we have the verdict of Latino and Black voters when it comes to Buttigieg, and it is a resounding, “No.” In other words, definitely no proof of concept when it comes to Buttigieg’s political message. Yes, Buttigieg fans, I know you will hate to hear that about your candidate.
- Amy Klobuchar is the Midwest candidate who can get all those Republicans to vote for her, and she has done that in MN. But the rest of the nation isn’t MN. And she can’t get Latino or Black voters to support her. Hell, she can’t even get a majority of white Democratic voters. Does it matter that you can reach across the aisle to Republicans when you can’t get Democrats to support you? Once again, no proof of concept that uniter Klobuchar can unite Democrats to support her.
I’m not including Bloomberg in my analysis because he hasn’t been on the ballot yet. And Steyer has essentially quit the race. And yes, I have left Gabbard out because she is not a serious candidate any more.
After Super Tuesday, we will have more actual votes and data come in. Several of the candidates will have to do some serious soul searching afterwards.