With about 87 percent of precincts reporting, Washington state looks as though it will fall into Biden’s column along with Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan and Idaho. As of Thursday night, Biden was leading by about 23,000 votes (36.4 percent to 34.6 percent for Sanders). To be clear, the only place Sanders won last week was North Dakota, which holds a “firehouse” primary (easier to vote than a caucus, not as convenient as a primary).
While Sanders thankfully gave up mass gatherings upon the advice of health professionals and local officials at a time unnecessary travel should be minimized, a slew of volunteer events requiring people to congregate (e.g., phone-banking together, door-knocking) continue.
Next Tuesday, should he remain in the race, Sanders would compete in Arizona, Illinois, Ohio and Florida. In the latest round of Emerson polls, Biden leads by more than 20 points in Illinois and Ohio, and by nearly 40 in Florida. Yes, 40 points. Other Florida polls show Biden leading by 44 (UNF) and 45 (St. Pete) points. In short, Sanders is not remotely competitive and, in fact, might want to drop out before Tuesday’s contests to avoid a third consecutive week of humiliation.
Remaining in the race is not just bad form, it is ethically questionable. He is continuing to take money from ordinary people, some of very modest means, on the premise that he can still win. Once it becomes obvious that his path is hopeless, what justification is there for cajoling the working poor he claims to champion to give him a few bucks? A millionaire (yes, he is) funding what has become a vanity project by telling gullible voters he still stands a chance does not sound like a noble endeavor.
Moreover, his aggressive supporters and staff, whom Sanders has never reeled in, continue to bludgeon fellow Democrats. Mother Jones reports: “In the wake of Joe Biden’s commanding victories in Tuesday’s Democratic primaries, some Bernie Sanders supporters are focusing their ire on Elizabeth Warren for failing to endorse the Vermont senator after she quit the race last week, a decision they view as a crucial factor to Sanders’ dismal results this week.” The attacks are not limited to Warren, of course…
So why exactly is Sanders staying in the race? He has no chance yet keeps taking donations; his campaign operations, by their very nature, run contrary to “social distancing”; and his fanatic supporters continue to do President Trump’s dirty work by viciously attacking Biden. Perhaps Sanders will be the model of civility and camaraderie at Sunday’s debate. Still, you wonder about the political and moral judgment in stringing out a fatally wounded campaign so the candidate gets one more blast of free media….