Former Vice President Joe Biden blew out Bernie Sanders in South Carolina, and his win provided some insight into where the primary could be going.
1). Joe Biden’s campaign is alive and well – Biden dominated the primary with African-American voters, which punched a hole in the idea that Sanders had expanded his appeal and coalition. The Biden campaign’s argument was that when the primary shifted to states that looked more like the composition of the Democratic Party, Biden would do very well. Biden matched or surpassed the scale of the Sanders victory in Nevada and showed that he might be the only moderate candidate with appeal to the rank and file who cast most of the primary who can be the nominee.
2). The Democratic primary is far from over – Bernie Sanders hasn’t fixed the weaknesses that plagued his campaign in 2016, and Super Tuesday just became a lot more complicated with Biden’s big win. Joe Biden is going to get a ton of free media out of his big win in South Carolina. The contest is split. The muddle scenario for Super Tuesday will involve multiple candidates in multiple states qualifying for delegates. If Klobuchar wins Minnesota and Warren wins Massachusetts along with multiple candidates qualifying in California, the party will be on course for a convention that will have no nominee heading into Milwaukee.
3). Biden versus Bloomberg – Mike Bloomberg has had two bad debates in a row. His poll numbers are sliding. Joe Biden is on the exact opposite path. The Bloomberg campaign thinks that they can win multiple states in the South on Super Tuesday, but if they don’t, it will be lights out for Bloomberg. A key beyond how many candidates qualify for delegates in California is the battle between Bloomberg and Biden in the South.
Joe Biden’s big win shows that the Democratic base is here, and they aren’t into Bernie Sanders.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association