Super Tuesday Part II is upon us: There are 352 delegates on the line tonight as Washington (89), Idaho (20), North Dakota (14), Michigan (125), Mississippi (38), and Missouri (68) cast their ballots for a Democratic candidate. As of Tuesday, Joe Biden enjoys a 91-delegate lead (664 to 573), so tonight will likely decide the fate of the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Washingtonians still have a voice until 8:00 p.m. PDT: So if you have not mailed your ballot (postage-free!) or dropped your ballot in a box then DO SO RIGHT NOW, PLEASE, JUDAS PRIEST.
The coronavirus outbreak has complicated things: Normally the SECB would fan out across the city to snap photos of food and to scoop up all the gossip at Sanders parties, Biden "parties," and righteously indignant Warren funerals, but those campaigns have wisely decided to follow suggestions from public health officials to limit large gatherings.
Instead, we'll cover the night quarantine-style: Results will start coming in at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Chase and I will update this blog accordingly from the safety of our own rent-gouged apartments, so keep your eyes on Slog and get ready to do some hard refreshing. Washington, which is the second largest contest of the night, will drop its first round of results after 8 p.m.
Some things to remember: Because Washington has mail-in ballots, we'll only see about half the vote tonight. In the past, later votes from King County have leaned more liberal, while later votes east of the mountains have leaned more conservative. We won't find out how many delegates the state will ultimately allot to the candidates until votes are certified in a couple weeks, mostly because the Secretary of State doesn't track votes by Congressional District.
The turnout so-far has been high (40%): But only relative to previous primaries, which have historically been meaningless due to Democratic Party preference for caucuses. As of Tuesday night at 5:00 p.m. over 1.8 million Washingtonians have voted. Nearly 1.159 million people (64%) voted in the Democratic primary, and over 592,400 people (32.6%) voted in the Republican primary. Troublingly, over 65,470 (3.6%) did not properly mark their ballots to indicate which party's primary they wanted to participate in. Meanwhile, 781 people marked both parties on their ballot. Those votes will be temporarily rejected until they're corrected. Check for updates below the jump!!!!!!
Update 5:10 p.m.: The New York Times projects wins for Biden in Missouri and Mississippi. Sanders only lost Missouri by 1 point in 2016, which is consistent with the national shift toward Biden and the general shift toward conservatism in MO since I left at the wee age of 23.
Update 5:26 p.m.: Early returns from Michigan show a tight race with Biden slightly in the lead.
One thing to keep in mind in Michigan is the big shift toward absentee voting there.
1) We don't know when we'll get those votes;
2) Absentees aren't in the exit poll;
3) I'd guess they're strong for Biden but we don't really know tbh
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) March 11, 2020
Update 5:34 p.m.: Wasserman, election wonk at NBC, is projecting Michigan for Biden.
I've seen enough: Joe Biden wins the Michigan primary.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) March 11, 2020
Update 6:06 p.m.: The New York Times and NBC are now projecting Michigan for Biden. With 31% of the vote in, Biden leads by 12 points in the state with the night's largest delegate haul. In the 2016 primary, Sanders carried Michigan by a point.
Update 6:17 p.m.: Mudede weighs in.
The presidential race at present is between a fascist, a Republican, and a Democrat. Do not muddle this exact alignment.
— Charles Mudede (@mudede) March 11, 2020
Update 6:40 p.m.: At this point in the evening, I can see the "math" reason for Yang endorsing Biden live on CNN, but it's hard to see how his supporters and the #YangGang overlap.
Update 6:54 p.m.: While we're talking about endorsements... Trump just endorsed Jeff Sessions's Senate rival.
....(which is under siege), is strong on Crime and the Border, and truly LOVES our Military and our Vets. He will be a great Senator for the people of Alabama. Coach Tommy Tuberville, a winner, has my Complete and Total Endorsement. I love Alabama!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2020
Update 7:20 p.m.: Bernie Sanders will not speak or appear in public tonight, his campaign announced. There will be many calls for Sanders to drop out after tonight if Biden maintains his lead.
Update 7:45 p.m.: All eyes are on Washington state to see if it holds out for Sanders, but multiple factors (mail-in voting, our switch to a primary, early voting not accounting for the Biden consolidation) will make Washington state difficult to analyze quickly and easily. Sanders spent $490,000 on ads in this state, while Biden spent about $1,000, reports the New York Times.
Update 7:55 p.m.: Joe Biden thanked Sanders supporters during his closing speech tonight for “their tireless energy and their passion." He then said "it looks like we’re going to have another good night" and "we’re going to bring this nation together."
