New York board of election Democrats voted Monday to effectively cancel the state’s Democratic presidential primary, which had been bumped to June 23rd, out of an abundance of caution due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in which nearly 292,000 NY residents have tested positive to date, and over 17,000 have died.
Though Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Democratic party claim they did not ask the board to consider canceling the presidential primary, NY’s Democratic party chair stated that he agreed with the decision to do so:
New York Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs has said that the cancellation of the state’s presidential primary would mean a lower expected turnout and a reduced need for polling places.
“It just makes so much sense given the extraordinary nature of the challenge,” Jacobs said last week.
The original primary date was April 28th, but it was changed a month ago to June by Cuomo due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
Congressional and state-level primaries are still on for June 23rd.
The Sanders campaign went nuclear over the development – not just because it meant less delegates and therefore less sway over the agenda at the August Democratic National Convention, but also because they believe it will set precedent for President Trump to try and postpone the general election:
“The decision by the State of New York Board of Elections is an outrage, a blow to American democracy, and must be overturned by the (Democratic National Committee),” Sanders campaign adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement. “Just last week Vice President Biden warned the American people that President Trump could use the current crisis as an excuse to postpone the November
election. Well, he now has a precedent thanks to New York state.”
Weaver said that the state had violated its approved delegate selection plan and should lose its delegates to the national convention if “this is not remedied.”
Read Weaver’s full statement below:
Our campaign statement on the New York State Board of Elections decision to cancel the state’s presidential primary: pic.twitter.com/BzylNaqCaS
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 27, 2020
When all else fails, blame Trump. And when you can’t do that successfully, you can blame him for something that hasn’t even happened yet and for which there is no evidence whatsoever to support the speculation that he will.
But could there also be second angle to the Sanders campaign’s apoplectic outrage over the decision? Hot Air’s John Sexton speculates:
The Sanders campaign is well aware that Joe Biden is now under the gun because of sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade. This weekend the hashtag #DropOutBiden was trending on Twitter and while she didn’t adopt the hashtag, Bernie’s former spokesperson was pointing out that there was still a way to remedy the “mistake” of selecting Biden.
So the Bernie people are well aware of what is happening to the Biden campaign right now and they are well aware that Bernie is the most credible alternative given his 2nd place finish overall. Canceling the New York primary makes it harder to allow Democrats to have a change of heart which might give Bernie some kind of opening to return to the field. Instead this decision just seals the conclusion that this is over. Maybe it was already too late for that but I suspect based on the news today you’re going to hear from a lot more Democrats wondering if there isn’t some way to reverse course.
Considering how Sanders and his supporters feel like the 2016 Democratic presidential primary was “stolen” from them due to DNC meddling, this is a very intriguing possibility, with a lot of it depending on where the Tara Reade allegations against Biden go.