The New Hampshire primary is today and the only question I have is this. In this race to the bottom, who drops out first: Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden?
Over the weekend, @beyondreasdoubt asked that very question. And it was a toss-up.
Ok, fine— LB (@beyondreasdoubt) February 9, 2020
Who drops out first
Now, I’m sure that one of these also-rans drops out before Warren or Biden. Mike Bennet or Deval Patrick spring to mind – mostly because nobody knows they’re still in the race.
But they’re not part of the race to the bottom because they’re already at the bottom.
What I’m talking about is the race to join the also-rans.
And from where I’m sitting, I think between the two of them, it’ll be Joe Biden.
Let me explain why.
As I said in my Old Ornery Joe post yesterday, Biden’s “firewall” is South Carolina. His hope is to regain some traction once the primaries make it to more Biden-favorable locales. But if South Carolina doesn’t go his way, I just don’t see Biden sticking around for Super Tuesday.
The shift away from Biden is already happening.
The last two national polls are not particularly good news for Joe. Yesterday’s Quinnipiac poll showed Biden slipping to second place (17%) behind Bernie (25%).
Today’s Morning Consult poll also has Sanders leading the pack with 25%. Biden is in second with 22%.
Warren isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, it’s true.
Morning Consult has Warren tied for fourth place with Pete Buttigieg at 11% (Bloomberg zoomed to third with 17%).
Quinnipiac also has Warren in fourth place with 14%.
But when it comes to who drops out first, I’m still going with Joe Biden.
While Elizabeth Warren’s polling numbers are worse across the board, Joe Biden’s entire purpose for running was the pretense that he is the one best positioned to lead the pack and easily win the nomination.
And now that just isn’t the case*.
(*Actually, it was never the case if you want to know the truth).
Biden came in fourth in Iowa (allegedly — because who the hell knows?).
Best case scenario for Joe today in New Hampshire is third; worst case, he’ll come in fifth.
And what’s more, the media is starting to turn on him.
This morning over at Politico, Ryan Lizza suggested “This Democratic field is so flawed that even Biden still has a chance.” Talk about damning with faint praise.
But it was this sentence that struck me:
At the Biden event, members of the media, which loves to cover a funeral, almost out-numbered the candidate’s supporters.
I don’t believe Biden was ever a serious contender for the nomination.
Yes, the media played him up big-time when he first entered the race – something Tucker Carlson featured on his show last night.
“He’s loves this; he’s having fun.”
But I never believed Biden was the Great White Hope of the Democrats in 2020. Great White Dope, maybe.
Democrat voters initially flocked to Biden for three reasons – name recognition, an overly crowded field, and Barack Obama.
But now those reasons just do not apply anymore.
The other contenders are becoming more recognized. The field is narrowing. And to date, Barack Obama has not said a single word in support of his former vice president.
With those reasons gone, Joe’s candidacy makes absolutely no sense. And donors have already realized that.
Without money, media support and a precipitous drop in voter support, Biden’s chances for sticking this out don’t look good.
Now, I get why so many folks would think Warren will be the one who drops out before Biden. She’s been consistently polling in fourth place. And outside of white suburban women, there really isn’t a solid constituency that is backing her.
And of her 14% support in the Quinnipiac poll, only 30% of them say their minds are made up. 69% still might change their minds and toss their support behind someone else.
All that on paper would lead one to believe that of the two of them, Warren is more likely to be the one who drops out.
But I’m still going with Biden.
Because Elizabeth Warren is a bitter clinger.
She desperately wants to be President. Over the last year, Liz has already shown that she will say and do anything to get the nomination. And because of her out-sized ambition, not to mention her arrogance, I can totally see Liz refusing to drop out even if she keeps losing.
Think John Kasich in 2016.
That sanctimonious, self-centered, vainglorious doofus was a bitter clinger too. And despite losing every state except Ohio (where he was governor), Kasich wouldn’t leave the race.
The fat lady was singing herself hoarse, and Kasich refused to bow out. Because he believed he was destined to be President even if we stupid voters didn’t recognize it.
Liz is just like John Kasich.
And not just any old John Kasich. A female John Kasich – meaning all the insufferable entitlement but with a Victim Card.
So not only will she cling to her quest for the White House despite the odds, Liz will also use her gender to do it. She’ll claim to be a victim of the male-dominated party establishment. She will pepper her stump speeches with her go-to Victim braying.
“They will not silence me! They will not force me out! I am woman, hear me roar!!!”
This is just conjecture on my part, but I’m thinking playing the Victim Card could mean Liz outlasts Biden by at least a month.
For now, Liz, unlike Joe, still has some of the mainstream news media in her corner. And that will help keep her afloat for a while at least. Because while Republicans no longer trust the news media, Democrat voters still do. And so long as there are people on CNN or MSNBC who crow about Liz, they can extend her shelf-life even if voters aren’t choosing her.
The other reason I think Liz will outlast Joe is simple.
Biden has no interest in being chosen as someone’s running mate this time around. Warren, on the other hand, would settle for VP in a pinch. And the longer she stays in, the more she can make the case that she’s running mate material.
Now, I could be totally wrong. I know that.
A lot can happen in the next few weeks.
And we certainly cannot discount the DNC’s (and the media’s) desperate need to kneecap Bernie Sanders. That’s the wildcard here that could totally upend any prognosticating on my part.
But as it stands today, in the question of who drops out first, I’m pretty sure, old Joe will win that race to the bottom.
On a side note:
I’ve been noticeably sparse in posting over the last few days. On the plus side, it isn’t Lupus (thank God). Saturday evening I had a Buster Keaton pratfall moment that left me with a ragged gash on the bridge of my nose and, by last night, two black eyes. The biggest hinderance has been the headaches. Good grief, the headaches are brutal. I feel a bit better today, but I’m still taking it pretty easy. Hopefully soon the headaches will subside and I can put in more than a couple of hours a day. In the meantime, I’ll do the best I can.
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