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General News    H3'ed 2/14/20

Relax, Democrats: Primaries Working the Way They Should

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Pete Buttigieg won the Iowa caucuses. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary. Somebody else is going to win the South Carolina. Are the Democrats in disarray?

Bernie Sanders winning the New Hampshire primary after Pete Buttigieg won the Iowa caucuses does not mean the Democrats are in disarray.
Bernie Sanders winning the New Hampshire primary after Pete Buttigieg won the Iowa caucuses does not mean the Democrats are in disarray.
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No. The primary system is working as it was meant to. We just haven't seen a primary season with no front-runner in a while, so Democrats and the mainstream media are freaking out.

The mainstream media has been biased against Democrats for years, despite Republican cries of "the liberal media" (all owned by corporate media conglomerates, of course). They love the story arc "Democrats in disarray!!" and will find anything to play into that narrative.

So even though in 2012 the Republicans took 12 days to count the Iowa votes, then they declared Mitt Romney the winner, then they declared Rick Santorum the winner, the media did not criticize the GOP for it. But let the Democrats take three days to count the votes in Iowa, and the media play it that the Democratic disarray is unprecedented, and the Democratic Party chair, Troy Price, has to resign.

When the Democrats come up with three different winners in the first three caucuses and primaries, the media will gleefully scream "Democrats in disarray!!!" when this is actually the way the system is supposed to work. There is no clear front-runner, so different candidates will win different primaries. Some supposed front runners like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren will likely sink (as Gov. George Romney did and Sen. Eugene McCarthy did in 1968), and some people like Amy Klobuchar who aren't expected to will do surprisingly well (like Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Barack Obama in 2008).

Democrats may shake out a front runner before the convention (again, Carter '76 and Obama '80), or they may go to the convention with nobody having it wrapped up (like most conventions between 1832 and 1952, and the GOP convention in 1976 with neither Gerald Ford nor Ronald Reagan having enough delegates until they got there, with Ford eking out the nomination).

The media will scream "Brokered convention! Democrats in disarray!" although this was actually the way conventions worked for over a century; it is only in recent decades that the primaries have decided the nominee ahead of time.

So Democrats should just relax, put your their up, and watch how the primaries shake out. Even if they do not have a candidate by the convention, they will have one after, and nobody will even remember anything that happened in February ten months later on Election Day. Relax, Democrats: Primaries Working the Way they Should

Pete Buttigieg won the Iowa caucuses. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary. Somebody else is going to win the South Carolina. Are the Democrats in disarray?

No. The primary system is working as it was meant to. We just haven't seen a primary season with no front-runner in a while, so Democrats and the mainstream media are freaking out.

The mainstream media has been biased against Democrats for years, despite Republican cries of "the liberal media" (all owned by corporate media conglomerates, of course). They love the story arc "Democrats in disarray!!" and will find anything to play into that narrative.

So even though in 2012 the Republicans took 12 days to count the Iowa votes, then they declared Mitt Romney the winner, then they declared Rick Santorum the winner, the media did not criticize the GOP for it. But let the Democrats take three days to count the votes in Iowa, and the media play it that the Democratic disarray is unprecedented, and the Democratic Party chair, Troy Price, has to resign.

When the Democrats come up with three different winners in the first three caucuses and primaries, the media will gleefully scream "Democrats in disarray!!!" when this is actually the way the system is supposed to work. There is no clear front-runner, so different candidates will win different primaries. Some supposed front runners like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren will likely sink (as Gov. George Romney did and Sen. Eugene McCarthy did in 1968), and some people like Amy Klobuchar who aren't expected to will do surprisingly well (like Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Barack Obama in 2008).

Democrats may shake out a front runner before the convention (again, Carter '76 and Obama '80), or they may go to the convention with nobody having it wrapped up (like most conventions between 1832 and 1952, and the GOP convention in 1976 with neither Gerald Ford nor Ronald Reagan having enough delegates until they got there, with Ford eking out the nomination).

The media will scream "Brokered convention! Democrats in disarray!" although this was actually the way conventions worked for over a century; it is only in recent decades that the primaries have decided the nominee ahead of time.

So Democrats should just relax, put your their up, and watch how the primaries shake out. Even if they do not have a candidate by the convention, they will have one after, and nobody will even remember anything that happened in February ten months later on Election Day.

 

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William S. Bike is Senior Vice President of ANB Communications, a communications consulting and political consulting firm based in Chicago. Bike has worked in journalism, public relations, and politics since 1979 and is the former Communications (more...)
 
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2 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments  Post Comment


William Bike

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The system is working. Let the primaries play out.

Submitted on Friday, Feb 14, 2020 at 9:58:59 PM

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Gene Engene

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Yep the media's reactions to the primary results remind me of the play-by-play announcer's 'analysis' of a baseball game, in which the dominant team, that is expected to win, faces a pitcher they've never seen before, who sets them down 1-2-3 through the first two innings. Which leaves those analysts scrambling to explain how the dominant team finds itself in the lead at the bottom of the eighth inning, while the trailing team is now into their 4th pitcher, and several runs behind. Seems our insistence on 'instant results' has lead us into this mind-set that we 'deserve' to know what the outcome will be at the very beginning. No patience for what is obviously going to be a lengthy, drawn out process. It reminds me of what Aaron Rogers said to the Green Bay Packer's fan base after the Packers lost the first two games of the season, and were howling for somebody's head. He said, simply, "Relax."

Perhaps if the country were the size of, and the demographic of, say just one of the Dakotas, the whole thing could be done in a week. Sorry not in the cards.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 15, 2020 at 8:41:40 PM

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William Bike

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Thanks Gene! I agree with you completely.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 15, 2020 at 9:42:45 PM

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William Bike

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Thanks Gene! I agree with you completely.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 15, 2020 at 9:42:09 PM

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