As the votes are tallied through the night, it becomes increasingly clear that Joe Biden will win Michigan, a state that Sanders won in 2016. With polls giving Biden double-digit leads and barring divine intervention, Biden is likely the presumptive nominee for the Democratic nomination. FiveThirtyEight gives Biden a 99 percent chance of winning the nomination, and that’s likely to increase.
Just about two weeks ago, it was assumed that Sanders was on his way to accumulate an insurmountable lead after Super Tuesday, which would propel him to win the nomination. I predicted the same in an article due to Buttigieg’s strong performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, leading to the split of the moderates vote which would’ve given Sanders a path to victory.
But Buttigieg, to the surprise of many and despite being a top-tier candidate, had the political instincts to understand that his stay would lead to a Sanders win. Two days before Super Tuesday, he dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden. By doing so, he potentially secured himself a high position in a Biden administration. Amy Klobuchar, who also ran an impressive campaign despite being mostly unknown by voters, outperformed expectations and was able to outlast leading candidates such as O’Rourke and Harris. I predict that she will be joining the Democratic ticket heading to November.
On the other hand, Warren fumbled and ignored all signs indicating that her chances were over after Nevada where she ended in fourth position. When moderates coalesced, she stubbornly continued her vanity campaign, hoping to reach viability in as many states as possible. Her poor political instincts led to an embarrassing outcome, where she lost her own state and wasn’t viable in most states including California. The worst part, she split the progressive vote, awarding Joe Biden a decisive win in states such as delegate-rich Texas, liberal stronghold Massachusetts, as well as Minnesota.
There’s no doubt that Warren’s supporters are not a monolith. While many support Sanders, others support Biden over the Senator from Vermont. Nevertheless, a strong and passionate endorsement from her might have swayed a larger portion of her supporters to the progressive candidate – potentially enough to give Sanders a strong chance of coming up as the victor of the night on Super Tuesday. This would have generated the needed momentum to increase his lead and perform better on a night like tonight.
Although Sanders became the underdog in the race, he still had a chance to overcome Biden’s relatively small lead. When Warren announced on Thursday that she is dropping out of the race, progressives waited anxiously for an endorsement that could potentially change the race… an impassionate endorsement that could portray Biden as a risk in the General Election… an endorsement to ask her millions of supporters to back the only remaining progressive in the race.
Instead, Warren sat it out, just like she did in 2016 where she refused repeatedly to endorse Senator Sanders, even when he had momentum by winning New Hampshire in a landslide. She decided to appear on Saturday Night Live performing one of the funnier skits which garnered millions of views on Twitter alone. When asked if she would endorse a candidate, she said she may pull a NY Times and endorse them both.
It was a joke. It was funny, and that’s okay. But the joke became reality, and she waited as progressives await anxiously for her to come out to endorse Sanders. She decided it wasn’t important, or maybe, wasn’t worth the risk of losing potential influence in a Biden administration.
Warren failed the progressive movement. Warren betrayed the progressive movement. I admit that Sanders is not a perfect candidate, far from it. No candidate is. Should he have engaged southern organizers in order to reach voters better? Absolutely. Should he have played harder and hit Biden hard for months with ads all over the country to render him as unelectable and a risk? Definitely. Should Bernie have courted the support of influential politicians such as Jim Clyburn even if chances were low? You bet. I can go on, and on, and on.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Joe Biden: "No matter how many Washington insiders tell you to support him, nominating their fellow Washington insider will not meet this moment. Nominating a man who says we do not need any fundamental change in this country will not meet this moment." pic.twitter.com/WCrMP3jjuA
— The Hill (@thehill) March 3, 2020
But the progressive movement was never about Sanders, the person, and everything about #MeNotUs, the movement and the policies this movement wants to enact for the 99 percent. Biden is the antithesis of the structural change that Warren made a core component of her campaign. Of all people, Warren who said less than two weeks ago that “nominating [Biden] who wants to restore the world before Donald Trump, when the status quo has been leaving more and more people behind for decades, is a big risk for our party and our country.”
Warren should’ve understood that. And yes, Warren owes everything to the progressive movement that backs her. She, as an influential progressive leader, is expected to help the movement win. This time around and for the second election cycle in a row, she let them down. She was the catalyst that broke the movement, and it breaks my heart and the hearts of many who adore her.