Sanders top choice of American Democrats in Thailand: partial primary results

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Bloomberg, Joe Biden. Photos: Gage Skidmore
Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Bloomberg, Joe Biden. Photos: Gage Skidmore

Update March 24: Official results out have Sanders winning the Democrats Abroad primary with 58% of nearly 40,000 votes, followed by Biden (23%) and Warren (14%). Nine of 13 pledged delegates will go to Sanders; four to Biden.

Bernie Sanders may be written off as toast in the horse race that is the battle for the U.S. Democratic Party nomination, but don’t tell that to progressives living in Thailand.

The U.S. senator from Vermont and self-described Democratic Socialist got more than double the votes in Thailand as former Vice President Joe Biden in the recently concluded primary held by Democrats Abroad, according to partial results available.

“Democrats abroad tend to be fairly left wing,” said Phil Robertson, former chairman of the group’s Thai chapter. “In 2016, we also had a global presidential primary that was basically Hillary vs. Bernie. Bernie wiped the floor with Hillary, and that was pretty much the case around the world.”

The preliminary results could fluctuate significantly as they did not include online votes at a time many stayed home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The virus certainly took a toll on the people turning out,” Robertson said of a turnout he said was modest but enthusiastic.

“It went pretty smoothly; people were pretty excited to turn out,” he added. “A lot of people were reflecting on the need to defeat Trump. A lot of people were trying to game that out in their heads. You had some people who were very clear about who they wanted to have and not have.”

He said the Sanders campaign even had poll observers at one of several voting sessions last week. 

Of those who came out to vote, Robertson said 198 chose Sanders, 96 voted for Biden, 59 for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, seven for former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, four for Tulsi Gabbard, two for Andrew Yang and 1 each for Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

All of those candidates but for Sanders, Biden and Gabbard have dropped out of the race. Sanders went from front-runner to underdog on March 3, aka Super Tuesday, when Biden came back from behind to win more delegates at stake. Democrats Abroad held their voting from March 3 through this past Tuesday.

Final results will be announced March 23. After they are certified, it will decide who gets the 13 pledged delegates meant to go to the party’s July nominating convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Many are predicting the convention will be canceled due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

The Democratic Party treats all overseas Americans as a constituency during its primary. The Republican Party does not hold an overseas primary.

American voters can visit and complete a registration wizard to get an absentee ballot to vote in the November election.


‘Super Tuesday’ has just begun for U.S. Democrats in Thailand. Here’s where to vote.

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