[Update: This post was written before Buttigieg announced that he was dropping out of the race. Does he read this blog??]
It was fun while it lasted.
In my previous post, I recommended voting for Buttigieg on Super Tuesday. After the cold, hard reality of South Carolina, I retract that recommendation. Despite everything that’s happened in the last year, this is shaping up to be the two-horse race was expected from 2016 on: Biden vs. Sanders.
A while back, I suggested that a vote for Buttigieg would generate delegates that would likely vote for Biden in the event of a brokered convention. So, voting for Buttigieg over Biden might increase the likelihood of a brokered convention, but it wouldn’t cost him the nomination. That analysis ignored one brutal fact: viability thresholds. Simply put, if you vote for a candidate whose votes are less than 15% of the total in the district, your vote doesn’t count. All votes for that candidate in your district are discarded.
That’s why the cluttered moderate lane has been so good for Sanders: In a district where Sanders gets 25% of the vote and Biden, Buttigieg, Bloomberg, Warren, Klobuchar, and Gabbard get the other 75%—but less than 15% each—Sanders gets all the delegates! With Buttigieg polling at 10.2% nationally (as of this writing), he’s below that viability threshold in a lot of districts. Any given vote for Mayor Pete will, more likely than not, be rounded off to oblivion.
Biden, for all his failings in this campaign, still has a lot going for him. But most important of all, he’s not Sanders. It’s time for the please-not-the-socialist vote to consolidate on him.
This is the very-likely-final post of a series that made the case for Pete Buttigieg in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries.