A new Morning Consult poll shows Joe Biden leading the Democratic presidential field with 36%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 28%, Mike Bloomberg at 19% and Elizabeth Warren at 14%.
Biden is up 10 points since his victory in the South Carolina primary.
Using recent Data for Progress survey data, Harry Enten has found an average shift in the margin between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden of 14 percentage points towards Biden since the Nevada caucuses.
Some leaked campaign internal polling from two presidential campaigns suggest that the Biden Comeback Surge is real and that he is leading or is likely to win Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia tonight. Meanwhile, Sanders is likely to win California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Vermont and Utah. Massachusetts is a toss up between Biden, Warren and Sanders.
This is in line with the shocking movement in FiveThirtyEight’s forecast today: “Biden is now about twice as likely as Sanders to win a plurality of pledged delegates, according to our primary model, which gives him a 65 percent chance of doing so compared with a 34 percent chance for Sanders. This represents the culmination of a trend that has been underway in the model for about a week; it started to shift toward Biden once polls showed the potential for him to win big in South Carolina — and it anticipated a polling bounce in the Super Tuesday states if he did win big there.”
If Biden comes out of tonight with a pledged delegate lead, that is a remarkable turnaround, and that is what 538 is predicting, but we will have to wait and see:
NBC News exit polls show that 29% of Super Tuesday voters say they picked a candidate in just the last few days.
“The share of voters making late decisions is of particular interest this year, as two candidates — Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar — dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden in the 48 hours before polls opened across the country.”
A new Boston Globe/Suffolk poll in Massachusetts finds Rep. Joseph Kennedy is leading Sen. Edward Markey in the Democratic contest for Senate, 42% to 36%.
Gabriel Sherman: “After Joe Biden’s decisive victory in South Carolina on Saturday, Mike Bloomberg’s campaign advisers lobbied Bloomberg to drop out of the race and endorse Biden before Super Tuesday, four sources briefed on the internal conversations said. Some of the sources said that campaign manager Kevin Sheekey and other top campaign officials argued to Bloomberg that the best chance of beating Donald Trump in November would be for Bloomberg to exit the race to bolster Biden’s candidacy as Biden battles with Bernie Sanders for the nomination.”
Said one Bloomberg adviser: “There is a prevailing view Mike should drop out.”
“Campaign officials are privately frustrated that Bloomberg rejected their advice to drop out and pour their resources into helping Biden.” Said an adviser: “Mike is a data guy, and he’s looking at the numbers thinking, I’ll be damned if I walk away before a single vote is cast for me.”
“Mike Bloomberg insisted on Tuesday that his ongoing presidential campaign would not end up boosting Sen. Bernie Sanders’s left-wing campaign by splitting the vote of more moderate Democrats,” Politico reports. Said Bloomberg: “I’m not helping Bernie Sanders. I’m trying to help myself.”
If the results play out as expected above, I predict that Bloomberg will leave the race by Wednesday.
Mike Bloomberg told the Associated Press that his only path to the nomination is through a convention fight and suggested he may not win any states on Super Tuesday. Said Bloomberg: “You don’t have to win states, you have to win delegates.” He also suggested that no one will get a majority of delegates and “then you go to a convention, and we’ll see what happens. I don’t think that I can win any other way.”
Likewise, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s aides suggest their most viable path to the Democratic nomination “is by prevailing in a contested Democratic convention, which would be a historical rarity if it happens,” the Boston Globe reports.
“A crucial test of their strategy will come Tuesday, as voters head to the polls in 14 states. Warren’s advisers believe they can break the 15 percent threshold they need to amass delegates in several states — particularly California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and possibly Maine — and that the resulting delegate pile will be enough to keep her in the hunt in a fractured field.”
Matthew Yglesias: “Her supporters feel somewhat baffled: How did she evaporate from the top tier of contention, especially since so many of the people they know also like her?”
“There are specific tactical decisions (by both her campaign and her rivals) that brought her to this point. But a larger context to understand is that if you, like many of my friends, find the situation puzzling, that is probably because you know a lot of people who are demographically similar to yourself. I’m a highly educated white person, and most of my friends and acquaintances are also highly educated white people. Elizabeth Warren is very popular with people like us.”
“The reality is that there aren’t that many people like us — and there’s a valuable lesson in that, not just about the Warren campaign specifically but about some of the larger dynamics in American politics.”
This is totally me. I am a white college educated voter, and I support Elizabeth Warren. I have some crazy communist friends over at Delaware Leftist that support Bernie, and everyone else I know who is normal is/was supporting Warren or Buttigieg with Biden the Plan B.
“Officials at the Democratic National Committee have begun to plan for the possibility that their July convention in Milwaukee may be scuttled or dramatically upended because of the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus,” the Daily Beast reports.
“Discussions over what to do if coronavirus makes it difficult, if not impossible, for delegates and the public to come to the convention have been mostly informal up until this week. But two top Democrats said they expected far more serious planning to begin in haste as infections and deaths accumulate and experts warn the virus will spread in the United States and, potentially, seriously disrupt travel and commerce.”
Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile told Fox News that RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel can “go to hell” over her allegation that the Democratic primaries will be “rigged” against Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Said Brazile: “For people to use Russian talking points to sow division among Americans is stupid. So Ronna, go to hell! This is not about … go to Hell! I’m tired of it!”
“Sen. Tom Cotton is headed to New Hampshire, the nation’s first primary state, to cultivate support for a potential 2024 president bid, planning to campaign for a Republican Senate candidate and raise money for the party,” the Washington Examiner reports.
Ron Brownstein: “The groups that have most favored the senator from Vermont in the Democratic presidential race are much more widely distributed than the groups that have resisted him across the 14 states that will vote on Super Tuesday, an exclusive congressional district by district analysis has found.”
“Latinos and non-college-educated whites, who have tilted solidly toward Sanders, constitute a critical mass of the eligible voting age population in a much wider range of districts than, college-educated whites and African Americans, who have been more skeptical of him.”
Playbook: “This primary is going to go clear through the month of March. It will take time for California to post full results, and the next two Tuesdays have critical primaries for both candidates. March 10 has Michigan, where Sanders is hoping to do well, and Mississippi and Missouri, where Biden thinks he has a good chance.”
“Arizona — where Sanders heads Thursday — votes March 17, as does Florida. There, the central question will be: When does Mike Bloomberg get out, and does he throw his weight behind Biden? Bloomberg has about 25% of the vote in Florida, and his endorsement could bolster Biden, who leads in some polling we’ve seen.”
“Of course, though, a big night tonight could put Sanders on the precipice of the nomination.”
New York Times: “Now, as voters head to the polls on Super Tuesday, Ms. Warren’s campaign has all but admitted her pathway to winning the Democratic nomination outright has vanished. She enters March seeking to accumulate delegates for a potential contested convention and is most realistically hunting for them in more educated enclaves, like Seattle and Denver, where she recently held rallies and is investing heavily in advertising.”
“In many ways, the arc of the Warren candidacy is the story of her cornering an upscale demographic early, only to become confined to it, and then lose her grip on it.”
New York Times: “He gleefully repeated recent misstatements by Mr. Biden, including his confusion over names and states, his statement that he was a candidate for the Senate, his reference to Tuesday’s primaries as ‘Super Thursday’ and his head-spinning comment that 150 million Americans have been killed by guns since 2007.”
Said Trump: “That means 50 percent of our country! That’s a big story!’ ‘Sleepy Joe, he doesn’t even know where he is or what he’s doing or what office he’s running for. Honestly, I don’t think he knows what office he’s running for.”
Trump said if Biden won, his staff would actually do the governing: “They’re going to put him into a home, and other people are going to be running the country,’ the president said, ‘and they’re going to be super-left, radical crazies. And Joe’s going to be in a home and he’ll be watching television.”
If Bloomberg wins no delegates Super Tuesday I’m predicting he couldn’t win a brokered convention even if he put the keys to a new vehicle under each delegates’ chair Oprah-style. If he stays in through the end, he might get a pile of enough delegates to swing to a preferred candidate, but that is a longer shot now than when he got in this thing.
At this rate, there will be no brokered or contested convention. Biden is at this moment the delegate leader and he might emerge at the end of the night with that lead. That would have been insane to think of just a week ago.