We report on the nomination races for several third-party candidates throughout the election.
We also report on party platforms, and will update them for 2020 as they become avbailable.
Following is our list of parties and candidates:
Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume to be sworn in immediately
Kweisi Mfume, Former President of the NAACP, won a special election in Maryland's 7th House district, and will join the 116th Congress immediately upon being sworn in.
Mr. Mfume replaces U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who passed away last October.
Following is a list of special elections that have taken place during the 116th Congress (with three more to follow later this spring!):
District / Election date / New member of Congress
Previous member of Congress / reason for leaving Congress
Senator Bernie Sanders ended his campaign after losing a series of primaries, including the Wisconsin primary run with low voter turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Vice President Joe Biden is now the presumptive nominee.
Some of our book reviews and excerpt collections from Sen. Sanders:
Political leaders' policy stances to fight the pandemic
We will collect politicians' statements on the coronavirus pandemic,
and add additional excerpts over time.
Bernie Sanders : Cover all costs for coronavirus testing and treatment
Joe Biden on Education : Provide school lunch even if schools closed for pandemic
Donald Trump : Refused coronavirus test kits from World Health Organization
Tom Steyer : Mandatory Coronavirus vaccines; and other immediate actions
Mike Bloomberg : CDC needs funding to fight coronavirus; Trump de-funded it
Pete Buttigieg : Deal with coronavirus with international integration
Amy Klobuchar : Billions for CDC for coronavirus; billions for NIH too
Elizabeth Warren : The most vulnerable people are susceptible to Coronavirus
On media coverage of the coronavirus:
The Washington Post has demonstrated irresponsible fear-mongering with their reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, in their March 14 article entitled "Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially." The Post should explain to the public why it was misleading to say "If the number of cases were to continue to double every three days, there would be about a hundred million cases in the United States by May. That is math, not prophecy," and should editorially rescind that statement. Here's why:
There is no evidence that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. will continue to double every three days until May, four weeks away. In fact, there is strong evidence from already-infected countries that the "exponential period" of doubling ends after about three weeks, and then new infections peak, subside, and trail off, in a period of about eight weeks. The viral infection simulations in the Post's article show the termination of the exponential period, to the mathematically-astute reader, but the text of the article misleads readers that the exponential period could continue indefinitely.
Looking at the daily infection rates in other countries provides evidence of the time estimates above. All of the data below comes from the daily coronavirus figures on the website www.worldometers.info -- which provides information without histrionic statements like those of the Washington Post.
A. I define the start of the "exponential period" in each country as the date when the number of new infections doubled in three days, and included over 100 cases (to avoid randomness of small numbers).
B. The "inflection point" is the date when the number of new infections stopped doubling every three days -- the number of new infections still increases, but more slowly, which is described as "bending the curve" -- that is the key point that the Washington Post's article pretended will not occur in the U.S. until May or later. The inflection point has occurred in every other high-population infected country after about two to three weeks.
C. The "peak" is the date on which the number of new infections falls from a maximum (i.e. when the number of people newly infected is consistently fewer than the day before). The peak has occurred in other countries three to four weeks after the start of the exponential period.
D. The "trail off" is the date on which the number of new infections permanently falls below 100. The trail-off has occurred in other countries about seven to eight weeks after the start of the exponential period.
The chart below arranges countries by the date their daily cases became exponential.
I note "Approx." in the chart for predicted dates not yet reached, based on applying the timelines from the countries that have reached those points. I note "Perhaps" in the chart for dates that might change after April 2.
As of April 2: China has reached point D; South Korea is past point C and approaching point D; Italy and Iran have just passed point C, and perhaps Germany; Spain and France have just passed point B; and the U.S. is now past point A and perhaps at point B; India is still not at point B.
