At the time of this writing, the outcome of Super Tuesday Democratic Primary is not firmly decided. Maine, Texas and California are not yet decided, but they have substantial results, perhaps enough to make a prediction. Some patterns have begun to emerge in these last contests.
Keep in mind that NO states in the Democratic Primary are winner-take-all states. This means that although the rules in each state are different and vary in complexity, winning a state may not be worth a lot more than a close second.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has outperformed the most recent polls, sweeping a number of the southern stats and gaining a great many delegates. He won in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Massachusetts. He has a shot at Texas and Maine, but California seems to be Bernie territory.
Bernie Sanders so far has won Colorado, Utah and his home state of Vermont. But I predict he will emerge with the most delegates. He is running second in all of the states Biden has won, gaining well over the 15% mark in each. He is neck and neck with Biden in Texas, and well ahead in California, scoring Sanders 29.3%, Biden 19.5%, Bloomberg 17.5% at the moment (35% complete). While the rules in California are among the more complex in the nation, the number of delegates is huge and should more than make up any delegates Biden has earned in the other states. Bernie is helped a great deal by early vote, which came in before the most recent Biden surge. Bloomberg may actually be hurt by the same effect if voters today have shifted their interest from Bloomberg to Biden.
Warren won no states and appears to have hit the 15% mark only in Minnesota, Colorado, Utah and her home state of Massachusetts. Her campaign is toast, she will not likely maintain fundraising to continue the race.
Bloomberg has very few guaranteed delegates, however he did win American Samoa (6 delegates) and he hit the 15% mark in a number of states. In Texas, if his numbers hold, he could score about 35 delegates. If he manages the same in California, he could gain as many as 60 additional delegates. With all of the third place finishes, he could theoretically end up with over 150 delegates, a respectable finish, versus an approximate 500-600 delegates for each of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Remember, he can spend a billion dollars without breaking a sweat.
Update 10:15am: I was completely wrong on Bloomberg, it doesn’t appear that he will get to 15% in either California or Texas. Unless something drastic happens he is toast.
Update 10:45am: Bloomberg has dropped out.
Rumors abound that Bloomberg will reevaluate his campaign tomorrow. We Republicans, of course, want him to stay in the race to guarantee a brokered convention, which would really screw up the Democrats.
While CNN and MSNBC commentators are shocked and confused, Joe Biden’s rise should have been no surprise. The Biden campaign had been expecting to win South Carolina, and had been expecting to get momentum from it.
The real surprise was that Buttigieg, Klobuchar dropped out and, along with Beto O’Rourke, endorsed Joe Biden. This was a smart move in the DNC (not sure how it occurred, but clearly some carrots and sticks were displayed), and many people, including our own writers, had been saying it was necessary to consolidate the moderate vote. This was a massive boost to Biden because people who had planned to vote for Buttigieg, Klobuchar or Steyer were now intensely aware that they needed to make a new choice.
In tracking the Super Tuesday Democratic Primaries, I decided to listen to the banter on MSNBC, since Fox, my usual source of news, didn’t seem to care as much, and kept switching away.
I was actually surprised at the low intelligence and lack of understanding of the commentators there. All of the commentators seemed to lack an understanding of how polls work and how momentum works. MSNBC actually called the winner of one state with only 10% of the vote in.
And they cannot seem to help being blatantly biased. They were clearly rooting for Biden, with Bloomberg and Sanders set as bad guys. They repeated the mantra of Biden’s spectacular rebirth, cheerleading Biden on his early wins, not seeming to realize that the western states were likely to be carried big by Sanders.
I have even less faith in the polls now than I have in my skeptical past. The Real Clear Politics average of polls has some utility in seeing changes. But when you have, for example, 15 polls of President Trump’s approval rating varying from 5% to -15% (nationwide in the same time period), with a margin of error of 4%, you know that many of these companies have no idea what they were doing. And of course, a few days ago Biden was only marginally ahead in South Carolina and losing to Bernie in most states. Helen Keller could have seen this coming.