Needed 1991
Biden 627
Sanders 551
Warren 64
Buttigieg 26
Bloomberg 60
Klobuchar 7
Gabbard 2
Remaining 2642
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Will Elizabeth Warren Endorse?

A Million Selfies, All for Nothing

After a pretty dismal Super Tuesday, including a third-place finish in her home state, the writing was on the wall for Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-MA) presidential campaign. She said she was going to soldier on, nonetheless. Apparently, after taking 24 hours to reflect, the Senator decided that didn't make too much sense, because on Thursday morning, she dropped out of the presidential race.

What went wrong for Warren? After all, she's a good debater, she's got a track record of getting things done, and she may well have been the smartest member of the Democratic field. Part of the problem is that she excited a lot of voters a little, but only a little number of voters a lot. Consistently, in polls that allowed respondents to rank their choices, Warren took more second-place votes than any other candidate. That is why she believed she could be a compromise candidate in the event of a brokered convention. Beyond that, Warren was also hurt by the insinuation, promoted by Donald Trump and others, that she's dishonest and tends to misrepresent her past. And there was also some amount of misogyny working against the Senator. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) thinks so, as do many other Democratic women, and they oughta know.

For all these reasons, and presumably others, there just wasn't enough room in the progressive "lane" for Warren to mount a viable campaign. Her best polling numbers came in the weeks after Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) heart attack, when it appeared she might be the only progressive option left. Once it was clear he was fine, her numbers went back down to their original levels. As long as the Vermont Senator was in the field, there just weren't enough progressive voters left for the Massachusetts Senator. She saw this, and tried to pivot toward the center, but there was no room for her there, either.

Warren, of course, is the fifth major candidate to drop out of the race in the last week. For some reason, we didn't find it worthwhile to consider Tom Steyer or Mike Bloomberg as potential vice-presidential candidates, but we did evaluate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and Pete Buttigieg as possibilities. Let's do the same for Warren. It's hard to see how she would help Sanders at all; his hypothetical ticket would already have one very lefty New England septuagenarian senator on it, and probably doesn't need another. With Biden, it gets a little more interesting. Clearly, he doesn't need Warren's help in Massachusetts or New England. Further, the general notion is that he would need a younger running mate, though maybe that's overstated. After all, even if the ticket is very long in the teeth, it would only be an issue if both president and VP had serious health issues at the same time. And Warren is clearly a young and vigorous 70. Anyhow, if we put aside the age question and the (slight) risk that comes with vacating a Democratic-held Senate seat, Warren would make the ticket more attractive to suburban women (her base, as it turns out) and (some) progressives. Plus, she'd drive Donald Trump nuts, and would run circles around Mike Pence in a vice-presidential debate (if he's on the ticket). Biden could certainly do much worse.

She's still longer odds to be VP than Stacey Abrams, or Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), or even Amy Klobuchar, but Warren certainly isn't an impossible option as Biden's running mate (or some other position in a hypothetical Biden administration, like Treasury Secretary). It is certainly interesting that she pointedly declined to endorse someone after dropping out. It took Buttigieg a day or so to endorse after his withdrawal, but that was clearly for dramatic purposes, so he could be part of the prominent gaggle who endorsed right before Super Tuesday. In any event, if Warren ultimately does not back her (onetime?) friend and political ally Sanders (even if she also doesn't back Biden), that will make a definite statement. (Z)

Where Do Things Go From Here?, Part I: Biden vs. Clinton in Words

With Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race on successive days, 2020 is looking an awful lot like déjà vu all over again, with a moderate Democrat facing off against Bernie Sanders, just like what happened in 2016. And yes, we know Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is technically still in the race, but do you know where she spent this weekend "campaigning"? That would be Nevada. Careful readers might notice that state has already voted. If Gabbard is not serious about her presidential bid, why should anyone else be?

