Sen. Bernie Sanders

The results are in, and the winner is ... VOTING BY MAIL. Hooray! Standing in line for an hour and rubbing your hands all over a petri dish cum touch screen waged a really strong campaign, but it just couldn't compete with safely marking that ballot from the comfort of your own bunker and paying a uniformed representative of the US government $0.55 to deliver it. Despite grumblings that the primary was #Rigged by Big Postal, most voters seem ready to move on to the general, where the choices are Our Guy or THAT FUCKING ORANGE DEVIL.

Oh, we are getting punchy in quarantine! Yesterday Joe Biden swept the primaries in Florida, Illinois, and Arizona, bringing the current delegate tally as of this writing to 1,165 for Biden, and 879 for Sanders.

Ohio postponed voting for plague, as have Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Maryland. And all it took was a pandemic that's significantly more dangerous for the elderly to prompt a national discussion of voting by mail, unhindered by spurious bullshit about hordes of undocumented immigrants casting illegal ballots. Go know!

FiveThirtyEight reports that in-person voting declined 40 percent in Florida since 2016, while early voting increased by 19 percent, and votes cast by mail rose 27 percent. Voting early and by mail was already widely accepted in Arizona — remember 2018 when Martha McSally wound up losing to Kyrsten Sinema, and Republicans screamed bloody murder based on nothing but the time it took to count the early votes? On the plus side, although voting in Illinois seems to have been, umm, suboptimal, turnout was actually up over 2016 in Florida and Arizona. Thanks, Donald!

If we were the New York Times, this would be the place where we inserted some mumbling about the math for Bernie Sanders getting harder after yesterday, blah blah blah. But we're not the Times, and you count on Your Wonkette not to bullshit you. According to FiveThirtyEight, Sanders would have to take 68 percent of the outstanding votes to win this primary, at a time when Biden is ahead of him by double digits in every reputable poll. And while 2020 is already weird as shit, barring another black swan event, Sanders is clearly not going to be the Democratic nominee.

But with primaries being pushed into June, it could be months until Biden gets enough delegates to clinch the nomination. So ... now what? Well, now the Sanders people go have a think.

Faiz Shakir, Sanders's campaign manager, released a letter yesterday saying that, "while our campaign has won the battle of ideas, we are losing the battle of electability to Joe Biden." And at least when it comes to healthcare, he's not wrong. The Washington Post reports:

Last week, Sanders won supporters of single-payer health care in Washington state by 26 points, in Michigan by 21 and in Missouri by 11. On Tuesday, though, he was running behind Biden among these voters in Florida and held a thin margin with them in Illinois, according to polls of likely voters conducted by Edison Media Research (exit polls were not conducted because of the coronavirus).

But the math is the math. Shakir promised that after the coronavirus stimulus vote today, "Bernie and Jane are going to get on a plane back to Vermont. Once there, they'll begin holding conversations with supporters to get input and assess the path forward for our campaign." Notably, he didn't ask for donations. And this morning, Axios reported that the campaign has deactivated its Facebook ads, as Buttigieg and Bloomberg did before announcing the end of their campaigns.

Look, we all know where this is going.


Just kidding. This is going to the Democratic Party being grateful to Sanders and his supporters, who refused to settle for the status quo and moved the conversation to a better place on health care. Win or lose, Sanders energized young voters and encouraged Democrats to think of politics as a moral imperative, not just the art of the possible.

So be nice to everyone whose candidate didn't win, wash your hands, and vote blue by mail no matter who.

[538 / WaPo]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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