The Democratic Primary race is in full swing, starting this Sunday, with two more Democratic debates until Super Tuesday. As the race grows tighter, political strategist, pollster, and commentator, Dick Morris, joined The Cats Roundtable to share his research into the primaries, what the current results mean for the future, and how this election season is upending expectations.
Pete Buttigieg took the Iowa primary from Bernie Sanders by the skin of his teeth, while Sanders won New Hampshire and Buttigieg came in a close second. The biggest upset from the primaries is arguably Joe Biden, who along with Elizabeth Warren, won single-digit percentiles in New Hampshire.
“I said that I thought Biden would fall apart,” Morris explained, reflecting that the flagging support for Biden will head to moderate candidates like Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and, ultimately, Mike Bloomberg. He expects the enthusiasm for Buttigieg and Klobuchar to channel into Bloomberg as the moderate response grows to Sanders, while Warren’s flagging support flock to the Vermont Senator.
“Forget Buttigieg, forget Klobuchar—it’ll be those two,” Morris said.
Bloomberg’s resources have allowed him the seeming ability to fly above the primary process. Following the late announcement of his presidential campaign, few attacks from the other candidates have been directed at him. Morris believes this is due more to a fear of Bloomberg’s resources than a lack of criticism for the former New York City mayor.
“They’re scared he’ll come at them with a couple billion dollars in negative ads,” Morris told The Cats Roundtable. “In a one-on-one fight with Bloomberg, they can’t possibly win.”
Two Democratic debates remain until Super Tuesday on March 3rd, and there has been little indication if Bloomberg will appear.
Bloomberg skirting of primary protocols is something Morris finds endemic to the Democratic Primary process itself.
“Democrats set this up when they front-ended this process,” he explained. “So, a candidate can’t acquire the normal trajectory and powers to be able to confront a steep race, like Super Tuesday.”
While superdelegates are bound on the first ballot to vote the same way their state does, there is speculation that the Democratic Convention could change rules to permit superdelegates to vote freely.
Instead, Morris sees the current Primary results going against the understanding of previous Democratic Primaries, which have often faced criticism for favoring left-wing candidates that do not wash with center voters. But with New Hampshire and Iowa, Morris has found that liberal candidates, like Warren and Sanders, have been outperformed overall by moderate candidates, such as Klobuchar, Biden, and Buttigieg.
“I think that what’s happened is something that’s really unusual,” Morris said. “There has been clear movement to the right in the Democratic Primary electorate, which is totally new.”
“I think all that says is that Bloomberg merges as a very strong challenger to Sanders,” he added, which could lead to a split within the convention. In that case, Morris is confident about 2020.
“Forget about the election,” Morris told The Cats Roundtable. “Trump will win it in a walk.”