About Last Night: Biden Dominates In South Carolina

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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70 Responses

  1. Kolohe says:

    Re: Mike Bloomberg should/will throw his money at some other candidate.

    I’ve seen this around a lot, but I’m not at all sure it’s legal. Bloomberg as a individual is limited to giving $2800 to any candidate. Just shifting his commercials to ‘vote for x’ I gotta think would be an in kind contribution.

    Sure, he could set up a PAC. But I don’t think he could make the same style of commercials without coordination with a candidate.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Kolohe says:

      You are correct. He said he’d use his money to back whoever wins the nomination, but he can’t, so that’s probably just spin meant to buy more goodwill, on the assumption that he’d win the nomination. In 2016 Hillary and Debbie Wassermann Schultz laundered an unbelievable amount of money through state parties, but it took them about a year to get it all set up and was still likely a violation of campaign finance laws if they were more strictly enforced.

      Depending on who the nominee is, there also might be problems with “Bloomberg’s billionaire money is tainting our elections!” If too many Democrats take a very negative view of Bloomberg, which isn’t unlikely, they might also take a negative view of him trying to “buy” their candidate, just as they would if the Koch Brothers were doing it. Even if only a few percent of Democrats decide that’s a line too far, a few percent voting third party is often a deciding factor.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to Kolohe says:

      K & George –

      I think he can run negative ads to his heart’s content, though. Whether against Sanders or Trump.Report

  2. Damon says:

    LOL. Pops more popcorn. This election year is coming in close to the last one for humor.Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    Both Sanders fans and Warren fans are being insufferable about Biden’s victory in South Carolina. Sanders fans are trying to some how present Biden’s victory among African-Americans in the South as evidence that he is a white supremacist. Warren fans are complaining about misogyny and racism because Biden lacks perfect Social Justice terminology. Yes, the same African-American women who enthusiastically supported Hillary Clinton are now misogynists because they fail to support Saint Warren of Arc.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    Biden is better than Klobuchar but I find it mystifying and depressing that all the candidates for President are likely to be too damn old. Even my favorite, Warren*, is pushing it at 70 and seemingly good health. Trump is 73 turning 74, overweight, and probably suffering from neurological decline along with everything else wrong with him. Sanders, Biden, and Bloomberg are older and seem to be in better physical and mental health. Except Sanders just had a heart attack. There is a very real chance that the President serving between 2021-2025 does not make a full term or only serves one term and then steps down.

    This is fucking nuts.

    Biden’s firewall was always supposed to be African-American voters and it worked along with last minute endorsements from Clyburn, McAufflie, and Kaine. I suspect he will continue to do well in Southern states.

    Still it is frustrating that the 2020 election seems to be Boomers and Silents holding onto power until they die. I am going to be 40 in September and it feels like when it comes to politics, my cohort is still put at the kid’s table. Almost every candidate except Sanders and Warren has been completely dismissive of the concerns and needs of my generation.

    Warren’s lack of success depresses me. She is the smartest of the bunch, has the best understanding of policy and the way politics works in 2020. Yet she seems to have real trouble expanding her base beyond middle-class liberals with graduate degrees. I’ve heard the media describe her as a school marm but I just don’t see it.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Biden is a low-key racist good ole boy who Obama chose to blunt fears that a Black Man would seek retribution against whites. That he’s been able to lock up the black vote is a mystifying to me now as when Hillary locked it up four years ago. These establishment Dem candidates ain’t looking out for black Americans. I heard Rahm Emanuel on the TV the other day praising Biden. That alone should make African Americans rethink their support.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:

        I think this is not quite true. He was strong in voting against Apartheid and always had the support of Delaware’s African-American community. He was also instrumental in stopping the Bork nomination. He does have make shit up and memory problems but I guess that is nothing compared to Trump.

