The 2020 Democratic presidential primary has been continuing in the midst of the ongoing global Coronavirus outbreak. On Monday, Democrats Abroad — which is “the official arm of the Democratic Party for Americans living overseas,” CNN explains — announced that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had won the 2020 Democrats Abroad primary, in which he was also victorious in 2016 when he faced eventual nominee Hillary Clinton. This time, he secured 57.9 percent of the vote to just 22.7 percent of the vote for former Vice President Joe Biden. That translates into 9 convention delegates for Sanders and 4 for Biden.
This time around, voters in 180 countries cast their ballots as part of the Democrats Abroad primary — that’s right, 180. The organization adds that turnout this year was the highest that it has ever been for the contest, which includes a full 15 percent jump from 2016 alone. That mirrors the significant spike in Democratic turnout in other Democratic primaries this cycle, which suggests that Democrats are excited for the possibility of taking on Donald Trump in the general election. In Virginia alone, which Biden won, turnout almost doubled compared to 2016. In 2016, about 780,000 votes were cast — this year, votes totaled over 1.3 million.
It's outrageous that he had to wait 7 hours to vote. I parked right in front of my polling site, walked in and voted without waiting for even a second. And Virginia turnout was nearly double what it was in 2016. Making people wait is a strategy of corrupt and racist politicians. https://t.co/bIEb1zqw3d
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) March 4, 2020
Amanda Mohar, the communications director for Democrats Abroad, shared:
‘Americans abroad are consistently a very blue voting bloc, and the turnout we’ve seen during the primary, as well as in voter turnout of general elections in 2016 and 2018, reflect that. Our voters believe in affordable healthcare and education, and a government that looks after its people — both those citizens at home and abroad.’
Although Sanders has been faced with a rising delegate count held by Joe Biden, his victory in the Democrats Abroad primary indicates how his ideas will persist. And he’s been doing plenty of the work to show it — throughout recent days, as the Coronavirus pandemic has raged, he’s been holding live broadcasts in which he’s discussed the need to care for America’s workers in the wake of the virus’s rise.
His proposals that he’s unveiled include $2,000 monthly checks for Americans across the board. Republicans have also acknowledged the place for direct checks to Americans in the midst of the massive unemployment wrought by the Coronavirus’s economic upheaval, but their proposals have been smaller. Sanders has also insisted that authorities “must suspend rent and mortgage payments, evictions, and foreclosures across the country.”
We must suspend rent and mortgage payments, evictions, and foreclosures across the country. We cannot abandon our people and allow families to be thrown out of their homes during a pandemic. https://t.co/TkAbdwz9ie
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 23, 2020
Sanders has commented:
‘The most important thing that anybody can do and that the progressive movement can do is to make sure that working people get the protection that they need… I’m going to use every tool that I have to make sure that that happened.’
“I'm going to use every tool that I have to make sure that that happened," he said, seeming to reference the campaign event, which was a livestream talking about coronavirus with his top surrogates
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 23, 2020
Although some have complained about the Senate process, the chamber is controlled by a Republican majority, so any Democratic proposal has an uphill battle, not just those that Sanders has proposed. Over the weekend, an initial vote to move forward on a Coronavirus relief funding package failed when Democrats refused to get on board with boosts for big business that were included at the apparent expense of working class people who are suffering.
The President is no longer even pretending not to own and profit from his business. And he seems to be betting that people are so used to it that they won't blink at the ultimate conflict – the President orchestrating a taxpayer bailout of his businesses.https://t.co/HzKEDGcfmu
— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) March 23, 2020