Super Tuesday Round-Up: Biden’s Big Night

L-R Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders

It was quite the night for former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign roared through Super Tuesday.

Biden handily won throughout the South (Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia), scored a big come-from-behind win in Texas, and scored surprise victories in Minnesota and Massachusetts.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) claimed victory in his home state of Vermont, as well as Utah, Colorado and, most probably the delegate-rich state of California.

At this time, Maine and California haven’t been officially called yet although the NY Times estimates Biden to pick up Maine and Sanders to come out on top in California.

As I reported earlier, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg spent nearly half a billion dollars in ads across the Super Tuesday primaries and only won in American Samoa. He dropped out of the race this morning and endorsed Biden.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), briefly the front-runner last fall, didn’t win a single state.

(graphic via NY Times)

According to an NBC News exit poll, LGBTQ voters “made up a disproportionately high 9 percent of the electorate in the Super Tuesday contests.”

The survey also showed that 42 percent of those LGBTQ voters cast their ballot for Sanders, and 22 percent supported Warren. Biden garnered 19 percent of the LGBTQ vote, and Bloomberg picked up 6 percent. Even though former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race on Sunday night, he still received 6 percent of the queer vote due to early voting in several states.

Scrolling through Twitter last night, the Sanders supporters were clearly angry at the results characterizing the night as being ‘taken away’ from their guy. Axios‘ Alexi McCammond reported hearing “sneers and anger about ‘the establishment'” at the Sanders rally in Vermont.

Next up are the contests in Michigan, Washington State, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho, and North Dakota on March 10.

This is the current delegate count as of this morning according to the New York Times. This will change over the next few days as several states don’t have all their ballots in. For instance, in California mail-in ballots only had to be postmarked by March 3. So, they won’t be counted for a couple of days.

(via NY Times)

Sanders Staffer Fired For Homophobic, Misogynistic Twitter Attacks On Opponents

Photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg
L-R Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg

If you follow politics on Twitter, you know folks can be absolutely brutal lobbing shade about this or that political candidate.

For some time now, some have noted that a cadre of supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) can be rather vicious in their comments.

While Sanders has attempted to tamp down accusations that his supporters are any more sharp-tongued than other candidates’ followers, The Daily Beast reports one Twitter account that has spent months smearing Sanders’ opponents in a particularly ugly vein.

It turns out the account was being run by Sanders’ regional field director in Michigan, Ben Mora. As The Daily Beast’sScott Bixby wrote, “At least some of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ most toxic support is coming from inside the house.”

Using the Twitter handle @perma_ben, Mora was particularly ugly in going after openly gay Pete Buttigieg tweeting the former mayor of South Bend “is what happens when the therapist botches the conversion.” He also called Buttigieg “psychotic” for deploying to Afghanistan.

In another tweet, Mora told his followers he could “never trust Buttigieg because he combined the natural devious disposition inherent in gay men with a bloodthirsty careerist drive.”

The Sanders staffer also went after Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, tweeting, “Chasten Buttigieg has the vibes of a housewife whose slow burning repression is leading to an inevitable psychotic break, mark my words in 10 years he will go missing and then resurface in Ft Lauderdale after getting busted for running a meth racket w a bunch of Guatemalan twinks.”

Mora dragged Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) writing, “When [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren talks about how she knows she’s Native American because of her ‘high cheekbones’ where sis? Another lie. You look like shit.” He also accused her of being “an adult diaper fetishist.”

He mocked Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) comparing her face to “that optical illusion where it’s an old lady but also a young woman depending on how you look at it but with her it’s just two different old ladies.” Mora also said Klobuchar “looks like her name: pained, chunky, [and] confused origin/purpose.”

Mora didn’t keep his attacks limited to just his boss’s opponents.

He trolled the cast of Netflix’s Queer Eye as “neoliberals,” and said openly gay statistician Nate Silver “starts to make a lot more sense when you realize he is probably the ugliest gay man to ever live.”

Another tweet about Buttigieg seemed to allude that Mora might have been running a Twitter account with the username @FagsAgainstPete, which has since been shut down.

