Michigan, first justice of the peace in the Democratic primary

Former Vice President Joe Biden at a rally in Detroit, Michigan on March 9.
Former Vice President Joe Biden at a rally in Detroit, Michigan on March 9. MANDEL NGAN / AFP

While the Iowa caucus, the first leg of the Democratic nomination contest for the presidential election of November 3, was held on February 3, "Le Monde" launches its campaign logbook. A daily update, five days a week until September, with campaign facts, political advertisements, polls, maps and figures that allow you to follow and experience the most important electoral competition in the world.

It remains to allocate 62% of the delegates who will nominate the Democratic candidate for the presidential election in November, but the primary scheduled for Tuesday March 10 in Michigan already looks like a go-to for Bernie Sanders. Slightly outdistanced for the moment by Joe Biden in number of delegates, the senator from Vermont must absolutely take it to this "rust belt" state to keep his chances.

By beating the favorite Hillary Clinton in 2016, Bernie Sanders had managed to relaunch her campaign. This year again, after a Super Tuesday dominated by the former vice-president of Barack Obama, the senator is not entitled to defeat. Among the other states to vote on Tuesday, two changed their method of designation by replacing their caucuses (electoral assemblies) with a classic primary: Washington State and Idaho. Four years ago, helped by his solid field organization, Bernie Sanders had widened a gap that will be more difficult to reproduce on Tuesday. He is therefore all the more dependent on the 125 delegates at stake in Michigan.

The latest polls published Monday March 9, before the Michigan Democratic primary, all give Joe Biden a clear lead ahead of Bernie Sanders, on his streak of Super Tuesday, March 3. The 2016 precedent, however, calls for caution. The last three polls published at that time had all been extremely favorable to the favorite Hillary Clinton. On polling day, however, she was a short head behind the Vermont senator (49.8% versus 48.3%).

After Michigan, the nomination contest promises to be difficult for the senator. His nuanced positions on the regime of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro were very badly received in Florida (219 delegates), who will vote on March 17 and who has a large Cuban diaspora, including among the Democratic ranks.

He is currently behind in Illinois (155 delegates) and the African-American vote should also favor Joe Biden in Mississippi on Tuesday, then in Georgia (105 delegates) on March 24, as in Louisiana on 4 April. On Monday, the former vice-president campaigned in Michigan, supported by two former African-American nomination contestants: Senator Kamala Harris (California) and her colleague Cory Booker (New Jersey), who brought the same day support for Joe Biden.


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