Last Stand on the Shipwreck Coast: Introduction to Today’s Primary Projections

March 10, 2020

In 2016, Bernie Sanders Won 56% of Delegates in the States to Vote Today

Polls Close in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi & North Dakota at 8 p.m. ET & at 11 ET in Idaho & Washington: Here’s What Will Happen

By Al Giordano

Tomorrow’s Democratic primaries in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington state will be the first with the choices narrowed down to two: The Biden v. Sanders showdown.

On paper, this combination of states should be more favorable to Bernie Sanders than the rest of the country. In 2016, Sanders obtained 207 delegates to 162 for Hillary Clinton in these contests, overperforming his national delegate average by more than twenty percent.

The Michigan primary took on profound psychological importance to the 2016 nomination fight, when after trailing Hillary Clinton by 25 percent in the polls, Sanders rode a wave of higher than normal turnout by young voters and Independents with a push from Republican “Operation Chaos” voters that talk radio host Rush Limbaugh had urged to swamp the state’s Democratic primary to edge out a two-point Michigan win.

It was the hour in the 2016 primaries that Sanders, his back against the wall, achieved a moment of the sort that many of his supporters viewed as magical, a sign from the gods like those of a bird landing on his arena podium during that campaign or his survival of a heart attack last October. In the mystical cosmology of Sanders’ core constituency, surprise trumps math, media events erase data, a lucky draw from the tarot deck distracts – at least for a while – from the sinking feeling that what they call a “revolution” is hurtling toward certain defeat.

That’s why the Sanders campaign has bet it’s all on the 35 percent of 352 Democratic National Convention delegates to be determined tomorrow in Michigan, circling back to the scene of miracles past to try and relive past glories. Sanders has cancelled campaign rallies this week in Jackson, Mississippi and Kansas City, Missouri to barnstorm the Great Lakes State instead. He has forgone any rallies at all in Washington state where in 2016’s caucuses he won 71 percent of the vote and the single-largest delegate advantage he had achieved anywhere that year.

To the shores of Lake Superior, once known as the Shipwreck Coast in days of old when pirate ships marauded, where socialist union leader Walter Reuther turned the United Auto Workers into the engine of a unionized middle class and pursued a dream of making Detroit the “Arsenal of Democracy” where workers could rise by also manufacturing weapons of war, a struggling Bernie Sanders has returned to make his last stand…

(Welcome to Organize & Win: This was an excerpt from last night’s Issue #113 of Al Giordano’s América newsletter sent to subscribers with detailed advance projections of the results to come in today’s Democratic primaries in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington state. Subscribe today via this link with an $80 tax-deductible donation and we’ll get those projections and the rest of Issue #113 to your inbox before polls close – and send all future issues and projections throughout 2020 directly to you. The subscription comes with a free account here at for full access to all the content here, including your backstage pass to vote in our regular straw polls, and comment in the civilized subscriber forum during our debate-watch parties – another is coming up this weekend – and other live events. Knowledge is power in politics, in organizing and in life.)

You must be logged in to view this content. If you are not a member, register here!