        African-American voters are much more moderate than white Democrats generally. If the GOP wasn’t a white supremacist party, a lot of them might drift to the GOP. They also are the most churchy of Democrats still and I think the lack of religion in the Sanders and Warren campaigns is something that they do not like. AA voters are not necessarily into the “revolution” or substantial reforms offered by Sanders and Warren and there is obviously a split between younger activists and older voters in the African-American community or maybe not. Biden still did pretty well with African-American voters in the 18-29 age bracket. I think Vox stated it best, regular voters do not think like activists and Biden even did well with voters who called themselves very liberal.


        • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Yeah, all that strikes me as true. The problem I see is that the African American community’s voting behavior is determined by “connections” rather than policy positions. I mean, for better or worse, you know? They think it’s better….Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

            Add: I’ve said this before and because of that I know you hate it, but one of the best things Trump said in 2016 to the black voting community was “what do you have to lose?”

            In 2020, blacks are *still* an underclass in the American political system, and Democratic politicians seem content with that. 🙁Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:

              Except it did not work and the African-American communities response seems to be “a lot.”Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Right. But it got people – white and latino and asian and etc – to rethink who their allies actually are. By saying it that bluntly, it effects how Democrats view their own coalition.

                Honestly, one of the more absurd things in 2016 was the overt and concerted effort by black leaders and pundits to take down Bernie. At the time he was the only Democratic candidate who advocated real criminal justice reform (among other relevant policies).Report

    • Douglas Hayden in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      “Still it is frustrating that the 2020 election seems to be Boomers and Silents holding onto power until they die. I am going to be 40 in September and it feels like when it comes to politics, my cohort is still put at the kid’s table.”

      Because Silents and Boomers vote, and Millenials not as much. Sanders’s campaign is premised on turning out the youth vote, and yet exit polls and final results show he’s repeatedly failed to get that turnout growth in the primary. There’s the usual litany of reasons why the kids are unenthused, but Bernie’s had a -lot- break his way the past year and they’re still not showing up. At some point, you have to acknowledge they’ll never be as motivated as you’d wish they would be.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Douglas Hayden says:

        I’ve been voting since 1998 but it is true that a lot of young people do not vote. Technically, I am the last year of Generation X and we are just small in number but since we are also now middle-aged, should be more of a voice. But Boomers are determined to hold onto power and Chuck Schumer’s middle-class couple from Mineola feels like they are aging with him. They were in their 40s in 1998 when he ran for Senate and now are in their 60s like he is.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Douglas Hayden says:

        Still Warren seems to generate huge amounts of support from middle-class liberals with graduate degrees in the age demographic of 30-65 and not so much with anyone else. I’m trying to work this out. I think sexism is a large part of it but not the only factor. She is reformist enough to freak out moderates and really rich people but still gets accused of being a neoliberal sellout by Bernie fans.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I’m trying to work this out. I think sexism is a large part of it but not the only factor.

          I think you’re right, but in the wrong way. Sexism is a factor. Women, especially educated white women, like Warren *because she’s a woman*.

          Nothing wrong with that, of course. But accusing *other people* of not supporting Warren due to sexism is a bit cheeky.Report

          • The Warren of small events, one-on-one, and in person is very different from the TV/debate/townhall Warren. Start there. Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater says:

            I think many of Warren’s supporters like her because they want 2020 to be a 2016 rematch. The reason non-educated voters aren’t taking to her is because she reminds them of the teacher that tried to be with it with the kids but didn’t realize how uncool they were. If you like school, you like Warren. If not, meh.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq says:

              This is also probably true. One thing I *dislike* about Warren is that she’s all about plans instead of being about a political gestalt which entails the plans.

              But to be frank here, I lost a lot of respect (well, not respect…) for her when she flippity flopped on Medicare for All a couple months ago. What it signaled to me is that when the pressure’s on she can’t be trusted to make a decisive decision. (Same goes for Kamala. She buckeled under the pressure. It was disappointing in both cases because in the run-up I had Kamala and AmyK as my favorites, with Warren a close third despite her “I’m an oppressed native American” fiasco.)Report

              • InMD in reply to Stillwater says:

                Warren and Harris are examples of why a coalition party can’t be built from identity politics unless the identity in question is itself a majority, or at least plurality, of actual voters necessary for the coalition to win. And even then it might not be the best strategy.

