Your Wonky Week – March 20, 2020

Wonky news for wonky times.

We’re complete policy wonks, and we own that.

We talk about politics and polls and studies and data all the time. And – especially right now – we have a hunch that you’re keen on reading something that’s not all about a pandemic

So here are some things we think are interesting right now.

Something Interesting to Read:

As described in How the Trump Campaign Took Over the GOP, “President Trump’s campaign manager and a circle of allies have seized control of the Republican Party’s voter data and fund-raising apparatus, using a network of private businesses whose operations and ownership are cloaked in secrecy, largely exempt from federal disclosure.”

It’s a deep dive into the capabilities of the GOP at this point, including the rise of WinRed, the GOP alternative to ActBlue. If you’ve been looking for something to read that’s (1) not about coronavirus and (2) not about a presidential primary, this ones for you! 

Your “Completely In the Weeds Moment”: 

So, yeah. There’s a presidential election going on. (Remember when that was top of the news?) And you know how much we love talking about delegate math…

With Joe Biden’s wins stacking up and his delegate lead growing, Bernie Sanders is going to have a hard time catching up. Here’s a great article describing why:  Election Update: Biden’s Delegate Lead is Now Nearly Insurmountable.

The problem is simple math, and how many states are left. You no doubt remember that each state splits its delegates proportionally, both state-wide and by congressional district. In simplified terms, a candidate that wins 55% of the vote will get 55% of the delegates.

That’s where Sanders’ problem comes in. To close the nearly 300-delegate gap he’s got, he’ll not only have to win the remaining states – but win them in massive enough margins that he’ll be able to catch up. It’s not impossible, but … 

And while we’re on the topic, allow us to quickly debunk a rumor about the 2008 primary we’ve seen making the rounds. Some folks are suggesting – or outright asserting – that Obama overcame a similar delegate deficit in 2008. That’s just not true.

Joe Biden currently has a 293 delegate lead.

At no point was Obama more than 33 delegates down in 2008. In fact, around this time in 2008, Obama had a 100+ delegate lead. And it was that lead that became insurmountable, even though Clinton won more delegates from April-June (by about 50 delegates). Her win margins just weren’t large enough – and she never caught up.

What’s Up on Fox News: 

Friends don’t let friends watch Fox News, but we all need to stay informed about what’s going on over there. So we take one for the team and watch for you.

It’s not been a picnic. Their talking points are simple, and exactly what you’d expect: blame the Chinese (if they would have contained it, we’d not be in this situation), blame the “fake news media” for misquoting Trump and making his response look as bad as it actually is, and blame Democrats for … well … anything else. 

Trump, of course, comes out of their coverage smelling like a rose. Don’t expect your Fox News-watching second cousin to come around because of this pandemic. 

And hey – one more thing? It’s a stressful time. We get it. 

It’s made more stressful because we have the worst possible person to manage this situation in the White House.

We need to get him out of office. Pronto.

That’s what we’re doing with our Dump Trump project, which is the only 2020 nominee fund that sends your support immediately to whichever candidate wins enough delegates to secure the nomination. Others wait until the nominee has been officially named at the convention, which is usually weeks later. That means for a few weeks our nominee is a sitting duck waiting for party resources to kick in, while the GOP takes shots at them. 

If that sounds crazy, it’s because it is. So we want to make sure our 2020 Democratic nominee has some funds to fight back with when they need it the most. 

Be a Democratic nominee defender – join today at or through ActBlue below.

Stay wonky!
Jonathan Zucker & Michele Hornish