Anyhow, we took a quick look at things from the Clinton = Biden angle yesterday; now let's explore the comparison a bit more:

Dimension Hillary Clinton, 2016 Joe Biden, 2020
Experience High: Executive branch experience as first lady and secretary of state; legislative branch experience as U.S. Senator. High: Executive branch experience as vice president; legislative branch experience as U.S. Senator.
Establishment Support High: Friends with virtually every mover and shaker in the Democratic Party, having campaigned/fundraised for most of them. Closely associated with Barack Obama, the most popular Democrat in the land. High: Friends with virtually every mover and shaker in the Democratic Party, having campaigned/fundraised for most of them. Very closely associated with Barack Obama, the most popular Democrat in the land.
Progressive Support Low: (Rightly) seen as pulling strings behind the scenes to stop Bernie Sanders from getting the presidential nomination. Low: Seen as too old-fashioned, too moderate.
Debate Skills Moderate: Policy wonk, and a walking encyclopedia on American foreign policy, but often comes off as cold or robotic. Moderate: Knows a lot because he was a first-hand witness to a lot of important stuff, but tends to lose his train of thought and/or make verbal gaffes.
Campaign Skills Moderate: Good in small group settings, not so great at larger events. Moderate: Good in both small- and large-group settings, but tends to misspeak and/or commit gaffes, just as he does during debates.
Issues with Corruption High: Though substantially the creation of GOP propagandists, Clinton was tarred by association with all manner of "scandals," from Vince Foster and Whitewater to the e-mail server and Uranium One. Low to Moderate: There's the Burisma thing, though it does not appear that Democratic voters are holding that against Biden.
Likability Low: Again, she does well in face-to-face settings, and she generally interviews well. However, the decades-long anti-Clinton family propaganda campaign did plenty of damage, as did her habit of being closed-off and keeping things close to the vest. As with Elizabeth Warren, there was also more than a little misogyny directed in Clinton's direction. High: Great smile, warm personality. There's a reason he's known as "Uncle Joe."
Issues related to Race/Racism Low: She did great with non-white voters, and had no major missteps in her career on the racism front. Low to Moderate: He's said some impolitic things about his former segregationist colleagues, though it is pretty clear that black voters have forgiven him. Latinos aren't too excited about his candidacy so far; will that change if he becomes the nominee?
Issues related to Gender/Sexism Moderate: Fairly or not, she was slammed for tolerating/justifying her husband's bad behavior. Moderate: Was a bit too touchy-feely back in the days when touchy-feely was not as frowned upon as it is now. Really blew the questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings, though that may be less salient to voters 30 years later.
Issues related to Age/Health Low to Moderate: She's clearly in fine physical condition, but those pesky GOP propagandists, led by the propagandist-in-chief, managed to create a narrative that she was seriously ill or on death's door. Moderate: He's as long in the tooth as any Democratic candidate has ever been, and his carefully managed campaign schedule and speech patterns have given rise to concerns that he's beyond his expiration date when it comes to tackling the toughest job in the world.

Generally speaking, it appears that Biden should be a candidate who is just as strong a primary contender as Hillary Clinton, if not a little stronger. Her biggest liability, namely that so many people just did not like her, is arguably his greatest strength. (Z)

Where Do Things Go From Here?, Part II: Biden vs. Clinton in Numbers

Now that we've looked at the notion that Clinton = Biden as best we can, let's do some crude projections of the delegate race based on that line of thinking. At the moment, Joe Biden has 627 delegates, while Bernie Sanders has 551. There are still 332 Super Tuesday delegates to be awarded. Most of those delegates are in California. So as to give ourselves a starting point for this analysis, we'll just go ahead and award those 332 all at the rate that Sanders has been winning delegates in California (roughly a 62/38 split). That method probably gives Sanders a few more delegates than he's actually going to end up with, but it's good enough for government work. Anyhow, calculating it like this would give 206 more delegates to the Vermont Senator, and 126 more to the former veep, which would give us a delegate count of 757 for Sanders, 753 for Biden heading into the next round of voting. In effect, a dead heat.

