Patterico's Pontifications


Super Tuesday Takes

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:15 am

[guest post by Dana]

Without comment:

FiveThirtyEight weighs in:

Biden is now about twice as likely as Sanders to win a plurality of pledged delegates, according to our primary model, which gives him a 65 percent chance of doing so compared with a 34 percent chance for Sanders. This represents the culmination of a trend that has been underway in the model for about a week; it started to shift toward Biden once polls showed the potential for him to win big in South Carolina — and it anticipated a polling bounce in the Super Tuesday states if he did win big there. Still, even after South Carolina, Biden’s plurality chances had risen only to 32 percent, compared with 64 percent for Sanders. That means the polling bounce from the events of the past few days has been bigger than the model anticipated.

To be clear, however, there is still a lot of uncertainty. We’ve been talking about delegate pluralities, which obscures the fact that the most likely outcome in the model is still that no one wins a majority of pledged delegates. And we should note that the lack of a majority does not necessarily imply a contested convention. For instance, if Biden enters the convention with 46 percent of delegates and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 10 percent, they could strike a deal where Bloomberg delegates vote for Biden on the first ballot.

Michael Bloomberg goes after Joe Biden:

Mike Bloomberg started the most important day of his 2020 campaign scolding a sea of reporters about rival Joe Biden’s momentum and refusing to drop out of the Democratic primary.

“Joe’s taking votes away from me,” Bloomberg said at his campaign’s Little Havana field office when asked by a reporter about moderates dropping out to support Biden in the last 24 hours.

“Have you asked Joe whether he’s going to drop out?” Bloomberg then challenged. “When you ask him that then you can call me.”

When a reporter asked a follow up, Bloomberg scolded that it was the same question that had just been asked.

“I have no intention of dropping out,” Bloomberg said. “We’re in it to win it.”

Early post-mortem for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign (which, of course, includes putting the blame on sexist double standards and media bias):

In interviews with Democratic strategists, top progressive activists, allies and critics, nearly everyone agrees that Warren’s campaign faltered not through scandal or dysfunction, but because of a series of miscalculations and circumstances that conspired against her. She positioned herself just off Bernie’s right shoulder, which both failed to win his hardcore progressive base and alienated moderates who think she’s too far left. Her campaign hit a series of speedbumps in the last months of 2019 and early 2020 that slowed her down just as her opponents were taking off, and failed to correct course quickly enough to regain momentum. Her online defenders are quick to point out sexist double standards between the candidates, and the stench of bias that pervades some media coverage, but the fact remains: heading into Super Tuesday, Warren has not won a single state.


Warren’s campaign aides have publicly suggested their most viable path to the nomination is by prevailing in a contested Democratic convention, which would be a historical rarity if it happens.

And from Joe Biden’s rapid response team to James Comey: Uh, no thanks:

Let us know how things are looking in your districts.


[UDPATE by JVW] – I apologize profusely for infringing upon Dana’s post, but My Little Aloha Sweetie just aimed the ihe ‘ō ‘ia nalohia pua right into Fauxcahontas’s spleen, so this must be one of the happiest days of my life.


Coronavirus Spreads Inside U.S.

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:58 am

On February 28, Donald Trump ran a rather premature victory lap because of the low number of reported cases of coronavirus in the United States so far.

There’ve been no deaths. At all. A lot of that’s attributable to the fact that we closed the border very early. Otherwise it could be a very different story.

(He didn’t actually “close the border,” of course, but he did implement travel restrictions regarding certain countries, and that has been an ongoing process.)

When Trump spoke in the video above, nobody had died yet — but that was four days ago. There have since been six deaths in Washington State.

The thing of it is (as Richie Brockelman used to say), as Allahpundit has noted, it’s not that many more cases aren’t out there. It’s that we don’t know about them because the CDC has sent out defective test kits and has been slow to replace them with ones that function properly. Allahpundit:

There are probably thousands of undetected cases in the U.S. right now — watch Scott Gottlieb’s comment on that in the second clip below — and there’ll be thousands more soon because the genie is too far out of the bottle to shove it back in. I wonder too, though, if the CDC is inadvertently being shielded politically by the fact that critics of the Trump administration usually strain to find reasons to tie government incompetence to Trump himself. Every story in the Trump era is a “Trump story,” and Trump did himself no favors with the happy talk recently about how few people were infected. But to all appearances, the coronavirus spread isn’t a “Trump story.” It’s a CDC story. He trusted them to be on top of this out of the gate. So did everyone else. Oops?

If you’re a Trump skeptic, you look at the history of administration pressure on agencies to make sure Trump’s less factual statements are not undermined (remember the sharpie marks on the hurricane map?), and you have to wonder whether the federal government would hide the extent of the problem here.

In any event, we’re seeing more and more cases. As I write this, new stories are popping up, including:

New York:

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday morning a second confirmed case of coronavirus in New York, a man in his 50s in Westchester County, just outside of New York City, suggesting that it was spreading in communities with no known connection to hot spots for the disease.


A mother and son from Sarasota Military Academy have been quarantined after coming into contact with a patient who tested positive for coronavirus at Doctors Hospital, the school reports.

The mother came into contact with the patient in her “professional roles,” according to a post on the Sarasota Military Academy’s official Facebook page. Coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19.


Two people who live in the same household in Fulton County are the first in Georgia to test positive for the new coronavirus, Gov. Brian Kemp and state officials announced Monday evening at a hastily arranged press conference. The two showed symptoms of the illness shortly after one of the people returned to Georgia from a trip to the northern Italian city of Milan, officials said.

These are just some recent stories. The New York Times has a roundup, but what I report in this post is a snapshot which will surely be outdated soon. So far, it’s 103 cases in 15 states:

The number of known coronavirus cases in the United States spiked over the weekend and into Monday, with dozens of new diagnoses bringing the total of confirmations to 103.

Public health officials reported that the virus was spreading among people with no history of overseas travel. Schools closed. Governors declared states of emergency.

. . . .

Health officials in California, Oregon and Washington State have all reported incidents of the virus turning up in people with no high-risk travel history, suggesting that it could be spreading undetected within the United States.

. . . .

While coronavirus has been diagnosed on both coasts and in the Midwest, it has mostly been concentrated in just a handful of states.

Combined, California and Washington account for 60 of the cases. Those patients include a mix of people who contracted the illness locally, traveled in China or were passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which docked in Japan after an outbreak on board. Doctors in Nebraska, where there is a hospital unit specializing in biocontainment, have treated 13 coronavirus patients, all of them former Diamond Princess passengers.

Health officials in Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have all reported multiple cases of coronavirus. And individual patients, all of whom had a high-risk travel history, have been treated in Arizona, New Hampshire, New York, Utah and Wisconsin.

There’s no telling how bad it will get, but it will get worse — likely far worse — before it gets better.

Wash your hands.

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