                For Harris this was a comeuppance that got her exposed as the careerist of no principle and little political skill she is. I’ve found Warren’s degeneration much sadder, since I do think she comes closest to the path between Bernie and Biden that could win in a realigning polity.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to InMD says:

                Yeah. Well said. I totally agree. And to extend that view one step further, it shows the limits of “intersectionality” as a legitimate, viable, political driver.

                I mean, back in the old days intersectionality was identifyijng the material interests of stakeholders and giving each group a slice of the pie. Now, though, it means uncompromisingly agreeing with those stakeholders grievances. No one likes a complainer. 🙂 Such is the Democratic party right now.

                {{It all started when Bill Clinton championed NAFTA. I will go to my grave believing this and nothing will persuade me otherwise!!!}}Report

              • InMD in reply to Stillwater says:

                Not only does no one like a complainer but it morphs common interest into zero sum. Maybe it was NAFTA but what I see is really a serious misunderstanding of the history of the black experience and how they’ve become such a solid voting bloc for a particular party. As you alluded to above, I think that’s happened due more to utter alienation caused (often intentionally) by the GOP than some insurmountable affinity for the D’s.

                But it also really speaks to the uniqueness of race based slavery and its long legacy in a system founded on otherwise liberal principles. A lot of (frankly evil) things went into making it and it isn’t going to be recreated writ large in other demographics with critical theory gobbledygook or anything else.Report

              • InMD in reply to InMD says:

                And to add, nor should we want it to be.Report

              • North in reply to InMD says:

                Yeah Warrens’ mistakes on MFA were disqualifying for me. She let twitter persuade her that the danger was to her left flank and ended up utterly discredited when she ended up being forced to tack to the right. And, of course, Bernie remained to her left just devouring her from that direction. I think she flat out chose the wrong lane to approach the challenge from.Report

              • LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

                As Vox put, one loser from the South Carolina primary was the idea that ordinary voters think like professional activists. They don’t. Warren and Harris tried to run intersectionality campaigns to one degree or another and never took off as a result.Report

            • Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

              Note that many of us dislike Warren for the opposite reason. She really only appeals to that that sweet spot of people who are too smart for Sanders, but not smart enough to see through her populist shtick.

              She’s LARPing as a wonk. She has the style, but none of the substance.Report

    • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I feel about Klobuchar the same way you feel about Warren so I get your pain there.Report

    • James K in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Death is not the biggest risk here. Sure, it could happen (if Biden wins and serves 2 terms he’ll be older than any of my grandparents lived to), but the government has a good system for dealing with a dead President that seems to work just fine. Sure, you have to worry more about the VP than you normally would, but other than that it’s not too bad.

      The real problem is loss of capacity. That could be dementia, but it could also be just the lack of energy and vigour older people have. President is an extremely demanding job, and I’m not convinced octogenarians will have the energy to do it properly, leading to lower quality decisions. And let’s face it, I don’t see a party using the 26th Amendment to remove a President unless they’re actually comatose – US parties identify with their Presidents so much that any criticism of the President is seen as an attack on the party itself.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I am going to be 40 in September and it feels like when it comes to politics, my cohort is still put at the kid’s table.

      When you consider that *Amy Klobuchar* is 59(!), this takes on an even more keen resonance.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Almost every candidate except Sanders and Warren has been completely dismissive of the concerns and needs of my generation.

      I’m slightly younger than you, and I don’t know what you’re talking about. What legitimate grievances of our generation are Warren and Sanders addressing that other Democratic candidates are not? All I see them doing is flushing our economic future down the toilet by jacking up government spending to ridiculous levels and funding it with tax plans driven more by spite than by economic sense.Report

  5. LTL FTC says:


    Everybody confused the black activists with black people.
    They had binders full of womxn (read the article) and people of color, but the electorate is made up of women and, y’know, black people, Latinos, etc.