Beginning from there, here is a big chart of roughly how many delegates each candidate will win in five different scenarios. Those scenarios, in order: If Biden overperforms Clinton 2016 by 10%, if he overperforms her by 5%, if he performs exactly the same as her, if he underperforms her by 5%, and if he underperforms her by 10%:

Clinton +10%
Clinton +5%
Same as Clinton
Clinton -5%
Clinton -10%
Available Del. Biden Del. Sanders Del. Biden Del. Sanders Del. Biden Del. Sanders Del. Biden Del. Sanders Del. Biden Del. Sanders Del.
Starting Total 753 757 753 757 753 757 753 757 753 757
March 3-10 Democrats Abroad 13 4 9 4 9 4 9 4 9 4 9
March 10 Idaho 20 5 15 4 16 4 16 4 16 4 16
Michigan 125 66 59 63 62 60 65 57 68 54 71
Mississippi 36 33 3 31 5 30 6 28 8 27 9
Missouri 68 37 31 35 33 34 34 32 36 30 38
North Dakota 14 4 10 4 10 4 10 3 11 3 11
Washington 89 27 62 25 64 24 65 23 66 22 67
March 14 Northern Mariana Islands 6 4 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
March 17 Arizona 67 42 25 40 27 38 29 36 31 34 33
Florida 219 155 64 148 71 141 78 134 85 127 92
Illinois 155 86 69 82 73 78 77 74 81 70 85
Ohio 136 85 51 81 55 77 59 73 63 69 67
March 24 Georgia 105 82 23 79 26 75 30 71 34 67 38
March 29 Puerto Rico 51 33 18 32 19 30 21 29 22 27 24
April 4 Alaska 15 3 12 3 12 3 12 3 12 2 13
Hawaii 24 7 17 7 17 7 17 6 18 6 18
Louisiana 54 42 12 40 14 38 16 36 18 35 19
Wyoming 14 7 7 7 7 6 8 6 8 6 8
April 7 Wisconsin 84 40 44 38 46 36 48 34 50 33 51
April 28 Connecticut 60 34 26 33 27 31 29 29 31 28 32
Delaware 21 14 7 13 8 13 8 12 9 11 10
Maryland 96 67 29 64 32 60 36 57 39 54 42
New York 274 175 99 167 107 159 115 151 123 143 131
Pennsylvania 186 114 72 109 77 103 83 98 88 93 93
Rhode Island 26 12 14 12 14 11 15 11 15 10 16
May 2 Guam 7 5 2 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 3
Kansas 39 14 25 13 26 13 26 12 27 11 28
May 5 Indiana 82 43 39 41 41 39 43 37 45 35 47
May 12 Nebraska 29 14 15 13 16 12 17 12 17 11 18
West Virginia 28 11 17 11 17 10 18 10 18 9 19
May 19 Kentucky 54 28 26 27 27 25 29 24 30 23 31
Oregon 61 29 32 27 34 26 35 25 36 23 38
June 2 District of Columbia 20 17 3 17 3 16 4 15 5 14 6
Montana 19 9 10 9 10 8 11 8 11 8 11
New Jersey 126 88 38 84 42 80 46 76 50 72 54
New Mexico 34 19 15 18 16 18 16 17 17 16 18
South Dakota 16 9 7 9 7 8 8 8 8 7 9
June 6 US Virgin Islands 7 7 0 6 1 6 1 6 1 5 2
Total 2224 1766 2156 1834 2087 1903 2021 1969 1953 2037

We know, it's a big table with a lot of numbers. But this does not look good for the Vermont Senator. It appears that Sanders is set to lose the nomination if Biden performs about the same as Hillary Clinton did in 2016. If Biden overperforms her, he will leave Sanders in the dust. Even if Biden underperforms her by 5%, he still claims the nomination. All other things being equal, Sanders needs to improve his 2016 numbers by at least 8-10% to outpace Biden.

As our Biden-Clinton comparison above suggests, there's no obvious reason to think that Sanders is likely to do (considerably) better against Biden than he did against Clinton. If anything, Biden should be a slightly tougher matchup. And that is not the only issue for Sanders. Here are a few others:

  • Keeping it close isn't enough: If this somehow results in a brokered convention, which is possible but not likely, the unpledged/automatic delegates (a.k.a the superdelegates) will give Biden the nod in the second round. The only way they might break for Sanders is if Sanders entered the convention with a huge plurality but not a majority. However, that is no longer mathematically possible.

  • Caucus conversion: There are states that had caucuses in 2016, like Washington, that will have primaries this year. Sanders is virtually guaranteed to bleed support in those states relative to his 2016 numbers.

  • Super Tuesday estimates: Again, we used a pretty Sanders-friendly way of awarding the remaining Super Tuesday delegates. If a bunch of those delegates end up going to Elizabeth Warren/Mike Bloomberg, or if the delegates end up breaking evenly between Sanders and Biden, then the hole that Sanders is facing would be that much larger.

Once these things are taken into consideration, it's entirely possible that Sanders actually needs to improve on his 2016 numbers by something more like 15%. Not easy, especially since both exit polls and actual voting totals suggest he's slightly lagging his 2016 totals thus far.

In short, Sanders may be looking pretty ok once the Super Tuesday delegate totals are finalized. He may even be looking ok after the contests that are coming up next Tuesday. But absent a game-changer or two (see below), there are some dark clouds on the horizon, as the remaining map does not appear to be very Sanders-friendly. (Z)

Where Do Things Go From Here?, Part III: The Polls

The first item in this four-part set is "soft" analysis, as it's just us giving our gut feel, as best we can. The second item also has a certain softness to it, as it relies on guesswork and estimates. We shall now turn to some hard data, namely two polls that were released yesterday.

Let's start with Michigan, where the new poll was conducted by The Detroit News and WDIV-TV. It's the first poll of the Democratic race there in six weeks; obviously it was conducted before the race was narrowed to two candidates. Here are the numbers:

Candidate Percentage
Joe Biden 29%
Bernie Sanders 23%
Mike Bloomberg 11%
Elizabeth Warren 7%
Pete Buttigieg 6%
Amy Klobuchar 3%

The margin of error is 4%, so it is at least possible that Biden's 6-point lead is a mirage. On the other hand, the 28% that went to other candidates figures to break pretty heavily for Biden (more on this below). And if Biden wins in the Wolverine State (especially if he wins big), it will be a double setback for Sanders. First, it will mean that he lost a state that he won in 2016, contributing to the general (and likely fatal) trend of him underperforming his numbers vs. Hillary Clinton. Second, if Biden takes Michigan, after having already taken Minnesota, then the former veep will have a very strong case that he's the guy who can retake the upper Midwest for the blue team. For voters who care about beating Donald Trump above all else, that is a big deal. A big enough deal, in fact, that Politico had a piece on Thursday headlined "Biden can finish Bernie off in Michigan."

Incidentally, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) endorsed Biden on Thursday. We don't know quite how much weight her endorsement carries. Presumably not Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) level influence, but probably not zero influence, either.

As significant (and as potentially grim) as Michigan is for Sanders, it's nothing compared to the big prize that's up two Tuesdays from now, namely Florida. That is where the second new poll comes from, courtesy of St. Pete Polls. Like the Michigan poll, it's the first one in six weeks, and was taken before the Democratic field was narrowed down. Here are their numbers:

Candidate Percentage
Joe Biden 61%
Bernie Sanders 12%
Mike Bloomberg 14%
Elizabeth Warren 5%
Pete Buttigieg 1%
Amy Klobuchar 1%

Wow. Biden's lead is so far outside the margin of error that the margin of error isn't even in the same ZIP code. Maybe not in the same state. St. Pete Polls has a middling reputation, but there is no amount of pollster error or incompetence that could produce results that are in error by nearly 50 points. Unless they are 100% in the bag for Biden, and were willing to risk their entire business by making up numbers out of thin air, Sanders is set for an utter shellacking in the Sunshine State. Biden could win something like 200 of the state's 219 delegates. If the result is anything close to that, Sanders would be in a hole too deep to escape. And that's before we talk about the lessons that people would take from the result, namely that: (1) Biden might be able to win Florida/some Southern states, and (2) Sanders' Latino advantage may not mean much when non-Mexican Latinos are involved.

