The big money, big name recognition candidates do better in primary elections than in caucuses. When Obama ran against Clinton 12 years ago, Clinton tended to beat him in primary election states, and Obama did better in caucuses. But back in 2004, Democrats had 23 states doing a caucus primary election. This has dwindled to 10 caucuses in 2020.
Is this a problem? You bet it is.
Candidate Biden has big name recognition, but when people in early voting states look at him closely, they don’t support him. Biden has essentially no chance to win in Iowa and New Hampshire. He’s running fourth in both states. Democrats in those states are paying more attention to the candidates than the general public at large. They have kicked Biden’s tires, and are not buying.
Same can be said about candidate Bloomberg. The billionaire candidate is skipping the early states completely, betting on big TV and Facebook ads in Super Tuesday states, voting March 3rd. That strategy works because, again, the electorate in Super Tuesday does not not scrutinize candidates in retail, Town Hall style meetings. Money can really tip the balance on Super Tuesday.
And, this cycle, California has moved its vote on March 3rd.
So what is the lesson in all this? A lot fewer caucuses, a lot less influence for small-time party activists who usually tip the balance in caucuses – an advantage for candidates with big pockets or sitting atop a well established party hierarchy. Primary elections seem more democratic than caucuses, but voters are less informed, and reform candidates find it more difficult to pierce through.
If it wasn’t for the dwindling number of caucus elections, likely Bloomberg would not be running, and quite possibly Biden would have long dropped off.