It’s past midnight. Primary Day has come and gone in New Hampshire, and (unlike in Iowa) we have a clear winner: Bernie Sanders.
We actually have three winners, if we include the Mayor In Waxwork. Amy Klobuchar’s come-from-behind resurgence to a 20% return is enough to get her taken seriously going forward, which makes her the real story of today. If she can sustain that momentum through either South Carolina or Nevada, she’s suddenly a top contender.
A note on Klobuchar: The press pictures of her add about fifty pounds. In real life she’s miniscule. I could curl her. “Tiny, but fierce!” as Sasha would say. I honestly have no idea why major media does that. Mayor Stepford, they make him look tall and far less creepy than in person. Bernie they hunch over so much he looks about a hundred and fifty. Liz Warren doesn’t look like a crazy cat lady in person or on her own posters, but on CNN? **shudder**
What major media got wrong is the delegate count. Eight go proportionately, with the biggest chunk to Sanders, who won the state. Sixteen go to each of the individual victors in each separate state district; it’s possible Liz Warren will take one, Amy three, and Sanders at least five. Biden probably gets none. This we don’t know tonight but we will very soon… if anyone keeps watching, that is. If nobody’s watching, the party bosses will stick them in their pockets until they need leverage.
(And then there’s the nine Superdelegates, who will vote as the state directs in the second ballot at the convention but otherwise have no reins on them at all. But let’s not worry about that just yet.)
We also have some real losers, and most of them have figured it out. Yang and Bennet both ended their campaigns tonight, which in a way is too bad; they’re both extremely smart, highly capable people. But Bennet is a 90s candidate running in 2020, and Yang will be far more acceptable in eight years or so. It’s not a terrible thing.
I’m honestly not sure why it is that Deval Patrick hasn’t dropped out yet. I fear it may be that he views himself the DNC’s token black guy, which frankly is a demeaning position for anyone with his ability. As with most of the Democratic candidates, he’s both intelligent and experienced, but the election is being run as a popularity contest rather than a series of job interviews.
Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer have both announced they’re going to continue, and I approve in both cases. Gabbard’s got curb appeal and a solid ground game; she’s likely to pull some votes here and there and in the end may draw herself some delegates and make her a force at the convention. Steyer, of course, is invaluable for splitting that vital bloc of billionaire voters… Seriously: The man’s sharp and focused on the issues. He’s the anti-Trump and anti-Bloomberg; as long as he stays in, he draws away their support, and that can only be a good thing.
The big question the networks are asking is Biden, but it’s clear his days are numbered; it’s not whether he’ll drop out at this point but when. Warren, on the other hand, is here for the long haul, and I’ve got every confidence that she’ll show up at the convention with a handful of well-deserved and hard-earned delegates.
And the story that everyone’s missing is huge: Bill Weld, with a couple thousand bucks and absolutely no support, just took ten percent of Trump’s voters by the simple expedient of showing up. If anyone were to actually look at him seriously and put some cash in his hands, there’d be a major upset in the Republican Party. Think about it: Susan Collins could stump for him and keep her Senate seat. Fifteen other Senators could do the same. Trump wouldn’t lose the RNC nomination, but he’d end up losing in November.
If you know any one-percenters, make sure they read this. Then, after they donate to Bill Weld, they can buy me a coffee. It’s the least they can do.
Voting Day in New Hampshire is past, but the Fear and Loathing 2020 Tour is by no means over. Between my notebook, my cell, and my pocket recorder I’ve got more info on the candidates I’ve met than will ever see print.
But tomorrow starts early, and I still have no idea what train I’m taking when. So I’m signing off for the night; it’s anyone’s guess at this point when the next installment will come out. But if you keep reading, it will come.
Thanks for sticking with me through this. Good night, and good luck.