1. A big night for Biden. Most people didn’t see this coming. I sure didn’t. Especially the depth and sweep of it. Bernie’s campaign is in trouble. The rest of the map favors Biden, by a lot, seems to me. Of course, things can change, but short of something earthshaking, Biden’s path to the nomination is coming into clear view.
2. One, maybe the main, question that people asked themselves as they walked into the voting booth was: which candidate is most likely to defeat Trump? And the answer most people arrived at was Joe Biden.
3. While much has been said about the depth of support of African Americans for Biden, another striking feature of last night’s primaries is the breadth of Biden’s voting coalition across the country.
4. Elections are a reality check. They test our expectations and assumptions. They expose wishful thinking. They force us to look at politics soberly. And, above all, they let us know what’s on the minds of millions. Last night we found out.
5. One thing we learned yesterday is that this isn’t a “socialist moment,” notwithstanding the new and growing interest in socialism, particularly among young people.
6. It is said that Biden voters were motivated by “fear.” First of all, given the occupant in the White House, who wasn’t? But more to the point, it wasn’t fear so much as a sober calculus of who is most likely to lift the county out of its present nightmare in November. More people believed that Biden is. That doesn’t mean that Biden voters only want a return normalcy. They want that, for sure, but they also expect a substantive agenda of reform.
7. It’s never a good idea to get mad at voters if elections don’t turn out how we expected. A far better response is to ask: what did we get wrong?
8. Elizabeth Warren’s performance — and she was my first choice — came up short yesterday. I’m sure the reasons are many. But two that should figure in any post mortem (and they are related) are the pervasiveness of sexism and the negative effect of Hillary’s defeat in 2016.
9. It is hard for me to see the path to the nomination for Bernie now; look at the next states up to bat. Most of them favor Biden. Moreover, Biden has broad support as well as momentum now.
10. The turnout on Biden’s was much higher than expected, which augers well for November..
11. The challenge of uniting anti-Trump voters remains.
12. Lenin is out of vogue these days, but one of his strengths as a thinker and actor was that he soberly and unflinchingly looked defeat in its face. Given the stakes of this election, we should too.