Sen. Bernie Sanders announced April 8 that he would suspend his presidential campaign, making former Vice President Joe Biden the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party in the November general election.
While Sanders started strong, more or less tying in the Iowa caucuses and winning in New Hampshire, Vermont and Nevada, the tides turned when Biden won South Carolina with considerable support from Black voters. Biden solidified his lead on Super Tuesday after moderate candidates Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar simultaneously dropped out and endorsed him.
Biden also took Washington state and King County by a small margin the week before Super Tuesday, further hurting Sanders’ chances — he had won the state in 2016, before Washington ditched its caucuses, where Sanders excelled. That year, Hillary Clinton won the primary election but lost the caucus, which was how the state allocated delegates.
Caucuses are notoriously less representative than primaries because they require people to physically go to a caucus site and line up for their preferred candidate. This primary season, Nevada tried a hybrid model, allowing people to caucus in person as well as indicate their support remotely.
Sanders informed supporters of his decision in a live-streamed speech from his home in Vermont. He made it clear that while he was exiting the fight for the nomination, he would stay on future ballots to amass delegates and attempt to influence the party platform for the Democratic National Convention.
Although he could not secure the nomination this time, Sanders showed that ideas he supports, such as Medicare For All and the Green New Deal, are extremely popular, especially among young voters. He used his address to warn the Democratic Party: Pay attention to young voters’ leftward shift or risk losing the next generation of potential Democratic voters.
(Don’t) tax the rich
The Washington State Supreme Court refused to take up a case about Seattle’s tax on high-income individuals, dooming the measure for the time being.
The city’s attorneys lost at the appeals court level and asked the state Supreme Court to take another look in an effort to keep the legislation alive. However, the justices declined to review it.
City Councilmember Kshama Sawant derided the decision in an April 10 press release, calling it a “total abdication of responsibility.”
“It is an example of how the establishment and the institutions under capitalism primarily protect the greed of the wealthy, who have profited spectacularly at the expense of the vast majority of working people,” Sawant said.
The measure would have levied a 2.25 percent tax on individuals making more than $250,000 and couples making more than $500,000.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC.
Read more in the Apr. 15-21, 2020 issue.