The Rigging of Another Democratic Primary in 2020

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) Image: CNN

It has been barely a year since the fiasco known as the 2016 Democratic Primary took place. Remember, the one where the entire establishment lined up behind Hillary Clinton before the first vote was even cast, half the superdelegates had pledged to her months before the Iowa caucuses, the debates were hidden on weekends, holiday weeks, and running alongside popular sporting events, all to give her challengers no chance to gain traction. We know how well that worked out, considering that Republicans had a record number of prime time debates and Trump thrived off the free media attention.

Clearly, the Democrats have received the cautionary tale of a generation to never do this again… Or have they? Doesn’t look like it According to Politico, “California is pushing forward with a plan to change the state’s primary date from June to March, a move that could scramble the 2020 presidential nominating contest and swing the early weight of the campaign to the West. If adopted by the legislature this week — as is widely expected — and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the early primary would allocate California’s massive haul of delegates just after the nation’s first contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.”


We agree with Don Fowler, DNC insider and Clintonista extraordinaire that “In all probability, the winner of the California primary would be the nominee.” California is far and away the biggest prize in the Democratic primary, and if its delegates are awarded right after the traditionally early and small states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, it would in effect turn the contest into a Super Tuesday on its own, and create an advantage which would be difficult to overcome. Furthermore, California is far too large for any politician to win it on “retail politics” the way Iowa or New Hampshire can be won by visiting county fairs and shaking hands in diners because California is a state of 40 million. To make matters even more difficult, it has some of the most expensive media markets in the country, making mass advertising very expensive. The contest would no doubt turn on name recognition and familiarity to voters alone, making it difficult for an upstart candidate to make a dent in California and therefore a chance at the nomination.

The Democratic Establishment didn’t pick California out of a hat to move it up so early. As has been widely reported, donors and party insiders have already begun to coalesce around Senator Kamala Harris of California as a good contender for the 2020 Presidential nomination. As coincidence would have it, she has good name recognition and home field advantage in California, the state which is being geared to be pivotal in the next presidential primary. We take no position at this time on Senator Harris, who on the one hand has been helpful in co sponsoring Bernie’s Medicare-for-all bill, but we are hesitant to jump on the proverbial bandwagon behind a candidate who attracts the adulation of the same crowd that thought Hillary Clinton was the greatest nominee in history. However, we think it absolutely catastrophic for the establishment to take another heavy handed approach in the primary, and after sizing up the potential field and picking its favorite, to start arranging the schedule they believe would benefit her most. Have we not learned anything from the last fiasco? Apparently not. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur recently addressed this issue as well on his show, and we are posting that clip for your review.

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