According to Bixby, screenshots of the tweets were shared with The Daily Beast by one of Mora’s followers hoping their publication would help Sanders to understand how ugly folks on his team can be.

Mora apparently joined the Sanders campaign last fall. He locked his Twitter account nearly six months ago so only folks who were already following him could see his tweets. But the avatar for the account clearly shows his face and links to his personal Instagram account.

Prior to the publication of the story, Bixby reports the Sanders campaign did not respond to requests for comment on the report.

The Sanders campaign has since announced Mora has been fired. A statement from Mike Casca, Sanders’ communications director, read, “We are running a multiracial, multigenerational campaign for justice where disgusting behavior and ugly personal attacks by our staff will not be tolerated.”

Sanders was asked about the tone of some of his supporters on Twitter last week during the Democratic debate in Las Vegas.

“I’m not going to tell you we don’t have some jerks out there,” Sanders said. “I do want to say to those folks: We do not want your support. If you think that what our campaign is about is making ugly attacks on other candidates, we don’t want you.”

Since the report went up on The Daily Beast, Bixby has tweeted he’s been on the receiving end of thousands of attacks.

Bernie Sanders Projected Winner Of Nevada Caucuses

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been projected to win the Nevada Democratic caucuses.

Sanders will now be able to boast he received the most votes in all the first three contests, he has the most delegates, and that he has widened his appeal beyond just white voters.

The race now moves to South Carolina’s primary to be held Saturday, February 28, where the Real Clear Politics average of polls shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading by 3.7 percent over Sanders.

UPDATE: The results are slowly coming in (not Iowa slow, but slow) but here’s where things stand at 60 percent results tabulated:

Thoughts On Democratic Debate In Las Vegas

I’m late getting to this but I wanted to put out a few thoughts about last night’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas.

First, welcome to the debate stage billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. After spending nearly half a billion on campaign ads, he finally got on the debate stage and had to face some heat.

And boy did he.

Within seconds of the beginning of the date, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (who really, really needed a good night) ripped Bloomberg a new one.

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said. “And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”

Warren followed that up later when the issue of women who had sued Bloomberg were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements. Warren was unrelenting.

Needless to say, Warren had that ‘good night’ she was shooting for. Over the next 24 hours, she reportedly raised over $5 million for her campaign.

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg landed some blows on both Bloomberg and Sen. Bernie Sanders for their ‘polarizing’ personas as well as not really being Democrats.

The other ‘big’ clashes of the evening were between Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Buttigieg. When Klobuchar was asked about a recent ‘oopsie’ in an interview when she couldn’t name the president of Mexico, Buttigieg pointed out she sits on important Senate committees that deal with Mexico. And, then Klobuchar started to unravel.

I’ll admit I was surprised to see Amy get so rattled, so unnerved. In the video below, her body language and voice really hyper-up as Buttigieg remains calm. At one point, Amy offered a snarky, “I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete.”

At another turn, she informed him that he hasn’t ‘been in the arena,’ apparently inferring the work mayors do isn’t important.

In reading other outlets today, I came to realize Klobuchar has a particular distaste for Buttigieg. She sees the attention he’s received and his rise in the polls as unfounded, and the result of white, male privilege.

I actually have my own idea as to why Buttigieg garnered the attention he did from the start of the race.

He was the new unknown. An openly gay, Rhodes scholar, Afghanistan veteran unknown who not only is well-spoken but speaks seven languages. He was a new story for folks to lean in to.

Buttigieg turned in good debate performances. And did well in Iowa and New Hampshire.

In any case, I think Klobuchar didn’t handle the moment well last night. She could have chosen to take a breath before responding. But, instead, she went on a rant that looked frantic. As an alternative, she could have just stated, in regard to the name of the Mexican president, “I was tired and the name slipped my mind. It happens to everyone.” And then, STOPPED TALKING. She would have served herself better, in my opinion.

Along the way, as no one was attacking former Vice President Joe Biden, he had one of his best debates of the primary season. It may help him do fairly well in Nevada and then next week in South Carolina. If Biden comes in second in Nevada, then wins South Carolina, he may recover some of his momentum.

Sanders entered the debate as the newly-anointed front-runner for the nomination and nothing in the debate changed that.

It’s worth noting that NBC News sent out a press release announcing the event was the most-watched Democratic debate ever, averaging nearly 20 million total viewers across the two networks, according to Nielsen Fast National Data.

The one take-away I have from last night that I think is important is about ‘big-picture.’

There are four moderate Democrats currently competing for the same moderate Democratic voters. And as such, they are getting only about 12-15 percent support each.

Meanwhile, Warren kind of faded after her poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire leaving the progressive lane to just Sanders. Thus, his rise in the polls.

Each state’s contests divide up delegates proportionately according to the votes received. BUT – delegates are proportionately allocated to candidates getting 15% or more in a primary or caucus.

If you don’t get to at least 15% you get nothing. If only one candidate gets 15%, the allocation is effectively winner-take-all.

If no candidate meets the 15% threshold, Democratic Party rules state the minimum to receive delegates will be 50% of the vote received by the front-runner.

Check out the delegate count below after two states’ contests. Only five candidates have earned delegates to date. Buttigieg and Sanders have nearly 3x the number of Warren or Klobuchar.

According to reports, Klobuchar’s surprise third-place finish in New Hampshire was great news for her campaign, but she apparently hadn’t invested in any campaign infrastructure in Nevada having focused on Iowa and New Hampshire.

So, many don’t expect her to do well this week.

MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki looked at the polling in upcoming states and it looks pretty grim for many of the remaining candidates other than Bloomberg (who’s literally spending millions and millions), Biden, and Sanders.

Notice that Harris and Klobuchar aren’t even registering in double-digits. And Buttigieg seems stuck at the 11-12 percent level. That means no delegates from those states if these numbers are even in the ballpark.

Take a look at the California numbers. If Sanders walks away with 32% of the delegates, and Warren, Buttigieg, and Bloomberg fail to even be viable gaining zero delegates – Sanders begins to amass a delegate count that could be insurmountable.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg has been spending in other states like North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Arkansas – and it’s paying off for him. Now, after last night, we’ll have to see how those numbers stack up on Super Tuesday.

Finally, check this last graphic – Bloomberg is virtually the only Democrat with ads up in Virginia.

 

Needless to say, when you don’t win delegates, the campaign donations dry up. The next two weeks could very well boil this race down to two or three candidates.

We shall see.

News Round-Up: February 19, 2020

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: For Wise Wednesday, hunky Dan Tai reminds: “Don’t forget you are the lighthouse in someone’s storm.” Follow him on Instagram here.

USA Today: Bernie Sanders said Tuesday night that he is not planning to release any additional medical records. Sanders, 78, suffered a heart attack in October during a campaign event. He had a blockage in one artery and two stents were inserted, his campaign said at the time.

NY Times: Donald Trump is expected to name Richard Grenell, the American ambassador to Germany, to be the acting director of national intelligence. A vocal Trump loyalist, he would be the first openly gay cabinet member.

Washington Blade: Actor Haaz Sleimann, who is openly gay, was speaking to LGBTQ media outlet NewNowNext for a profile story when he revealed that he will be portraying the husband of a gay superhero in the upcoming Marvel film, The Eternals, slated for a November 2020 release. Sleimann, 43, has recently garnered attention for his role as a gay Syrian refugee in Apple+ TV’s anthology series “Little America.”

NBC News: Don’t forget the Democratic debate tonight from Las Vegas where former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg will take to the debate stage for the first time in the 2020 primary cycle. The debate will start at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET). You can watch the debate on NBC, MSNBC, and Universo. You can also stream it on NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com, as well as their Facebook pages – or the video window below.

News Round-Up: February 18, 2020

Follow woofy Wes Dupee on Instagram here

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Gymbear Wes Dupee gets his food prep on (above). Readers – how many of you have a weekly food prep schedule? Do you get tired of the same food, or is it the convenience you like?

IOM Today: A gay man was beaten in a late-night encounter when an older man mistakenly thought he was flirting with him. The victim says he feels lucky he didn’t lose any teeth.