    All year, the talk about how to dislodge Biden in SC came down to how best to pander to black voters, which is bound to lead to bad predictions from the media when their idea of a black voter is Ibram X. Kendi, and not, say, people with literally any other kind of job.

    Cornpop was real, the black electorate that considered reparations crucial was not.Report

  6. Where are all the folks who were saying that Bloomberg’s ability to buy the nomination shows that the D’s are every bit as corrupt as the Rs?Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Right here. The fact that Bloomberg could buy his way onto the debate stage shows that the Dems are even more just as corrupt as the GOP.Report

      • North in reply to Stillwater says:

        Doesn’t matter that getting onto that debate stage was the worst thing that could have happened to Bloomie since he started this expensive and ill advised adventure?Report

        • Stillwater in reply to North says:

          Not until we hear reliable evidence that Tom Perez knew he’d flame out.

          Even then, the bare fact that he was allowed on the stage is a bad look for Democrats.Report

          • North in reply to Stillwater says:

            Well I will still protest: The GOP has actually nominated and elected an incompetent evil idiot “billionaire” President. The Dems haven’t even nominated one yet, let alone elected him and at least he’s a real billionaire and might even be competent. It seems manifestly unfair to label them just as corrupt as the GOP (while hinting that they might be even more so) based on that.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to North says:

              {{North, the GOP nominates and elects full blown *idiots* at every turn, at every chance possible. People who destroy the economy and blow up the deficit and FUBAR international relations. Everyone knows this. That the Dems *don’t* nominate idiots obviously isn’t a selling point….}}Report

          • George Turner in reply to Stillwater says:

            I doubt Perez and other DNC insiders had any idea Bloomberg would flame out. Bloomberg had already been mayor of New York, a job which requires some really sharp (if not legendary) political skills to win, and some mad skills to succeed at. He should have been just as comfortable and in command on the debate stage as he was at innumerable press conferences as mayor.Report

      • And it did him little good among D voters, who are not that impressed by real billionaires, let alone fake ones.Report

      • Jesse in reply to Stillwater says:

        The reason why Democrat’s let Bloomberg on the debate stage, is because so he couldn’t continue to spend millions unanswered. Making Bloomberg actually answer for his history doesn’t seem super corrupt.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Jesse says:

          Eh, changing the debate rules to allow him on stage seems super corrupt.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Jesse says:

          The curiosity is why Bloomberg accept the invitation to the debate. He’d have been better served rejecting it and heckling the Dems from the sidelines, as an outsider, since that’s what his entire campaign is based on. I felt that way before he accepted, and in hindsight, of course, the question makes even more sense.Report

    • North in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Getting frustrated: they can’t figure out if they should buy parts for their “The Democrats lurch to the far left and nominate a socialist” message machine or parts for their “Evil corrupt Democrats rig their primary against innocent earnest Uncle Bernie” message machine.Report

  7. North says:

    So it’s looking like it’s coming down to Bernie vs Biden. All that fuss, money, froth and fluff and it seems to be boiling back down to the essentials. Call it the revenge of the politically engaged. If you paid no attention to politics until about now this is the outcome you’d absently predict. Meanwhile we political junkies have run down every fanciful garden path, explored every alternate outcome fantasy and now we’re trudging back, mud covered, to Biden vs Bernie.

    And for me the funny thing is I can’t make myself be miserable about it. Biden was my distant #3 choice but after Nevada when it honestly looked like crazy Uncle Bernie was going to take us down the McGovern boulevard again. Bernie still has a real shot at the nomination but at least now it doesn’t look like he’s going to be able to simply walk away with it. An assortment of disjointed thoughts:

    -Asta la pasta Mr. Steyer. I hope the South Carolina Democratic Party gave you a nice pin or something for all the mountains of cash you poured into those markets to get your piddling third place finish. At least you have the wit to call it quits now. Wish your even richer compatriot could get the message.

    -I wish Bloomberg would game this fishin exercise of his out in his head. He seems to be thinking: “hobble the moderate candidate by sucking away support, walk into the convention with a lump of delegates and Bernie in the lead with a plurality, ???, get the democratic nomination, ???, become President.” That is two sets of underpants gnomes in his plans. I can’t imagine he got to being a billionaire by depending on the good mercies of underpants gnomes. What the hell does he think he’s going to accomplish.

    -I like Amy and Pete, they’re my #1 and #2’s respectively but the writing seems pretty clear on the wall. I don’t see why they’re electing to hang in at this point. If Amy bows out and endorses I think she has a decent shot at the Veep nod which would set her up really well to try again in another cycle.

    -The Black community seems to be breathing a fresh breeze of sanity into this revolution talk. The African Americans have suffered larger than their fair share of shouting wild eyed radicals making wild promises in their history. It looks like they all look at Bernie and see what I do: a man destined to put Trump into the White House for four more years.

    -So I guess it is Biden that moderates have to hang their hat on. Here we go I guess. It’s gonna be a slog. I hope the party establishment gets off their asses and hands out some endorsements to try and help things along on Super Tuesday. Biden’s already lost a march with early voting.

    -It’s probably asking for too much to hope that Obama climbs down off his mountain and weighs in. Yeah, he isn’t gonna do it.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to North says:

      Buttigeig is out!

      Holy cow. WTF?Report

      • George Turner in reply to Stillwater says:

        Well, he got beat by Steyer in SC, who already dropped out, so it kind of makes sense. Buttigieg was always doing well with very white liberals, but the question was whether he could get minority voters to support him. The answer was a resounding “no.” I think he got something like 2% in South Carolina. He met with President Carter and made his decision to stop. That leaves Klobuchar as BIden’s main competitor for the moderate wing, plus Bloomberg.

        Gabbard is still in it, and given that she feels she’s running to try and present an alternative to the corruption of the party, she might stay in it as a canary in the coal mine. She also might stay for the general election if convention shenanigans deny Bernie the nomination, assuming she can navigate whatever hoops there are (signature, filing deadlines, etc) to get on the ballot in the general.

        Steyer, by the way, may have set the record for the worst campaign performance ever, in dollars spent per vote.Report

        • North in reply to George Turner says:

          Gabbard is staying in because she’s decided she’s going to be a right wing Fox News grifter and this is the best path for her to secure a sinecure as one. She is utterly irrelevant to Democratic politics at this point.Report

          • George Turner in reply to North says:

            So was Jill Stein, but without her Trump wouldn’t be President.

            Gabbard’s horrible fate is to be the Cassandra whose accurate prophecies of party corruption and dirty insider politics will never be believed. She is the voice crying in the wilderness, constantly dismissed as a Russian operative.


            • North in reply to George Turner says:

              Oh George, the things you say. Gabbard might have had some principles early on but either in an excess of pique or out of naked mercenary impulse she decided she was going to go right wing when she realized she wasn’t a contender for the nomination. Gabbard will be hawking gold, sleep number beds, fear and adult diapers to the Fox News crowd inside of a year. That’s all she is and all she represents, nothing more, nothing less.Report

              • George Turner in reply to North says:

                She could, except she’s almost as far left as Bernie Sanders. The only thing right-wing about her is that she’s patriotic and says Hillary and quite a few other top Democrats are evil and corrupt.

                She’s on Fox because the media outlets of course don’t want that message getting out, lest the spotlight get shined on their cushy relationships with those same corrupt people.

                She’s at war, but she’s at war with the cancer that’s eating through the Democrat party from the top down. She so refreshing to Republicans because we see her and think “So at least some of them can see it.”Report

              • North in reply to George Turner says:

                Heh, cool story George. Odd such a virtuous lefty can’t seem to find any voters to support her.Report

              • George Turner in reply to North says:

                Gabbard got 3.3% in New Hampshire and 1.3% in South Carolina, so that’s a lot of people who preferred her socialist and anti-corruption, anti-warm monger message to both Sanders and Warren. The question is, if Bernie gets stiffed at the convention and his supporter get outraged, and Tulsi decides to go independent, what percentage of Democrats would decide to back an independent bid some establishment pick?Report

              • North in reply to George Turner says:

                If Bernie gets “stiffed” at the convention the last place in the universe his supporters are going to go is a blatant right wing sock puppet. The Green Party will no doubt be bumbling around so they can go there if they really want a protest vote.Report

      • North in reply to Stillwater says:

        You’re confused? I’m not.
        It’s patently obvious that Biden isn’t going to implode now. All moderates primary reason for staying in the race was to pick up after Biden if he imploded so that reason is off the table.

        Secondarily it’s obvious that splitting the moderate lane isn’t good for any of the moderate candidates and Buttigeig is not interested in helping Bernie.

        Finally Buttigeig has accomplished a lot so far with his candidacy but I have no doubt that the Democratic establishment has acknowledged that to him privately and also made it known that if he is part of the reasons Bernie wins he’ll be dead to them. He’s young and there’re a variety of directions he can go with his political career but if Bernie wins or if Bernie gets the nomination and loses then in both situations Buttigeig would be blamed and/or would be on the outs. Dropping out now both helps the wing of the party he is associated with and insulates him from blame if it all goes to hell. It’s good for the moderate side of the party and thus good for Pete.

        So I’m not surprised he’s dropped out, hell I called for him to drop out in my first post. Maybe he reads OT. I think Pete would fit in well here.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

        The main reason I find this surprising is that it strikes me as making it more likely that the Democrats will win the election in November.

        Which hasn’t been the Democrats’ MO so far.Report

    • greginak in reply to North says:

      I agree with a lot of this. I think a lot of people have come to see the Dem “establishment” as some form of organized, coherent group. While there is something to that, think that overstates them. I get that the bernieite view of the Establishment sees that with a sizable dollop of conspiracy thrown in.Report

      • North in reply to greginak says:

        Yes, agreed, the Democratic Party establishment isn’t some small cabal that meets in a secret headquarters and plots about how they shall thwart the peoples revolution but neither are they an entirely uncoordinated group.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to North says:

          Well, whatever it is, it still requires a justification. If what you’re saying is correct, the “establishment” pressured Pete to throw in the towel to help ensure its own collective self-interest. Whether that self-interest matches the Democratic base or public at large seems like an after thought.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

            It’s the Iron Law of Institutions in action.Report

            • North in reply to Stillwater says:

              Sure, but all parties in history and existence necessarily must have priorities that follow in ascending order of importance:
              -Select a candidate with the best odds of winning.
              -Select a candidate with the best odds of being effective in office.
              -Select a candidate who will seek to enact the chosen priorities and policies of the party *most important*.

              If you order it any other way then someone may hijack your party and use its resources in a way that is imicidal to the desires and interests of the aggregate party members.

              But the parties are big globs of citizens and voters. They, somewhat necessarily, reflect the desires and priorities of those people. If too big a rift opens between what the party seeks and what its base seeks then a spray orange clown comes prancing in and hijacks your party at a perpendicular angle to your party leaderships goals.

              Is this justified? Is this good for the public at large? I mean… yes… sort of? The founders didn’t relish the idea of parties but the parties still came. In a democracy/republic they’re much more effective at pushing agendas and ideologies than unorganized voters.

              I respect you think the Democratic Party is rotten to the core and can do no good. I also acknowledge that Bernie could pull it out yet. But I think we’re seeing, in this process, how a living, still at least partially coherent, party deals with this issue (as opposed to the carcass the GOP degraded to by 2016).Report

  8. Chip Daniels says:

    One takeaway not being talked about is that turnout was really heavy.

    In both So Carolina and New Hampshire, it was on track to match or beat the 2008 levels.Report