This Democratic presidential race has been quite the roller coaster. It's now entirely possible that, in the span of just three weeks (Feb. 29 to Mar. 18), the race will go from "completely up in the air" to "all over." (Z)

Where Do Things Go From Here?, Part IV: Sanders Game Changers

The last three items have been full of not-so-good news for Bernie Sanders. Consistent with the roller coaster-like process, we thought we would finish the sequence with a list of things that might possibly swing the momentum once again, along with some comment about how likely they are. Here's what we came up with:

  • The Royal Flush: As Donald Trump taught us in 2016, it doesn't always matter if you get the most voters, as long as you get the right voters. Political scientist and prognosticator Rachel Bitecofer described Trump's feat as the equivalent of "drawing a royal flush." If the Sanders campaign does aggressive triage, investing money and manpower in just the right places, and ignoring those areas that are either in the bag or hopelessly far gone, maybe they can regain the momentum and the narrative. This would be very tough to pull off, would have to happen fast, and would depend heavily on scoring a win in Michigan. If Sanders loses Michigan and then gets trounced in Florida a week later, the narrative is lost forever.

  • The Pivot: Sanders ran a Trump-style "base" strategy. This was not a secret; when he made his 2020 "I'm running!" announcement, the Senator told CBS News' John Dickerson that he felt he could win with 30-35% of the Democratic vote. That is exactly the campaign Sanders ran, focusing exclusively on appealing to the base, and it very nearly worked. If Jim Clyburn makes no endorsement, or if Mike Bloomberg fails to qualify for the debates, the moderate vote might have remained fractured long enough for Sanders to take an insurmountable delegate lead.

    Obviously, with all the moderates but Joe Biden gone, it can't work anymore. So, Sanders could decide to pivot towards the center, at least a little bit. He's obviously not going to renounce Medicare for All, but he could do something like announce that his remarks about Fidel Castro were ill-considered, and that of course that form of socialism is wrong and evil. That said, we think it is very unlikely this will happen; Sanders is rather famous for sticking to his guns. And beyond that, if he tried a pivot, it would likely alienate his base, while other voters would not believe it was genuine.

  • Now Batting...: This is something that has come up a few times in recent Q&As. Sanders could announce a running mate, or even an entire Cabinet. He might announce that a vote for him isn't just a Sanders vote, it's also a vote for VP Ayanna Pressley, and Secretary of the Treasury Elizabeth Warren, and Secretary of Labor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Jill Stein, and so forth. This maneuver would have worked a lot better last week, with Sanders coming from a position of strength. However, it surely wouldn't hurt to try it now. And if Sanders finds just the right running mate (and by that, we really mean someone with the last name "Obama") it might just save his campaign.

  • Progressives Unite!: Now that Elizabeth Warren is out, Sanders can hope that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party unites behind him and, further, with the fear of God on their minds, starts showing up in droves at the polls. In other words, Sanders would be hoping that he benefits from a similar dynamic to the one that rescued Joe Biden.

    If you squint just right, you can see this happening. That said, we think it's not likely to work out, for several reasons. First, if you give Warren's votes to Sanders, you have to give Mike Bloomberg's votes to Biden, and that ends up as basically a wash. Further, and in a related point, Bloomberg's voters are largely to the right of Biden's voters, and their main concern, as revealed by exit polls, is that they hate socialism. In other words, the Bloomberg-Sanders voter basically doesn't exist; Biden is going to inherit all of the former mayor's voters. On the other hand, although Warren is actually left of Sanders based on her voting record in the Senate, her base of support was more moderate than his, and was heavy on well-off, educated white people. Her former supporters are likely to break pretty evenly between Sanders and Biden, and may actually even favor Biden slightly. The point here is that the votes that went for now-departed candidates are likely to go heavily for Biden, even granting that Sanders will inherit at least some of Warren's former voters.

    Even if that proves to be the case, it is certainly possible that, fearing the loss of all progressive alternatives, young voters from that wing really will show up in huge numbers this week and next to support their champion. However, they didn't do so on Super Tuesday, which was also clearly important. Further, there may simply not be enough of them to counter all the moderates who are showing up to vote.

  • Biden Has a "Macaca" Moment: This might be Sanders' very best hope. Biden, as we note several times in the post, has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth. There's a debate coming up on March 15 that is probably going to have just two candidates on stage. That's a lot of opportunity for Biden to say something really damaging.

    However, it's hard to think what that might be. Biden has had plenty of garden-variety gaffes and misstatements, and they don't seem to have hurt him much. And at the next debate, he's undoubtedly going to play it very safe, and limit himself to generalizations, pre-scripted talking points, and shots at Donald Trump. Probably the likeliest way he shoots himself in the foot is to back into an inadvertent racist or sexist remark, like George Allen's "macaca moment." Which, with Biden, is certainly not impossible.

  • Joe Dirt!: Obviously, Biden has taken a little damage from his son's employment at the Ukrainian firm Burisma, but it hasn't been fatal. If some other scandal came to light, however, maybe it ruins him. It would have to be something very bad—something that made him so toxic that the Democrats are persuaded he's basically unelectable. Serious sexual misconduct, gross corruption, things like that. You know, the kinds of things that Donald Trump gets away with on a daily basis.

    We are very skeptical that Biden has skeletons of this sort in his closet. First, he certainly seems like a fellow who is basically a straight shooter. Politicians who are on the take don't commute to Washington from Delaware on a train to save money. Further, there are a lot of people who have much motivation to find any Biden skeletons that are out there and to display them for all to see. And yet, that hasn't happened. We concede that it's at least possible the Trump 2020 campaign and/or the RNC have something (though if they did, why would they work the Burisma angle so hard?). Anyhow, if Team Trump does have dirt, they will undoubtedly save it for the general election, which is too late to help Sanders.

  • A Macabre Turn: We're trying to be as exhaustive as we can here, and so now it's time to get a little dark. Biden is a senior citizen, and has been for two decades. While he doesn't appear to be especially frail for his age, he also doesn't seem to be particularly hale and hardy. Further, as chance would have it, there just so happens to be a virus going around right now that is particularly dangerous for senior men, and that is particularly likely to be contracted by folks who spend time among large crowds. You know, talking to lots of people, shaking their (virus-laden?) hands, kissing babies, and so forth. Hopefully, the two Democratic candidates stocked up on hand sanitizer already, because Amazon and pretty much every drug store in the land are sold out.

    Anyhow, we have been asked several times in the last few weeks, presumably for obvious reasons, what happens if a candidate dies before the convention. The exact answer varies somewhat depending on what state the delegates come from, but the general answer is that a deceased candidate's delegates become free agents, bound only by the vaguely worded DNC rule that "Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them."

    In the event that Biden were to pass away unexpectedly, it is certainly possible that a second-place Bernie Sanders could be tapped to replace him. This seems unlikely, however. Not only are the delegates (generally) chosen by the campaigns, they also tend to be long-time party loyalists. Given that, as well as the general instruction to "reflect the sentiments of those who elected them," it is rather unlikely that they would substitute a lefty firebrand for an understated moderate. Indeed, under such tragic circumstances, the convention would almost certainly feel a need to "honor" Biden's legacy and to pick a candidate as similar to him as is possible, or one who is personally connected with him. Strange as it may sound, his wife Jill would not be a huge surprise under such circumstances. Or possibly Biden's longtime colleague Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE). Or Jim Clyburn, whose endorsement was a pretty clear turning point. In any case, probably not Sanders.