Netflix: The streaming giant’s latest queer comedy series, Feel Good, stars Mae Martin as herself, a Canadian comedian living in London, navigating a relationship with her new girlfriend, George and dealing with sobriety. Did I mention the awesome Lisa Kudrow plays Martin’s mother? #squeee! The six-episode first season of the dark comedy drops March 19 on Netflix.

Media Matters: Rush Limbaugh told his listeners on Monday that Donald Trump personally told him to ‘never apologize’ for Rushbo’s anti-gay remarks about White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg. Last week, Limbaugh suggested Trump could have “fun” with Buttigieg kissing his husband on stage. He also wondered aloud how to explain Buttigieg kissing his husband to their children.

OUT: ‘Over-aggressive anti-spam settings’ temporarily prevented some users from logging into their accounts on the bear-centric dating app Growlr causing users to believe they had been suspended. #DontPokeTheBears

NBC News: Sen. Bernie Sanders has jumped out to a 12-point lead in the Democratic presidential contest after his victory in New Hampshire’s primary and his second-place finish in Iowa while former Vice President Joe Biden has seen his support drop by 11 points since his disappointing finishes in both contests, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday.

The survey also shows former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg gaining ground in the Democratic race in the past month.

(graphic via NBC News)

Politico: Bernie Sanders Is Becoming Harder To Stop

Sen. Bernie Sanders solid base is serving him well as the more centrist Democrats splinter the rest of the race.

Reporting from Nevada, Politico writes that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)  is becoming harder to stop and “his opponents are starting to realize it.”

Advisers to three rival campaigns privately conceded over the weekend that the best anyone else could hope for here is second or third.

While few expect that Sanders can carry more than a third of the vote in Nevada, nearly everyone believes that will be enough to win in a field where the moderate vote remains splintered. It is becoming a source of celebration for Sanders’ supporters and an urgent problem for those who want to prevent him from claiming the nomination.

Sanders Passes Biden In Average Of National Polls

L-R Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders

With the latest round of national polling, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has taken the lead from former Vice President Joe Biden in the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Over the past 30 days, with dismal showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden’s polling numbers have cratered while Sanders has seen a four-point increase in his standing.

Sanders currently leads Biden by 4.4 points in the RCP poll average with 23.6 percent support versus Biden’s 19.2 percent support.

Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg has quickly rocketed into 3rd place with 14.2 percent support and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), like Biden, has seen her fortunes fall following disappointing results in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg garners 10.6 percent support and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is at 4.6 percent support.

Final NH Poll Shows Sanders Leading Buttigieg 7+

L-R Sen. Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg

CNN’s final tracking poll for the upcoming New Hampshire Democratic primary tomorrow shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) holding steady with a solid lead.

Conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, the results show Sanders with 29 percent support, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 22 percent support, former Vice President Joe Biden ranks a fairly distant 3rd place with 11 percent, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) with 10 percent.

Those results mirror the RealClearPolitics average of polls showing Sanders with 29 percent and Mayor Pete at 22 percent with the rest of the pack fairly far behind.

It’s worth noting that in 2016, Sanders beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary by nearly 22 points. I’m not thinking Sanders win this time will be quite so large.

While nearly half say they haven’t fully made up their minds, when asked who voters in New Hampshire believe will win the primary, 59 percent said Sanders versus only 10 percent naming Buttigieg.

Partial Iowa Results (It’s All We Got) Show Buttigieg With Slight Lead

Partial results from the Iowa caucuses show former Mayor Pete Buttigieg leading the pack with 26.9% of the vote followed very closely by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with 25.1%.

From CNN:

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, held a narrow lead in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday night, according to a partial release of a majority of the results by the state Democratic party a day after an embarrassing organizational breakdown that marred the biggest night of the election year so far.

Buttigieg was trailed closely by the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren with former vice-president Joe Biden in a distant fourth place, based on a tally of 62% of the precincts reporting.

Iowa awards only 41 delegates, who eventually nominate the Democratic presidential candidate at the party’s national convention in July, which represents around just 1% of the national total.