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JoeOtterbein's Journal
JoeOtterbein's Journal
January 4, 2019

ELECTIONS The little-noticed change that could boost Biden and hurt Bernie in 2020

(Disclaimer: the following article is written by the DU poster's daughter)

Several states are ditching caucuses, which tend to benefit candidates with smaller but more fervent bases of support.

By HOLLY OTTERBEIN 01/03/2019 05:07 AM EST

Bernie Sanders’ surprise performance against Hillary Clinton in 2016 was fueled by his dominance in a slate of states that voted by caucus, a format that allowed the Vermont senator to capitalize on his smaller but more fervent base of supporters.

In 2020, Sanders will lose some of that edge.

Several states that caucused in 2016 will hold primaries instead in 2020, potentially dealing a blow to Sanders and other Democratic hopefuls with zealous followings.


Sanders’ allies aren’t buying that it will be hurt his chances if he runs for president again, though.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ 2016 campaign manager, said “the practical effect on a Bernie Sanders 2020 run is — I don’t think there is any.”

Weaver agrees with the premise that passionate voters can have an outsized effect in low-turnout caucuses: “If you have a dedicated group of folks, because the number of people at caucuses is generally lower, they can have a bigger impact.”

But there’s a flip side, he said: It’s easier to persuade infrequent voters to show up to a primary than a caucus — and “Bernie Sanders and other progressive candidates will disproportionately get the votes of people who are not consistent voters.”

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Profile Information

Name: Joe Otterbein
Gender: Male
Hometown: DelMarVa & PA (heading to PNW soon!)
Home country: United States
Current location: York County, PA
Member since: Sun Oct 28, 2012, 08:54 AM
Number of posts: 7,687

About JoeOtterbein

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