By Hamil R. Harris
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – African-Americans across the South went to the polls on Super Tuesday and gave former Vice-President Joe Biden front runner status in what is now a two man race between him and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“Just a few days ago, the press and the pundits had declared the campaign dead, and then came South Carolina and they had something to say about it. We were told “Well, when you got to Super Tuesday, it would be over.” Well, it may be over for the other guy. Tell that to the folks in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota, and maybe even Massachusetts.”
By daybreak Biden would win in Texas and loose California, but by Wednesday afternoon Elizabeth Warren, who was once a front runner, and Michael Bloomberg would be out of the race joining South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, billionaire Tom Steyer and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Though Warren and Steyer have not endorsed yet, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar all endorsed Biden as well as former candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), joining the powerful voice of U. S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, whose endorsement prompted a landslide for Biden in South Carolina.
But the war for delegates continues. On Sunday, two days before the all important Michigan primary, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. endorsed Bernie Sanders for President and in a tweet Jackson wrote, “We look to our youth for energy, expansion and inclusion which leads to growth. The youth that come to these rallies represent hope, healing and promise for our nation. It’s a joy to ‘feel the Bern’ with Bernie. Keep hope alive!”
Prominent voices in the Black community are encouraging African-Americans to go to the polls in record numbers as the contests continue across the nation as Biden and Sanders make their cases.
“This was a tremendously important event. Presidential campaigns spoke directly to African-Americans about how they would improve our quality of life, create racial equity and provide opportunities for our communities to succeed,” said Dr. Charles Steele, Jr. the President and CEO of the SCLC which hosted a forum in South Carolina.
Trey Baker, director of African-American Engagement for Vice President Biden, told the audience that, as president, Biden would aggressively use executive orders to counter policies and practices enacted by President Trump.
Noting that Biden would “protect the absolute right to vote,’’ Baker said Biden would “turn back some of the damage that Donald Trump has done to our government, to our bureaucracy and to the Constitution. He will do this through executive orders.”
Moreover, Baker said that Biden’s history demonstrates that he gets things done. “People are confused,” he said. “Being progressive isn’t so much about being liberal; being progressive is getting things done.’’
Baker took direct aim at the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision determining that during elections, government cannot restrict independent expenditures by corporations, associations, nonprofits and labor unions. “What Citizens United did was bring all this flow of money into campaigns,” said Baker, adding that Biden would seek a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the ruling.
The African-American vote will be critical in the 2020 race.
On March 10th voters in six states were set to go to the polls to elect 406 delegates. Those states included Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington state. Michigan is the biggest prize with 125 delegates.
Biden currently has 664 delegates, Sanders has 573 delegates. In order to secure the Democratic nomination the candidate must have 1,979 delegates.
For context, there are 3,979 pledged delegates in the Democratic contest, and 1,499 will have been allotted after Super Tuesday, with 2,480 remaining.
Both Biden and Sanders still have a ways to go.
Of the 4,765 total Democratic delegates, 714 (approximately 15 percent) are superdelegates, which are mostly Democratic members of Congress, governors, former presidents, and other party leaders and elected officials. In 2018, Democratic party officials changed the rules that prevent superdelegates from voting on the first ballot unless neither candidate had enough votes.
Though Sanders won Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and California, he said, “Of course I am disappointed” after Biden swept Super Tuesday. But he and his dedicated followers are fighting on and anything is possible.