The results in South Carolina were predictable. Black voters dominated the primary after Jim Clyburn (D-SC) rallied his followers to give Joe Biden a big victory that may have saved his campaign. But is South Carolina representative of the rest of the nation? Hardly.
The fact is that Biden can’t win the election by drawing only on people of color and blue-collar workers. In fact, he won’t even be able to find a plurality in most other states with such limited support. It’s true that Buttigieg’s followers will likely flock to Biden after the former dropped out of the race. This should strengthen Biden going into the Super Tuesday extravaganza this week.
When you assess the Democratic primary short and long term, you can imagine any number of scenarios. First of all, the polls could be misleading. Voters are unpredictable and confused. The choices are so radical (politically) that voter turnout and momentum could move in any direction.
Sanders’ opponents are struggling to prevent the current favorite from scoring a pre-convention victory. All they need to do is keep Sanders from obtaining 50% plus 1 delegates going into Milwaukee. This goal seems eminently achievable, so long as the field of Democrats doesn’t shrink any further. If Warren drops out, her supporters would likely flood to Sanders. If Klubochar gives up, her delegates would likely split between Biden and Bloomberg. If Biden falls to the sideline, Sanders will probably be the nominee.
Another x-factor is something that has not been given much press to this point. The Democratic establishment still has a lot of stroke and can influence the outcome of the primary convention drastically.
For instance, it can create a convention rule that definitively states that a nominee must have a majority, not just a plurality, to win. If Sanders has 45% on the first ballot and the other contenders split the remaining delegates, he may fall off in subsequent ballots, as delegates are free to vote as they see fit. Party bigwigs would broker the convention. Many of these people are establishment hacks who don’t believe Sanders can defeat Trump in the general election.
Another wild card is the staying power of Sanders’ supporters. Many are very young and not so dependable. Are they really committed to socialism, especially if so many who oppose Sanders will be critical of it every day until the election? And, will young people who support Sanders in polls actually turn out on Election Day?
In the meantime, Bloomberg is waiting in the weeds. Intuitively, he believes Sanders is going to be thrashed in the general election. Mike needs to make America understand that a crazy, old, tired and historically ineffective socialist lawmaker from Vermont will be no match for Trump. The latter is the master of the Internet and king of large political rallies. Trump is the prototype of a 21st Century politician, excluding his obnoxious personality. Bloomberg is going to spend more and more money exposing Sanders’ vulnerabilities.
The bottom line is that Sanders will not accrue a majority of delegates before the first round of voting at the convention. Biden will fizzle out or step on his own toes or say something really stupid that will disqualify him. This will be Bloomberg’s moment.
You should anticipate that Trump is going to snipe on the Democrats as they fumble their way to Milwaukee. Another McGovern landslide loss is in the making.