Speaking in Philadelphia tonight, @JoeBiden defines his place in the race as a “comeback for the soul of this nation.”
“This campaign is taking off,” he said before adding that there’s still votes to win and takes nothing for granted. pic.twitter.com/xepZLEKqbU
— Marianna Sotomayor (@MariannaNBCNews) March 11, 2020
Update 8:10 p.m.: Sanders currently leads Biden by a hair in Washington—32.69% to 32.48%. Elizabeth Warren, who dropped out of the race during the state's two-week voting window, has 12.29% of the vote. This drop represents 1.019 million of approximately 1.159 million votes cast for Democrats in Washington before 5 p.m. on election night. In a recent poll of people who had already voted in the primary, Biden was leading among late voters. That Biden-leaning trend might continue, as Sanders and Biden are basically tied in King County, the most left-leaning county with the largest vote share.
If you want to do the meaningless ideology math: Vote totals from all the moderate candidates in Washington would exceed the progressive ones. All in all, a poor showing from Sanders, who swept the state in 2016 caucuses.
Update 8:38 p.m.: Lol I forgot Idaho and North Dakota. With 21% reporting, Biden leads in Idaho 45.6 to 35. In North Dakota, Sanders leads Biden 40 to 26 with 10% reporting.
Update 8:44 p.m.: There are some terrible darts to be had upstairs at this Capitol Hill bar.
This is as close as it gets to an real election party in Seattle tonight. @BernieSanders WA field director Shaun Scott @eyesonthestorm is shooting pool with some other campaign folks at an unofficial gathering at a bar on Capitol Hill. https://t.co/lYROR469Bs pic.twitter.com/SHAlphWBhJ
— Daniel Beekman (@DBeekman) March 11, 2020
As we wait for returns, let's turn to the weather:
❄️Could it really snow Friday & Saturday? ❄️
It could! In fact, most of the #Seattle area will see snowflakes mixed in with rain at some point either day.
Accumulations, at this point, look unlikely—but there is a chance. Stay tuned. Winter is NOT over! pic.twitter.com/iLpDDxK5Q6
— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) March 10, 2020
We're getting traffic cameras to catch bus-lane and crosswalk violators: The State Legislature passed the bill on Monday, according to the Seattle Times, and now it's on the way to Gov. Inslee's desk. Special thanks to the heroic vigilante who raised the profile of this issue.
Looks like the "mandatory measures" Gov. Inslee has been talking about will be announced tomorrow. Hold on to your butts:
Inbox: @GovInslee to hold news conference tomorrow morning in Seattle on coronavirus.
No reason given for the newser.
But Inslee has talked about using his authority to mandate social-distancing measures & said an announcement could come as early as tomorrow. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/2LlUT2dO2t
— Joseph O'Sullivan (@OlympiaJoe) March 10, 2020
Aki Kurose Middle School has been canceled until further notice: In a press release, school officials said the school closed after "an adult staff member" was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Buffets in Vegas close due to coronavirus: You can't get sloshed and house a prime rib at "ARIA, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur" until further notice, according to CBS.
A silver-lining: COVID-19 has emptied out streets. That means it's the perfect time to go for a bike ride. Read this Cascade Bicycle Club article for more.
In actually good public health news: The second person has been cured of HIV. A stem cell treatment the patient received for cancer was what cured him. This is similar to what happened to the first person cured of HIV in 2011.
Alex Jones was arrested: Times have been bad for Alex Jones, the Infowars conspiracy theorist whose cheeks remind me of boiled cabbage. Jones was arrested in Texas for driving while intoxicated. He was released on $3,000 bail. At the end of last year, Jones was ordered to pay $100,000 when he was found guilty of defaming the parents of one of the kids killed in the Sandy Hook massacre.
No more guns for Dick’s: Dick’s Sporting Goods that is. The store will stop selling guns at 440 of its stores. After the Parkland shooting in 2018, Dick’s pulled semi-automatic weapons from its shelves. It then tested just, you know, not selling guns at all at 10 locations. Gradually, Dick’s has been moving away from firearms and sticking with sporting goods. Before you get too excited (or worried?), there are still stores with guns. This kind of thing takes time, apparently!
Some scientists stumbled upon chlamydia: At the bottom of the ocean. The Arctic Ocean. This chlamydia-related species perplexed scientists. "Finding Chlamydiae in this environment was completely unexpected, and of course begged the question what on earth were they doing there?" One of them mused, according to CNN.
Coachella was supposed to take place on April 10: But now it's being pushed back to Oct. 9 and 16, according to the L.A. Times. I'm assuming people are bummed. But festivals should happen in the fall anyway!