Two Central New York political science professors say the Democratic primary is now a two-candidate race following the results from Super Tuesday. Shana Gadarian from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and Jonathan Parent from LeMoyne College spoke to Scott Willis in the studio as part of WAER’s 2020 Focus on Elections. Biden enjoyed a surge of support, but Gadarian says it’s still early to declare an official frontrunner.
"It's a really big part of the process; it doesn't mean the process is over. No one has a majority [of delgates] now; there are still a lot of states to go. But it is a signal, it seems to me, about how the party has basically gotten behind Biden, and thinking about what those dynamics are between Biden and Sanders are going to be going forward."
Gadarian says she’s surprised at how quickly the party establishment seemed to indicate to voters to get behind one candidate. Professor Jonathan Parent says it’s a contrast to the GOP primary in 2016.
"It seems like some lessons were learned on the democratic side in terms of some of the candidates that weren't going to end up being all that competitive dropping out earlier than was the case in the republican primary in 2016. That was probably on purpose and was probably a wise decision if the party itself wants to have more control over who the nominee is."
But there are still some big battleground states including Michigan, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio. With New York having the second-highest delegate count, Parent says it may be a factor in deciding the nominee.
"There's no way we can tell that now. It's going to depend how Biden does in Ohio and those other states. If he really walks away with that, obviously New York's importance is going to be diminished. If they split the delegates like they did in Texas and even California, then I think New York could certainly matter."
New York’s primary takes place April 28th, but the professors say it’s hard to tell whether or not New York voters will be as enthusiastic due to limited primary campaign activity in the state thus far.