Joe Biden beat Bernie Sanders by nearly 39 points in the Democratic primary in Florida. That’s bad if you’re Bernie.
What’s even worse is this: Michael Bloomberg, who’s been out of the race for two weeks, got more votes in Florida than Sanders received in aggregate in New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada — the first three states on the Democratic primary calendar and the places that suggested Sanders might be romping his way to his party’s nomination.
Everybody knew Bernie was going to lose Florida, since he seemed determined to speak lovingly of Fidel Castro, the totalitarian monster who drove a million Cubans to take their chances on the open seas for a chance to make it to the sunshine state, rather than die at Fidel’s hands.
Then there was his insistence on trash-talking Israel and its democratic leadership while surrounding himself with openly anti-Semitic surrogates and staffers, which would tend to be a as one would suspect, turned off Florida’s 600,000 Jews.
Bernie’s Only Hope In Florida…Coronavirus
But the advent of the coronavirus raised questions about whether Bernie might overperform his expectations in Florida because it might radically decrease turnout among Joe Biden’s most dedicated voters. In demographic terms, it’s the older the better when it comes to Biden, and of course it’s the older the worse when it comes to the virus.
Well, too bad, Bernie. Turnout in Florida was shockingly high, virus and all, apparently because Democratic voters there wanted to make sure you were going to be beaten like a drum. In the past week, absentee and mail-in voting requests surged.
The Democratic vote total in Florida will end up at least 20 percent higher than it was for the Hillary-Bernie contest in 2016.
And it seems unlikely that Sanders will even manage to match the same number of votes he got there in 2016, when he lost to Hillary Clinton by what seems by Biden-Bernie 2020 standards to be a relatively modest 32 point margin.
Moving on, Biden also walloped Bernie in Illinois, where there are fewer alternate means of voting and turnout really was expected to be extraordinarily low — especially by the standards of the eye-popping numbers we’ve seen in the Democratic race so far. And he won easily in Arizona as well.
Let’s stop for a moment and take in what has happened since the day before the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29 — which was, after all, not even three weeks ago. Basically left for dead, Joe Biden has since won 19 of 24 states.
The only two large states Sanders carried on Super Tuesday were California and Colorado, and it seems they were uncommonly friendly to him because of the delusional Democratic devotion to the god of early voting.
Those who cast ballots closer to Super Tuesday — which is to say, after the Biden triumph in South Carolina — went for Biden by a margin of 47-26 over Sanders. In other words, even those victories reflected a false understanding of the realities of the Democratic race.
Now the big, the dramatic, the breathless question is: Will Sanders drop out?
Leave now or leave later, Bernie’s leaving either way.