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Why Buttigieg, Klobuchar Are Getting Out of the Way

Many think they learned from the Republican debacle in 2016
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2020 6:03 PM CST

(Newser) – Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar have dropped out of the presidential race and are reportedly both planning to endorse Joe Biden on the eve of Super Tuesday, leading to many news articles using words like "coalesce" and "close ranks" as moderate Democrats appear to be coming together to back Biden's candidacy in the hopes of pushing aside the much-further-to-the-left frontrunner Bernie Sanders. Here are some of the opinion articles that have cropped up so far on the subject:

  • Buttigieg and Klobuchar are doing what Republicans refused to do in 2016, writes Philip Bump at the Washington Post, recalling now-President Trump's campaign. He was far from the establishment's favorite candidate, but even with less than 50% of the primary vote, he scored the nomination thanks in part to the fact that so many of his rivals remained in the race. It's possible Buttigieg and Klobuchar learned a lesson from 2016 and are clearing the path for Biden: "The anti-Sanders vote is consolidating."

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  • "It appears that the Democratic establishment is finally making a play to stop both current front-runner Bernie Sanders and the man who has purchased what appears to be every commercial you will ever see again, Michael Bloomberg," writes Ashley Feinberg at Slate, noting that progressive voters should be "worried."
  • Speaking of progressive voters, Elizabeth Warren is still in the running, and articles about her run the gamut from calling for her to drop out of the race and endorse Sanders (as Sarah Jones urges her to do in New York) to reminding voters they can, in fact, still vote for her; 96.1% of delegates remain unawarded, points out Ben Mathis-Lilley at Slate, who also notes, "It might ... be relevant to you that she’s not a nearly 80-year-old man who has recently experienced heart problems, evident cognitive decline, or being embarrassed by Elizabeth Warren on national television."
  • But Walt Hickey predicts at Business Insider that Klobuchar's and Buttigieg's endorsements of Biden will be "devastating" to Warren, since their constituencies also liked her—but may now throw their support behind Biden thanks to the endorsements.
  • If Warren remaining in the race is seen as a threat to Sanders' campaign, Bloomberg remaining in the race is seen as a threat to Biden. "Everyone from US Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to actress Alyssa Milano has rallied around Biden at the eleventh hour. Every non-hard-leftist, that is, except for one who expressly entered this race to stop Sanders," notes Tiana Lowe at the Washington Examiner of Bloomberg.
  • As BuzzFeed points out, Super Tuesday was always Bloomberg's big plan all along, and there's no way he'll exit the race before seeing how tomorrow pans out. And at the Federalist, Tristan Justice hypothesizes, "To the contrary of their intended effect to help Biden, Klobuchar and Buttigieg leaving the race could bolster Bloomberg just enough to siphon off increasingly scarce delegates in Tuesday’s primaries that would otherwise go to Biden."
  • How Axios puts it: "Leading Democrats suddenly see their primary as a clear, two-person race—with Mike Bloomberg as the likely odd man out."
  • Of course, Tulsi Gabbard is also still running; Andy Borowitz published a satirical article Monday on that point.
(Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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