We put our thinking caps on, and tried to think of any scenario that seems within the realm of possibility. To us, this looks like a pretty long list of Hail Mary passes and pipe dreams. Even if considered in the aggregate, the odds of any of these things coming to pass seems very low. That said, Hail Mary passes and pipe dreams are more than any other Democrat in the land has at this point (excepting Biden, of course). (Z)

Trump Gives Democrats a Late Christmas Gift

The Republicans' game plan, when it comes to federal money, has been pretty clear since at least the Newt Gingrich years (maybe even the Reagan years):

  1. Cut taxes on the rich/corporations aggressively, triggering a budget crisis
  2. Point out that the budget is unsustainable
  3. Cut entitlement programs to "fix" the problem

While this has hardly been a secret, it's also been something that Republicans don't say out loud. After all, cutting entitlement programs is not a winning issue, since an awful lot of voters depend on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

Now, it's something that Republicans don't say out loud...unless they are Donald Trump. He was on Fox News last night, and was asked what he plans to do about the ballooning deficit if he gets a second term. First, he blamed Barack Obama (a man who, last we checked, has not been president for 1,142 days). Then, Trump said that once the trade deals kick in, everything will be great. But when Martha MacCallum observed that, "[I]f you don't cut something in entitlements, you will never really deal with the debt," Trump confirmed that, "Oh, we'll be cutting."

Pretty quickly, the President realized he'd screwed up and let the cat out of the bag, and tried to fix it by declaring that there is going to be so much economic growth that it won't matter (a dubious claim, particularly after another 1,000-point one-day drop in the Dow Jones). In any case, Democrats up and down the ballot this year are going to have a lot of success pointing out that voting GOP not only means four more years of Trump, but also a conservative replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and maybe the end of Social Security and other programs as we know them. If that doesn't keep folks who are tempted to vote third-party on board, nothing will. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Mar05 Biden Has More Delegates Now
Mar05 Bloomberg Calls It Quits
Mar05 What Happens Next?
Mar05 Takeaways from Super Tuesday
Mar05 Who Voted for Whom?
Mar05 What Happens to Delegates When Candidates Drop Out?
Mar05 Other Key Races
Mar05 Bullock May Run for the Senate after All
Mar05 New York State Cancels Republican Primary
Mar04 A Whole New Ballgame
Mar04 In New National Poll, Biden Leads
Mar04 Fed Slashes Interest Rates, Markets Tank
Mar04 Some Election Websites Are Running Unprotected, Obsolete Software
Mar04 Los Angeles County Used an Insecure Voting System
Mar03 Klobucharge Runs Out of Electricity
Mar03 Everybody Is Endorsing Biden
Mar03 What to Watch for on Super Tuesday
Mar03 Supreme Court Will Hear Obamacare Case
Mar03 Dow Rallies
Mar03 Will Trump Drop the Mike?
Mar03 Another Israeli Election, Another Hazy Result
Mar02 Buttigieg Bows Out
Mar02 Sanders Raises an Incredible $46.5 Million in February
Mar02 Why Do the Kids Love Bernie?
Mar02 Would a Large Turnout Help Sanders?
Mar02 Super Tuesday is Tomorrow
Mar02 Could COVID-19 Impact the Election?
Mar02 McGahn Skates
Mar02 House Judiciary Committee Wants to Interview the Stone Prosecutors
Mar02 Trump Nominates Ratcliffe as DNI
Mar02 Americans Are Worried about Election Integrity
Mar01 Biden's South Carolina Firewall Holds—and Then Some
Mar01 Sunday Mailbag
Feb29 Saturday Q&A
Feb28 Coronavirus Gives Trump Administration a Headache
Feb28 Prepare for Another Trump 2020 Photo-op
Feb28 A Candidate Like No Other, Part II: Bernie Sanders, Socialist
Feb28 Polls Have South Carolina Results All Over the Map
Feb28 Today's Ratfu**ing News
Feb28 Buttigieg Is Still Your Winner in Iowa
Feb28 Trump May Not Be Able to Pardon Stone
Feb27 Takeaways from the South Carolina Debate
Feb27 Clyburn Endorses Biden
Feb27 Poll: Biden Has a Huge Lead over Sanders in South Carolina
Feb27 Schumer and Pelosi Would Be Comfortable with Sanders as Nominee
Feb27 Five Thirty Eight's Super Tuesday Predictions
Feb27 He Hasn't Been Here
Feb27 Are Primaries Being Done Wrong?
Feb27 Schumer Meets with Bullock
Feb27 Trump Asks for the Wrong Recusals