Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
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Jemelle Bouie: This Is Not the Moment for Progressives to Despair
Disappointed supporters of Bernie Sanders can actually get a lot of what they want through the medium of Joe Biden.
If South Carolina was make or break for Joe Biden, then so was Michigan for Bernie Sanders. After falling behind Biden in the Super Tuesday primaries last week, Sanders needed Michigan — where he won a stunning upset against Hillary Clinton four years ago — to reinvigorate his campaign and restore its glow of victory in the wake of his Nevada caucus win.
But Biden had too much momentum. Both nationally and in Michigan, most Democrats were ready to commit to the former vice president. In its most recent poll of the entire Democratic race, Quinnipiac University found Biden with 54 percent support to Sanders’s 35 percent. And in its average of polls for the Michigan primary, FiveThirtyEight found Biden with roughly 54 percent support to Sanders’s 31 percent. By the time news networks called the race, the results were close to the polls, with Sanders rising to over 40 percent but Biden claiming a 53 percent majority.
Strictly speaking, the Democratic race isn’t over. But even if he fights to the convention, it’s hard to see how Sanders could win a majority. All signs point to a decisive victory for Biden.
Michelle Cottle: The Democrats Are Moderately Excited
Another big night for Joe Biden, as voters seem to embrace the reassuring and the familiar. Revolution? Not this year.
Another round of Democratic voters registered their presidential preferences on Tuesday, sending a message strikingly similar to the one from Super Tuesday: They are tired of being scared, they are tired of being angry and they are not in the mood for a revolution.
There has never been any doubt about Democrats’ top priority in this election. They are desperate to beat President Trump and have spent months agonizing over which candidate is best equipped for the task. Increasingly, they are betting that the way to defeat a divisive, bomb-throwing demagogue is with his political opposite. Instead of the Bernie Sanders Revolution, they are opting for the Joe Biden Cuddle, embracing a candidate who is peddling reassurance, unity, moderation, empathy and civility.
Karen Tumulty: Biden should credit his victory in Michigan to women
As primary results were coming in from Michigan on Tuesday night, much of the commentary noted how the political landscape there had changed from 2016, when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was able to pull off a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton.
What was largely missed in charting the state’s political transformation was the powerful impact of the 2018 midterm elections — and the degree to which the face of politics in that critically important state is now female.
On Tuesday, former vice president Joe Biden won the state, and most likely the Democratic nomination, largely because Michigan women rallied behind him. Preliminary exit polls indicate that he drew 58 percent of the female vote, compared with only 35 percent for Sanders. [..]
Biden actually did significantly better among women than Clinton did four years ago, when she won only 51 percent of the female vote in Michigan, just six percentage points ahead of Sanders in this cohort.
This rallying by Michigan women — who constituted 53 percent of Tuesday’s primary electorate — might seem surprising, given that the remaining two serious female candidates dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination only last week.
But it also comes at a time when women in the state are not lacking in reassurance of their power.
f God exists, she must be a political scientist with a sense of humor. That, at least, is the only conclusion I can draw from the 2020 Democratic primaries, which seem designed to disprove every commonly held notion of how you win a presidential race. [..]
The winner is going to be Joe Biden, who had just about everything going against him. He is old, inarticulate, uninspiring and gaffe-prone. He doesn’t have a radical agenda. He isn’t a new face; he has been involved in national politics longer than the median American has been alive. He had little money or organization (Sanders raised nearly three times more money in January). He finished fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, and since 1972 no candidate has won a major party’s nomination without finishing at least second in one of those states.
A year ago Biden was expected to win. Two weeks ago he was expected to lose. Now he is all but certain to be the nominee after the most surprising turnaround in the history of primaries. Although future history books will treat Biden as the inevitable winner, he was anything but. [..]
Ultimately, I suspect, the outcome can be ascribed to the simple fact that most people like “Uncle Joe.” It’s a little dispiriting to admit that presidential elections, like student council elections, are essentially a popularity contest, but it’s true.