Did Super Tuesday really just end the democratic primary?
There's a famous quote attributed to Prime Minister Trudeau. No not that one. The original Prime Minister Trudeau living next to America here. Trudeau said is like sleeping next to an elephant no matter how friendly and even tempered the beast one is affected by every twitch and grunt. And it's worth keeping that in mind when trying to make sense of what. America's twenty twenty election means to us. It might be hard to pinpoint exactly how it matters but it matters a great deal on one hand. Plenty of Canadians would simply be happy with someone who wasn't Donald Trump in the Oval Office. But not all Canadians and who would that someone be? What would or what could that person actually do to change our relationship with our neighbors to the south a week ago remember there were six people vying for the right to run against trump. Even though in some people's minds there were really only two and now after Super Tuesday. Is there really only one? Super Tuesday really delivered on the super. A real shocker and a political earthquake the results. Nobody saw communists. Go Straight to the map this morning. Joe Biden surging victories in nine states including a surprise win in Texas Bernie one three states including his home state of Vermont. Is Joe Biden now along to win the Democratic nomination? How did that happen so fast? Is there still time for Bernie Sanders to come back and change the narrative and how different would a trump versus sanders campaign be from a trump versus Biden race? Anyway I'm Jordan Heath Rawlings. This is the big story. Ryan Hurl is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto. He's here to help us unpack. What just happened. Thanks for joining US. Right. No Problem. Why don't we start because things have changed so quickly? Take me back like a week and a half two weeks ago. What was the landscape? In the Democratic primary then well the landscape was basically sanders versus the rest of the world with warning kind of anomalous position. And the BASIC PROBLEM. Was that you seem to have a situation that was more or less analogous to what was happening with. Republicans in two thousand and sixteen you had an outsider candidate. The Democrats able to anticipate that this outsider candidates Andrews was coming but they were not consolidating behind a single candidate that's more or less the same situation that Republicans faced in two thousand sixteen and what seemed to be the key problem for the Democrats. Is that no single candidate. Had a decisive advantage again very similar to the problems. Republicans faced So up to about a week and a half ago The story was that Biden's campaign is flailing. He's not able to generate enthusiasm. He's weakened by the divided field with so many other moderate candidates and every moderate candidate whether you're talking about Buddha Judge Klobuchar doesn't yet have an incentive to drop out. Everyone thinks that at some point. may be Biden's support. We'll completely evaporate and consolidate around another candidate. I think probably Buddha judge had the best hope for this so that was the situation and it appeared as if in the absence of a consolidation of the field sanders was going to be able these potentially to pull off something like trump's upset in two thousand sixteen. What happened well. Lot changed really fast but was there. One big event the coalesced all this or was it a gradual. That's a difficult question to answer. I would say it was a combination of decisions by the Party. Position decisions by individual candidates and decisions by voters. I think what it comes down to. Is that in some ways. It has to do with the personalities of the individuals involved. The major Democratic candidates decided that it was not worth it for them to stick it out and probably on the basis of their own assessments of the electoral playing fields. They either thought that's clearly biden has a better chance against trump Perhaps they also did not want to undermine Biden's chances and thereby either hurting their own political future probably certainly front and center for someone like Buddha judge or ultimately allowing Sanders To enter into now to become the nominee when he has such a potentially huge downside for the Party. A risky in other words. But I think in terms of the Big Picture. What really is just seeing here. The entire primary process is just essentially asking two questions about the state of the Democratic Mind. Is this an election about Donald trump or is this an election about America? Or maybe an election about capitalism. I don't think we have a final answer yet but certainly over the past two weeks. What we've seen is that this is an election about Donald. Trump is an election about we want to return to normalcy This is an election about the fact that in some ways two thousand sixteen was a fluke and we ended up with someone. Who's not qualified to be presidents right Had things gone the other way had had a greater deal of support consolidated behind sanders. If the other moderates had not dropped out we might be telling a different story but with each passing day or at least certainly with last few passing days. It seems that we're getting the answer. This is mostly about trump. It's not about the fundamental character of American politics. Most of the other Democratic candidates made their decision to drop out after Joe Biden one in South Carolina. And what I guess as a casual observer was strange to me is wasn't Joe Biden. Always supposed to win so Carolina like. Why would that be such a a big change? That's a good question. I mean in some ways you know Biden was supposed to have won the entire thing if you'd asked me a year ago what what evidence suggests what is evidence suggest about who's going to be the winner clearly biden. That was even the case up until September. I think that wants a lot of the moderate candidates were hoping for was just a sign that finally people would come to a negative assessment of. Biden's chances there are some reasons to suspect that One thing that hasn't been talked a lot about is the effect of the whole. Ukrainian scandal upon Biden which I initially thought was going to hurt him that regardless of what you think about trump's shenanigans. It was not a good look for Biden and she might have made them difficult to approach or to criticize trump on some of the personal scandal type issues and I had some sort of anecdotal evidence that this was on the minds of some Democratic voters. So there's that There's also the signs that Biden is not particularly effective. Either as a campaigner or as a debater and so the hope was that finally you would get a flood or a mistake or a kind of breakdown. There's been a lot of those. There's been a disturbing number of them. But just as in the case of trump in two thousand sixteen these sort of individual level scandals slash flubs are just just proved to not be sufficient to bring down and so South Carolina was the last stage for that. The question was ultimately Are More moderate and more African American voters Are they going to Shift away from Biden. Are they going to take the arguments or accept the argument that he simply is not going to be able to be successful in the general election and after South Carolina seemed that no his support? That seemed evidence. A year ago has been sustained amongst a lot of his key. Constituents and You Know Iowa New Hampshire. Maybe those are just a little bit outliers And so he wins. South Carolina by a healthy margin declares himself the Comeback Kid and then Amy Klobuchar and people judge dropout. What happens on Super Tuesday? What happens on Tuesday? Is that Super Tuesday. Performs the function was meant to perform? Explain that well. Super Tuesday I mean. First of all Super Tuesday in general is just something like a primary election day where you have. A lot of states often focused in a certain region. The actual number of states will change from year to year but the basic idea behind Super Tuesday amongst the more moderate or even conservative Democrats. Who promoted back in the nineteen eighties is that we want to have a day that will allow support to consolidate behind a more moderate or conservative. Democratic candidates right. It doesn't always necessarily work. The vote was really split in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight but the idea here Basic came to fruition in nineteen ninety-two where basically you're able to get kind of a political outsider from the perspective of the washington-based are more Liberal Democratic Party. You have governor from Arkansas Governor for more conservative leaning state who was able to take advantage of the fact that so many more southern a more moderate states voting at the same time. So that's what Super Tuesday was meant to achieve and that's what it did so the it's something that you could have predicted If you just look at