Six states will vote in primaries on Tuesday, but people have concentrated on Michigan.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) barely beat failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016. Then President Donald Trump beat her in Michigan in the presidential election.

It looks like Sanders may lose Michigan on Tuesday since former Vice President Joe Biden holds a 24 point lead.

From The Detroit Free Press:

If Biden’s 51%-27% lead in the poll, done by EPIC-MRA for the Free Press and its media partners, holds, it would guarantee him a signature victory in Michigan — a battleground state that helped President Donald Trump win the White House four years ago. It could also starve Sanders’ formerly front-running campaign of delegates needed for the nomination and call into question how long his effort can remain viable.

“Something happened on Super Tuesday with (other) candidates getting out and people are all of a sudden questioning Bernie’s positions on issues,” said Bernie Porn, pollster for Lansing-based EPIC-MRA, which conducted the survey of 400 likely Democratic primary voters between Wednesday and Friday. “If anything, it may be low in terms of the percentage that Biden may get.”

The poll showed 9% of respondents picking “Other” while 13% said they were undecided.

Even if those people choose Sanders it will only push him to 49%.

As @EsotericCD pointed out, Michigan does not have a decent polling track record, but the lead in another poll raises eyebrows.

A poll by The Detoit Free Press in the 2016 Democratic primary had Clinton ahead of Sanders by 25 points. His win came as a surprise.

Maybe it will happen again. The Working Families Party initially supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) but changed to Sanders on Monday. The group supported Sanders in 2016:

“When we endorsed Elizabeth Warren, we felt it was important to state the obvious: that there were two progressives in the race and it was actually a good thing that there were two bold progressives in the race arguing for structural change of our democracy and our economy,” Mitchell told HuffPost. “And now there’s one progressive in the race. And we are still committed to that change — the change that we felt Elizabeth Warren’s campaign was presenting a unique case for.”

“In a race where the stark contrast couldn’t be clearer between Bernie and [former Vice President Joe] Biden, it’s critical for progressives to stay in the fight,” he added.

Sanders won the WFP’s endorsement in 2016 and was ranked a close runner-up in the endorsement process this cycle, which the WFP has characterized as a “ranked choice” voting system that effectively makes Sanders the group’s pick in light of Warren’s departure. The group’s decision to endorse Warren in September drew a wave of criticism from Sanders supporters who suggested that the weighted votes of key WFP stakeholders, rather than the broader membership, had put Warren over the top.

However, Sanders has fallen behind Biden with black voters. Black voters make up 20% of the Michigan electorate.

He sought to remedy that with a rally in Flint, MI, but The New York Times said he failed:

Sanders campaign aides had billed the event as an opportunity for him to make a case directly to black voters for why they should support him over Mr. Biden. But the audience ended up being overwhelmingly white, and Mr. Sanders made so few overtures directly to black voters that the event seemed unlikely to pull large numbers of African-Americans away from Mr. Biden.

Mr. Sanders’s relative silence was deliberate, those involved in the event said. The guest speakers — several of whom were flown into Flint by the campaign — decided before the event that it would be better to let them discuss the issues affecting their communities than the man running for president to represent them.

Mr. Sanders opted not to deliver the speech that he had spent much of the day crafting, according to aides, who declined to describe the message he had hoped to communicate.

Cornel West begged his “own black people” to support Sanders in the primary. The rally turned into a Q&A for West instead of Sanders:

“Dr. West, do you think given the reality of the condition of the African-American community right now that supporting a status quo, same-old, same-old type of politician is going to address these issues?” Mr. Sanders asked.

Mr. West, who described Mr. Biden as a “neoliberal centrist,” responded with his own question, wondering why “brother Bernie” wasn’t getting more support among “chocolate” voters.

“The neoliberalist who all of a sudden now is coming back to life, and the catalyst was my own black people. Oh, I’m so disappointed,” he said. “What has happened to our black leadership? Some have just sold out.”

The decision to let the panelists provide the message was an unusual one, particularly for a candidate who has cast his campaign as a multiracial coalition that can mobilize a movement of working-class Americans.

Sanders’ campaign spokesman explained that the candidate “didn’t want to speak on behalf of people of color when there were people of color on the panel” since he “does not have those experiences.”

 

 
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