A lot of Californians have reason to want to tar and feather California politicians after Tuesday’s vote. They are the 1.2 million Democratic voters who cast a ballot for one of the 11 Democratic candidates who have dropped out, or like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are no longer viable. They wasted their votes because the primary was too early.
This is the consequence of California voting on Super Tuesday, as we did in 2008. As a consequence, California once again gets no respect. Tuesday night the television talked heads swooned for hours over the Texas upset that saw former Vice President Joe Biden eke out a victory. Texas is a state that has not voted for a Democrat for president for more than 40 years and probably will not do so in 2020.
What about California, the most loyally Democratic of the mega states? The talking heads all seemed to agree that we will not know for days who actually won the California delegates, which even more underscores the insanity of voting on Super Tuesday with 13 other states.
There was a large gap between the early vote and Election Day; with Sen. Bernie Sanders running under 30 percent in the early vote, and Biden under 20 percent. But according to the final Election Night totals, Sanders is now at 33.6 percent, Biden at 25 percent. So late voters realized that the race was between these two men and acted accordingly.
But 427,000 California cast a ballot for Mike Bloomberg, and every vote was wasted as his nationwide showing was so poor he dropped out on Wednesday. Bloomberg had not appeared on a single ballot before Super Tuesday, so no one could be sure how he would fare. But he is now gone; and 427,000 California Democratic voters might as well have used their ballots to line bird cages.
The same is true for the 187,000 voters who cast a ballot for former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and 87,000 who voted for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, both of whom dropped out over the final weekend. On Wednesday morning, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was “reassessing” her campaign, but the 359,000 voters who cast a ballot for her also wasted their votes.
At least some voters who held their ballots until late knew these candidates were no longer running. Yet only 1.7 million Californians voted for a viable candidate. Those numbers will surely rise as there are probably millions of California ballots yet to be counted, but the media will pay little attention to the long California count. It is onto Arizona, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Mississippi, and all important Florida who vote in the next two weeks.
These states will decide the Democratic nomination for President. California could have been a decider, but instead is an afterthought. Let’s not do this again, let’s avoid Super Tuesday in future years.