Dublin, Ireland will join 14 US states today with polls open on the largest primary voting day in US history. A polling station will be open from 5-8pm in the Arlington Hotel at 25 Bachelors Walk in the very centre of Dublin City. California and Texas have moved their primaries to what was already the busiest day on the primary calendar, in what now is a four horse race for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. In a head spinning turn both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar quit the race in the last 48 hours and both appeared at separate events last night in Dallas to endorse former VP Joe Biden following his strong showing in the South Carolina Primary on Saturday. This was seen as a move to unite moderate Democrats behind Biden in order to take on the current front runner Bernie Sanders, who is leading in both delegates and polls coming into Super Tuesday. Sanders is holding large rallies wherever he campaigns demonstrating his ability to capitalise on his organization and name recognition following his failed campaign of 2016.
Among the swift turn of events is the wild card campaign of former NY City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent over $500 million thus far campaigning and advertising in Super Tuesday states and nationally. Bloomberg entered the race in order to be a viable moderate after Biden stumbled in early debates and his polling began to fall. Bloomberg is now in the bizarre position of splitting the moderate Democratic vote with Biden, thereby enabling Sanders to win more delegates and states, precisely the opposite of why he entered the race.
Adding to all of this is the outsized scale of this Super Tuesday: both California and Texas have moved up their primaries in a bid to be more relevant. Their delegate counts are massive, with California alone having over 20% of the delegates needed for nomination at 415, and Texas over 10% at 228. Democrats Abroad will be operating voting centres from New Zealand to Panama, including a polling station on Bachelors Walk in the heart of Dublin. This is not a straw poll- votes cast in Dublin send delegates to the Democratic National Convention, held in Milwaukee in July. Every delegate is being fought for given the tightness of the race thus far. Democrats Abroad is a state committee within the Democratic Party of the United States.
“We are seeing unprecedented registrations on a daily basis,” says DA Ireland’s Vice Chair Carija Ihus. “This is outstripping what we saw in 2008 between Barack and Hillary and 2016 with Bernie and Hillary. We thought those were real outliers, as the nomination has often been sown up after New Hampshire, but it seems part of the times we live in for elections to hold big surprises. Biden was the unstoppable front runner six months ago, a spent force six weeks ago, and perhaps the front runner again as of this morning. And the biggest surprise for Democrats Abroad is the vast spread of the registrations- Kerry, Donegal, a lot of Galway. They’re outnumbering Dublin registrations the last week. We’re expecting record turnout at our Dublin polling station.”
Only Democrats take account of Americans living overseas, cultivating voters in what have been razor thin margins in recent US elections. Estimates of US citizens living in Ireland vary from 50k to 100k.
Democrats Abroad will operate an additional Ballot Assistance event in Galway in McGinn’s Hop House on Woodquay from 12-4pm this Saturday 7th of March. Those unable to attend in person in either Dublin or Galway are encouraged to cast ballots by email or post by going to www.democratsabroad.org – all ballots must be emailed or posted on or before March 10th.
Democrats Abroad Ireland is a Country Committee of Democrats Abroad, an official arm of the Democratic Party of the United States. Democrats Abroad works to engage American citizens abroad through meetings, events, and forums throughout Ireland.