Elizabeth Warren has dropped out after finishing third in her home state of Massachusetts. This is no surprise as she really had no path to winning the nomination. The question becomes what is the impact. She is a progressive so should help Bernie Sanders a bit, but unlike Sanders still more establishment and also wanted major reforms of capitalism not replacing it altogether. On the political spectrum, she is definitely on the left for Democrats but not as far left as Bernie Sanders. Also she appealed a lot to upper middle class suburban college educated whites who Sanders has struggled amongst so should help Sanders but only a small boost. Michigan next week is the big one and if Sanders cannot win there it will be tough to win the nomination. In Florida the week after, Sanders is likely to face a drubbing and week after that you have Georgia the week after which with its large African-American population will likely be a Biden landslide too.
The Conservative race here at home looked like a snoozer and a MacKay coronation but that might have changed today. Today Jason Kenney endorsed Erin O’Toole. This will give O’Toole a huge boost but whether it is enough to win outright or not cannot say. It should help him in Alberta since although Kenney’s approval ratings are negative there, most who dislike Kenney are not Conservative party members. Likewise in rest of Canada, much the same, Kenney disliked by centrists and progressives, but again they are not voting in leadership race. Still while this makes it more competitive, it by no means guarantees he wins it. Personally I think O’Toole has had fewer errors and run a smoother campaign, but worry his move to the right will hurt him amongst the key swing voters the party needs to win. Unlike him, I don’t believe you can run on a strongly conservative platform in Canada and win. We are too urban, too educated, too diverse and millennials are mostly left wing so to counter weakness there you have to win bigger amongst boomers who are more centrist. One need not be Liberal lite, but cannot be too conservative. Like it or not, Canada is more left wing than 10 or 20 years ago so with the Liberals being further left, there is still lots of room in the centre as opposed to say in 90s when Liberals were more centrists. Parties have to adapt to public mood to win and pulling the country to the right is going to be a long slow process, but first have to win before it can even start. At the same time from what I have heard, O’Toole’s French is better than MacKay’s and that is one asset as while I believe MacKay is more electable in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and BC; his weak French might be an albatross in Quebec and it will be very tough to win a majority without Quebec.