Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Biden Has His Black List

No, it's not like Dick Nixon's enemies list. That's a blacklist, and this is a Black list. As we have noted several times, the DNC is strongly considering a shakeup of its primary calendar. The very white states of Iowa and New Hampshire secured their place at the front of the line back when the primary concern of the major parties was keeping white people happy. That's not true for all of the major parties anymore, and so the Democrats would like to make sure that non-white voters have a larger voice in determining the identity of the Party's nominee.

As the sitting president, Joe Biden will have a lot of input into this process. It is true that Jaime Harrison runs the DNC, but a sitting president is always the leader of their party. And this sitting president has just weighed in with his opinion: He wants South Carolina to go first, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on the same day a week later, then Georgia a week after that, and then Michigan a week after that, followed by Super Tuesday.

Putting Nevada and New Hampshire on the same day is surely going to impact New Hampsshire. Given a choice between frolicking in the Nevada sunshine or the snows of New Hampshire in February, we suspect most Democrats will choose the former. Besides, Nevada has more delegates to the convention than New Hampshire. So New Hampshire may hold its primary early on, but if nobody shows up, then what? It won't matter so much.

It's not too much of a surprise that he put South Carolina first, since that's the state that elevated Biden from also-ran to frontrunner in 2020. It also makes tactical sense; Black voters aren't the biggest Democratic constituency, but they are a key constituency in several swing states. So, the Party is well served to find a candidate that excites Black voters, and South Carolina has a lot of them (as does Georgia). Getting a couple of medium-to-large swing states in there before Super Tuesday also makes some sense (and it also doesn't hurt to do a little kissing up to Georgians a few days before a key runoff election). It would not be ideal for Michigan and Georgia to go first and second, but it shouldn't be a problem for a candidate who comes out of the South Carolina-Nevada-New Hampshire run with some momentum, even if they are not loaded with cash. Meanwhile, Iowa is nowhere to be seen on the President's list. At this point, it would take a miracle for the Hawkeye State to retain its first-in-the-nation status, at least for the Democrats.

And as long as we're talking Democratic inside baseball, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) dropped out of the race to be assistant minority leader on Thursday, allowing Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) to claim the post. That means the upper ranks of the House Democratic leadership will still have one octogenarian, but will also be diverse, with a total of zero white men in the top four slots. If Cicilline had won the gig, then that would have given the party a white guy, but a gay white guy, and so a different form of diversity. Either way, it's not your parents' Democratic Party. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates