Wednesday, March 04, 2020


I feel a sense of relief after Joe Biden's big night, even though I think he's a weak candidate with naive ideas about the potential for working with Republicans, and even though he rejects big structural changes to the way America is run. Ideologically, I'm probably closer to Bernie Sanders than to Biden. (My preferred candidate is Elizabeth Warren.)

Was there was a conspiracy to seize the nomination from Sanders? Of course there was. It was a perfectly legal and acceptable conspiracy -- party elders and second-tier candidates got together and decided to coalesce around Biden to help him over the finish line. For Sanders, the countermove would have been to rally all the new voters he keeps promising to bring to the process, particularly young people.

It didn't happen.
Exit polls for five southern states that Biden won – Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia – found that young voters did not show up at the polls in the numbers they did in 2016.

In addition, the Vermont senator has been grabbing a smaller share of them in most cases.

* In Alabama, only 7% of the voters were in the 17-29 range compared to 14% in 2016. Sanders won six of every 10 of those voters Tuesday compared to four of 10 in 2016.

* In North Carolina, 13% of Tuesday’s electorate were young voters, compared to 16% four years ago. Of those, 57% went for Sanders in 2020 compared to 69% in 2016.

* In South Carolina, young voters made up 11% of the electorate Tuesday compared to 15% in 2016. Sanders won 43% of those voters Tuesday compared to 54% four years ago.

* In Tennessee, 11% of those voters showed up Tuesday versus 15% in 2016. Sanders did better among that group Tuesday winning 65% compared to 61% four years ago.

* In Virginia, young voters comprised 13% of Tuesday’s vote compared to 16% in 2016. Sanders won 57% of those voters Tuesday compared to 69% four years ago.

Even Sanders’ home state of Vermont showed a lackluster turnout of young millennials and 'Gen Zers.' Only 10% of the state’s electorate were under 30 compared to 15% when he ran against Clinton, according to exit polls.

And a similar trend was playing out in Texas where 16% of voters were between 17 and 29 compared to 20% in 2016.
There was high turnout yesterday, but it favored Biden.
In Virginia, 1.3 million Democrats voted, nearly double the 722,000 Democrats who voted in the 2016 primary, and also far ahead of turnout in 2008, which was 976,000. Biden won the state overwhelmingly, with 53 percent of the vote to Sanders’s 23 percent.

Look, I'm old. If you're young, I'm sure you resent my generation of Democrats.

But there are a lot of you. If you don't like what we're doing, outvote us. If you do that, you can take control of the party and you can beat the Republicans.

This year has been your chance, but you've been blowing it. When we saw you weren't turning voters out in big enough numbers to win in November, we took back control. Sorry. Somebody had to.

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