That is math, not prophecy -- the only assumption is that the United States will follow the pattern of other countries, mathematically:
A. Start exponential
B. Inflection point
C. Peak date
D. Trail off
Feb. 5 (week 2)
Feb. 12 (week 3)
Mar. 6 (week 7)
Mar. 1 (week 1)
Mar. 3 (week 2)
Perhaps Apr. 2
Mar. 15 (week 3)
Mar. 21 (week 4)
Approx. Apr. 21
Mar. 26 (week 4)
Mar. 30 (week 5)
Approx. Apr. 30
Mar. 21 (week 3)
Perhaps Mar. 27
Approx. May 1
Mar. 15 (week 2)
Approx. Apr. 4
Approx. May 4
Mar. 24 (week 3)
Approx. Apr. 8
Approx. May 8
Perhaps Mar. 27
Approx. Apr. 10
Approx. May 10
Approx. Apr. 10
Approx. Apr. 28
Approx. May 28
Applying the infection pattern from other countries to the U.S., we should get past the peak of new daily infections in late April (I've added a couple of extra days to get to the inflection points because the U.S. is large and has been slow to start testing, so some new infections will show up later than they otherwise would have). We should trail off to almost zero new daily infections by mid-May. That would mean that the total number of Americans infected would be about one million by May.
Not a hundred million by May, like the article asserts. That's an important distinction because it means the difference between under 100,000 deaths (our prediction) and over a million deaths (their implication).
The Washington Post has done a great disservice to America by publishing this article, and its continued existence incites panic among readers. The Washington Post should post my analysis, and other less panic-oriented analyses like it, to counter-balance their current disinformation.
Sincerely, Jesse Gordon, dated April 2
Postscript: I wrote to the Washington post ombudsman and article author; I was told the ombudsman position no lnoger exists (that person represents the public within the newspaper); and the article was translated as-is to a dozen languages, saying the same misleading information as in English.
Source: See political candidates' coronavirus policy stances.
Final Tuesday primaries, March 17, 2020
Primaries finalized; many changes due to coronavirus
President Trump exceeded the number of delegates required to win the Republican nomination (i.e. he has won the primary).
Gov. Bill Weld withdrew from seeking the Republican nomination, leaving Trump unopposed.
Biden gained almost 300 delegates, after gaining over 200 last week, and now stands at about 60% of the total delegates needed to secure the nomination.
We present below the delegate totals from Super Tuesday primaries in 14 states.
Biden has taken the lead in delegates (the only number that matters). He stands at 628, or 31% of the total delegates needed to secure the nomination.
Sanders, in second with 556, fell to second place, with 28% of the delegate total needed.
Bloomberg withdrew after a poor showing (he did get 57 delegates, including a win in American Samoa, solidly placing him in fourth place in delegate count).
Warren withdrew after coming in 3rd place in her home state of Massachusetts, and 3rd or below everywhere else (falling to 4th place in delegate count).
We also list below the PLEO "Superdelegates", who will mostly vote for the establishment frontrunner (Biden). Counting those, Biden is halfway to the nomination.
Sanders' only hope is a huge turnaround next Tuesday and the following Tuesday, which seems very unlikely, given that the demographics match states Biden already won.
The only question remaining is whether Sanders will stick it out until he is mathematically eliminated (which could be "never", causing a "brokered convention", where the superdelegates decide the nominee, which would mean Biden anyway).
Bottom line: It's over; Biden has won the nomination.
Super Tuesday delegate counts:
Super Tuesday Total
TOTAL Dem (1,991 to win)
TOTAL GOP (1,276 to win)
Source: See The Green Papers for delegate counts; see Joe Biden's page for full issue excerpts; each state winner highlighted in bold; delegate figures as of 3/12/20.
South Carolina primary, Feb. 29, 2020
Republicans cancel primary; Trump gains 50 delegates by party acclamation
Democratic South Carolina primary:
Toward 4,750 delegates: (1,991 to win + superdelegates)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ripped up her official copy of the speech while the audience was filing out.
A motion to censure Rep. Pelosi for that action was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives (her action is not a crime, but can warrant censuure, if the House so votes).
Many investigators carefully watched footage recorded during the speech, and found her pages "pre-ripped" (i.e. she planned the event for the end of the speech)
When President Trump handed Pelosi the official copy at the beginning of the speech, he snubbed her handshake when she accepted it.
