Two new polls of Nevada and South Carolina show Hillary Clinton leading Sen. Bernie Sanders by 50 and 22 points without Joe Biden included in each state.
The CNN/ORC poll found that without Biden in the race Clinton leads Sanders 70%-20% in South Carolina, and 58%-36% in Nevada. African-American voters make up the majority of the primary electorate in South Carolina, and Bernie Sanders is struggling to get their support. Black voters support Clinton 84%-7% without Biden in the race. Clinton leads Sanders among whites 48%-47%.
With Clinton also leading in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll of Iowa by 11 points, a clear picture of the race is beginning to emerge. Despite his campaign’s best efforts, Sen. Sanders has been unsuccessful in attracting African-American and Hispanic Democratic primary voters in South Carolina and Nevada.
Hillary Clinton is looking like the clear leader in the Democratic primary right now. Nothing has helped Hillary Clinton more than House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s admission that the Benghazi investigation is intended to destroy the Democratic frontrunner. Hillary Clinton went on the attack against Republicans, the negative mainstream media coverage of her campaign vanished, and her poll numbers went up.
The path to the Democratic nomination for Bernie Sanders has always been to win early and often. If Sanders loses three of the first four states, there is no clear path to the nomination for him. Hillary Clinton will be strong in the big delegate states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, New York, Florida, and California.
So far, Sen. Sanders has not been able to expand his base of support beyond white male progressives. The problem for the Sanders camp is that the majority in the Democratic Party is a coalition of women, African-Americans, and Hispanics. Sanders has been discussing immigration reform, criminal justice reform, and his plan to increase African American employment on the campaign trail, but his efforts have yet to yield results.
With less than four months until voters go to the polls, Sen. Sanders will need strong showings in the Democratic debates, and a little bit of luck (a Joe Biden run) to be in a position to challenge for frontrunner status. If Biden does not run, Hillary Clinton is currently firmly in the driver’s seat to capture the Democratic nomination.