In addition to the "viral image" aspects, there were a series of staged events incorporated into the speech
(inviting guests to personify the president's points has long been a staple of SOTU speeches; staging actual events during the speech is new):
Rush Limbaugh received a Presidential Medal of Freedom during the speech.
A member of the military was rejoined with his wife, who did not expect his return that evening.
A young student was granted an Opportunity Scholarship after being denied entrance to a charter school in Pensylvania.
Juan Guaidó, the "shadow president" of Venezuela was introduced to America (Guaidó is recognized as the president by the U.S. but his opponent Nicolás Madurom controls the government).
There were also numerous policy points in the speech, and in the numerous responses, which we excerpt.
But the images and events are what this speech will be remembered for!
1,700 caucuses statewide for delegates to Democratic and Republican National Conventions
Both major parties held caucuses to elect delegates to their National Conventions.
The Iowa Democratic Caucuses were plagued by technical snafus; we'll report the results when available.
As a result of those problems, many people are calling for Iowa to replace their caucus with a normal primary election.
OnTheissues agrees, for the simple reason that primaries are better for democracy.
About 202,000 people participated in the 2020 Iowa caucuses (170,000 Democrats and 32,000 Republicans) -- that is under 10% of the registered voters of Iowa (2.1 million as of January 2020).
In a typical primary, such as New Hampshire in 2016, 535,000 people voted (250,000 Democrats and 285,000 Republicans) -- that is over 50% turnout of the registered voters of N.H. (980,000 as of January 2020).
Caucuses discourage voter participation, for reasons that were obvious to anyone watching the shenanigans nationally televised from Iowa -- few people want to go stand in a gymnasium for two hours straight!
The Republican Iowa caucuses went smoothly, with three candidates on the ballot. Results listed below. 40 national delegates will be awarded, towards the total of 2,550 delegates.
Bottom Line for Republicans: Trump's challengers did make a showing, with Weld getting one committed delegate. Walsh withdrew after these results.
The Democratic Iowa caucuses will award 41 national delegates (estimates below) and then hold two more rounds of gymnasium-standing events over the next two months to finalize those estimates, towards the total of 4,750 delegates.
Bottom Line for Democrats: Sanders won the popular vote on the first round, and also won the "second alignment" but by a smaller margin. Buttigieg got the most "state delegate equivalents," 564-562, and the most national delegates (14-11).
Bolton was asked by the House of Representatives to testify in the impeachment trial on 11/7/19, but said he would not testify until a court resolved the related disputes between Trump and Congress.
During the Senate impeachment trial, on 1/6/2020, Bolton agreed to testify to the Senaite, if subpoenaed. A 51-49 Senate vote cancelled all further testimony and evidence, so Bolton never testified.
Bolton has written a book ("The Room Where It happened", coming out in May 2020) where he claims Trump told him in August 2019 that Trump wanted to continue the freeze on aid to Ukraine pending their investigation into Joe Biden and his son -- one of the core issues of Trump's impeachment.
We excerpt and review below several of Bolton's other books and public statements, and we'll excerpt and review the new book when it comes out.
Seventh Democratic primary debate, with six candidates, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 14, three weeks before the Iowa caucuses. Three candidates withdrew after not qualifying for the debate (and will not participate in the Iowa caucuses):
The rules of the Iowa caucuses are more complicated than typical presidential primaries:
Meeting places are set up by local Democratic Committees in over 1,600 locations across Iowa, one per town or one per precinct in larger cities.
Any registered Democrat can attend in their neighborhood, with or without a pre-commitment to any candidate, but there are no absentee ballots nor early voting (only those who attend can vote, except people with disabilities and military members abroad can participate by video).
Candidates' supporters make speeches to persuade the uncommitted voters, and then each candidate's supporters gather in one section of the room to be counted.
A preliminary count determines which candidates make a 15% minimum cutoff for "viability." Supporters of non-viable candidates can then move to another candidate's section for the final count.
National news media report the percentage of the caucus final tallies, which are only approximate, because national delegates are actually chosen over the course of two more events:
Caucus delegates are apportioned, based on the final count for each candidate in each local caucus, to attend a County Convention; Iowa has 99 counties.
The County Conventions will be held on March 21, and then a Statewide Convention on April 25, to elect 41 delegates to the Democratic National Convention where teh presidential nominee will be determined.
Iowa also will send 8 superdelegates to the National Convention; they are called "PLEO delegates" (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) and are members of Congress or Democratic National Committee members.
Lincoln Chafee announces for presidency, Jan. 6, 2020
Former Rhode Island Senator and Former Rhode Island Governor
Lincoln Chafee has been elected as a Republican and a Democrat and an Independent; and has served as Mayor, Senator, and Governor.
He is now announcing his candidacy for the Liberatarian Party nomination for the presidency.
Below is our past coverage, highlighting at each time which party he was in.
7 contenders at UCLA, co-hosted by PBS Newshour and Politico.com
The sixth Democratic primary debate, with seven candidates, was held at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles; moderated by Judy Woodruff from CNN; Tim Alberta from Politico Magazine; Yamiche Alcindor and Amna Nawaz from PBS Newshour.
In order to have qualified for the debate, candidates had to bring in the support of at least 200,000 unique donors and register at least 4 percent support in four qualifying polls or at least 6 percent support in two approved polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina.
Sen. Cory Booker did not make the debate qualifications; Booker led eight other presidential candidates in a letter asking the DNC to "consider alternative debate qualification standards" for four primary debates scheduled for early 2020.
In the wake of this debate, and after the announcement of criteria for the January debate, Secretary Julian Castro withdrew from the presidential race, on Jan. 2, 2020.
The debate criteria for this debate were:
-Over 200,000 unique donors
-And 4% support in four qualifying polls
-Or 6% support in two polls in the early voting states (IA, NH, NV, and SC)
Sen. Booker ran a TV ad during the debate, which we excerpt below.
The top ten Democratic presidential candidates debated at Otterbein University in Atlanta, Georgia,
sponsored by NBC News and the Washington Post.
Changes in the field as a result of this debate:
CEO Tom Steyer (D, CA) made his second appearance in a debate, after months of TV advertising. He is now an established member of the field.
CEO Mike Bloomberg (D, NY) has re-entered the race, committing $35 million to a TV ad campaign. But Bloomberg is disqualified from all future debates, because the current rules require having thousands of donors, and Bloomberg is not accpepting donations at all. The rules for the Jan./Feb. 2020 debates have not yet been set, so Bloomberg could qualify.
Governor Deval Patrick (D, MA) also announced his candidacy. He will accept donations, but there's not enough time to qualify for the December debate, since those debate rules require scoring well in several polls, which will likely not even include Patrick for a couple of weeks. There are a half-dozen debates already set up for Jan./Feb. 2020, for which Patrick will attempt to qualify.
Three candidates dropped out of the race in the wake of this debate (in part, perhaps, because of this debate):
Rep. Joe Sestak (D, PA), dropped out on Dec. 1, 2019; former U.S. Representative from 2006-2010, and a Navy Admiral.
Governor Steve Bullock (D, MT), dropped out on Dec. 2, 2019; Governor since 2012, and Attorney General of Montana from 2007-2012.
Senator Kamala Harris (D, CA), dropped out on Dec. 3, 2019; Senator since 2016, and Attorney General of California from 2011-2016.
Deval Patrick enters presidential race: Nov. 13, 2019
Massachusetts Governor to file papers for New Hampshire presidential primary
Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) is a late entry to the Democratic presidential primary.
He may qualify for debates in early 2020, but certainly not the debate set for next week (Nov. 20th). His policy stances:
Mike Bloomberg re-enters presidential race: Nov. 8, 2019
New York Mayor files papers for Alabama presidential primary
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC) met the deadline today to get onto the Alabama presidential primary ballot (the earliest deadline in the country), implying that he would meet deadlines to get onto other state ballots.
Bloomberg cited Joe Biden's failure at sparking centrist support, which Bloomberg considers his constituency (as opposed to the progressive constituency sparked by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren).