South Carolina Democratic primary: live commentary

Live commentary on today’s South Carolina primary, where Joe Biden has surged back to a big poll lead.  Guest post by Adrian Beaumont.   The main general discussion thread is here.

10:49am Tuesday Overnight, Amy Klobuchar also dropped out.  She and Buttigieg will endorse Biden at a rally today.  Biden has risen in California, and is likely to easily meet the 15% threshold for statewide delegates.  The FiveThirtyEight forecast now shows a tossup between Sanders and Biden as to who wins more delegates.

10:45am Monday Pete Buttigieg has quit the presidential race.  This is likely to help Biden, as Buttigieg was one of the moderates.  Without such a crowded field, non-Sanders candidates are more likely to get over the 15% threshold in California, hurting Sanders’ delegate haul.

4:30pm With all precincts reporting, Biden wins by 48.4-19.9.  There were almost 528,000 Democratic votes cast in South Carolina.

3:11pm In the FiveThirtyEight forecast, there is a 60% chance that nobody wins a pledged delegate majority, followed by Sanders at a 28% chance and Biden 11%.  The chance of a delegate plurality is Sanders 64%, Biden 32%.

3:03pm With 96% reporting, Sanders has hit 20%, but Biden has almost 49%.  Over 500,000 votes now in SC, which makes it the largest turnout increase of any state so far, according to Nate Cohn.

2:05pm With 87% reporting, Biden leads by 28.6% in the SC popular vote.  The Green Papers has Sanders gaining two delegates for a 38-16 Biden delegate split.  If only two candidates are viable, as in SC, then half-delegates are the crucial line.  A candidate who is just over half a delegate gets the full delegate, while if they’re just under, they get no delegate.  On the latest results, Biden’s remaining vote fell below a half-delegate in one Congressional District and statewide.

Sorry if the above explanation is confusing!

1:50pm It’s a dismal showing for Buttigieg, Warren and Klobuchar.  Buttigieg has 8%, Warren 7% and Klobuchar just 3%.

1:38pm I recommend The Green Papers for tracking delegate counts.  They currently have Biden winning SC’s 54 delegates by 40-14 over Sanders.  After four states, Sanders still leads the delegate count over Biden by 58-53 with 26 for Buttigieg.  But remember only 4% have been awarded so far!

1:32pm With 69% reporting, Biden has a 105,000 popular vote lead over Sanders in SC.  That’s enough to give him the overall popular vote lead after four states have reported.  Also, Tom Steyer has dropped out of the Democratic nomination contest.

1:17pm With 57% of E-day votes in, it’s Biden 50%, Sanders 19%, Steyer 12%.

12:43pm With 27% of Election Day precincts in, Biden leads Sanders by 52-18 with 12% for Tom Steyer.

12:20pm With 9% of Election Day precincts in, it’s Biden 53%, Sanders 17%, Steyer 12%.  Sanders’ numbers are creeping up as more Election Day vote is counted.

12:12pm NY Times analyst Nate Cohn tweets that Sanders is doing much better on Election Day than postal votes in the ten precincts that have reported both.

12:09pm With 5% of election day precincts reporting, Sanders is up to 15.5%, above the 15% threshold for statewide delegates.

12:07pm Sanders had a big win in last Saturday’s Nevada caucus, but it was Biden who surged before SC.  So the big SC Biden win won’t necessarily help him on Super Tuesday.

11:52am The vote we’ve got so far is mostly postal votes.  Only five election-day precincts are in.  Sanders will hope he does better when more of the election-day vote comes in.

11:45am So far just two counties in initial results – York and Greenfield – where Sanders is above 15%.

11:33am So far, Sanders is at less than 15% in all counties reporting.  If that persists, he would be shut out of delegates.

11:25am First actual results have Biden with 70%, Tom Steyer at 14% and Sanders just 10%.

11:05am Biden CALLED the winner by CNN based on exit polls.  He has a 60-17 lead over Sanders with black voters, who made up 56% of the electorate, slightly down from 61% in 2016.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at the University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Polls in South Carolina close today at 11am AEDT.  It’s a primary, not a caucus, so it is handled by the state’s election authorities.  Shortly before the Nevada caucus, the RealClearPolitics poll average had Joe Biden’s lead over Bernie Sanders down to just three points.  But in the last week, Biden has pulled away again, and now leads Sanders by 12.5 points.  There is large variation in the Biden leads, from four points to 21 in individual polls.

Another favourable point for Biden is that in the last two contested Democratic primaries (2008 and 2016), polls in South Carolina greatly understated the victory margin for the candidate with more black support (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton).

In national polls, Sanders has 29.5%, Biden 18.4%, Mike Bloomberg 15.5%, Elizabeth Warren 12.1%, Pete Buttigieg 10.5% and Amy Klobuchar 5.0%.  Bloomberg and Klobuchar are down on last week, while Biden is up a little.  If Biden has a big victory in South Carolina, will that boost him enough to be competitive with Sanders?

As of South Carolina, only 155 pledged delegates, or 4% of the total of 3,979, will be allocated.  The biggest day of the primaries is three days later.  On Wednesday AEDT, 14 states vote, and 1,357 delegates (34% of the total) are allocated.  The largest delegate prizes are California (415 pledged delegates) and Texas (229).  Polls close from 11am to 3pm AEDT.

Democratic delegates are awarded proportionally, but with a high 15% threshold applied at both the state and Congressional District (CD) level.  So if a candidate is just below the 15% threshold in a large state, that candidate is likely to win CD delegates from variation in their vote share.

In the RealClearPolitics Super Tuesday averages, Sanders has 32.5% in California, followed by Warren at 15.3%, Biden 12.5%, Bloomberg 10.8% and Buttigieg 9.5%.  If this occurs, it will be a BIG delegate haul for Sanders from California.  However, US polls include undecided voters, so it may not be that bad for the non-Sanders candidates. In Texas, Sanders has 26.0%, Biden 20.0%, Bloomberg 18.7% and Warren 13.3%.  Biden needs a major boost from South Carolina to stop Sanders getting a large delegate lead in three days.

One complication for Sanders is that California takes four weeks to fully count all its votes.  Votes counted after Election Day skew heavily left.  Based on Election Day counts, the media could say Sanders had a disappointing night, and this narrative could impact his chances in later March states.

The only reason that Donald Trump has a realistic chance of re-election is the good US economy.  The coronavirus-caused stock market rout last week is bad news for Trump.  If the economy falters on an issue that draws attention to the US healthcare system, Trump’s ratings are likely to fall, and his re-election chances will deteriorate.

288 comments on “South Carolina Democratic primary: live commentary”

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  1. Hillary Clinton at shorter odds on the nomination than Elizabeth Warren is crazy town. I mean, neither of them are going to get it, but Warren is at least in the race.

  2. Simon Katich @ #196 Monday, March 2nd, 2020 – 12:13 pm

    She’s got no hope and she should admit it to herself.

    You are just bummed ’cause your lad went out.

    That’s a really scummy thing to say. But then, you don’t seem able to admit that Amy Klobuchar has peaked and the only way is down and out of the race for her.

    I just watched Pete Buttigieg’s speech as he bowed out of the race, and he was gracious, thoughtful, and realistic. He said he had no path to the nomination any more and so it was his decision to acknowledge this because the most important thing is beating Trump and not having the Democrats select someone from the fringes by default. Amy Klobuchar should do the same.

  3. With a healthy economy, skyrocketing stockmarket, and low unemployment, Trump was favoured to win re-election. Trump’s numbers were being boosted by a buoyant economy, with consumers feeling confident. That could change very soon (if it hasn’t already). The US economy is being held up by domestic consumption – the manufacturing sector is not doing so great (thanks to Trump’s tariffs). If consumer confidence falls, so does the US economy, and Trump is in real trouble.
    If the US economy goes to crap, as the VP of the President who got the US out of the GFC, Biden has a ready-made meme. He has another reason to milk his association with Obama.

  4. That’s a really scummy thing to say. But then, you don’t seem able to admit that Amy Klobuchar has peaked and the only way is down and out of the race for her.

    Oh, I didnt say it to be scummy. Soz C@t. I’d be bummed too, if that makes it less scummy.
    You may have noticed I didnt get too excited by the rise of Klobuchar. Not because I dont like rubbing peoples noses in it (I kinda do) but because I knew she had next to no chance. Everything was going against her despite a substantial rise. Steyers millions. Bloomberg entering the race. Biden being pretty solid. Warren not pulling out. And Buttigieg performing well. The bounce was always going to be just that – with a subsequent fall.

    But I disagree about the need for her to pull out. I think she should stay in and hope to be on the debate stage on the 15th. Biden may yet stumble. Warren and Bloomberg may pull out. Anything can happen in a contested convention. Still a very very long shot – but she adds something that Biden and Sanders dont have (as did Buttigieg).

  5. Firefox;
    “fight for real change in this country”
    I like Sanders. Unlike others, I think he will do well against Trump (not sure yet if he would do better than Biden). I like the fire, the desire and the need for change.
    But I kinda agree with what Warren has alluded to…. that Sanders will struggle to achieve change as President and possibly damage the cause in the process. Just one eg… will the push for medicare for all fail and with it put back expanded coverage?

  6. “struggle to achieve change as President and possibly damage the cause in the process”


    Sanders winning the presidency would be a huge shift away from the establishment and would mean that his policies would have a good chance of being enacted, either by him or someone else in the future.

    Without a Bernie or (very unlikely) Warren win, “the cause” ain’t happening. Not this time anyway. The movement would certainly continue though.

    If neither of them are the nominee it just becomes about getting rid of Trump, but that ain’t going to happen unless Bernie is the nominee, so it really means we have to endure another four years of the extremist nutter.

  7. Without a Bernie or (very unlikely) Warren win, “the cause” ain’t happening. Not this time anyway. The movement would certainly continue though.

    Dont ya reckon the party has moved to the left in recent times? Any leader of the party – or any President that represents the party – will have to have policies and endeavour to obtain real results to the left of Clinton and even Obama – especially wrt the imbalance of power in the democracy from corporations, Wall St and money in general.

  8. “Dont ya reckon the party has moved to the left in recent times”


    Absolutely. But Biden is pretty much selling himself as a third term of the Obama admin, while Bloomberg certainly isn’t going to tackle inequality or take on Wall St and the elite (himself). They’re the only two (realistic) options left other than Sanders and Warren.

  9. Re Buttigieg: sorry c@tmomma, but I could never abide him and am glad to see him go. And, yes, it is because I’m prejudiced against him, not because he is gay, but because he is a former management consultant (from the quintessential firm of management consultants, McKinsey and Co).

    Like many management consultants (not to mention Rhodes scholars), Buttigieg projects self-importance and a massive sense of entitlement on the basis of not that much in terms of tangible achievements.

    For many well-educated, passionately-committed Democrats he seemed to press similar buttons to those that Kevin Rudd once pressed for the equivalent Labor people here. He looks and plays the part of a politically moderate and clever technocrat, he speaks really well, he presents as an “anti-politician” who won’t be tied to the old factions, etc.

    I know many are saying that Buttigieg will be back as a serious candidate in 2024 or 2028 or 2032 or whenever. I’m not so sure that he will. Rather than run again soon, he’d really do better to aspire to become a Senator or Governor, where he can really learn his craft. But when you read or listen to what he has to say, it all comes out as a bunch of plausible platitudes (a la management consultants in general) and he really doesn’t seem to put his neck on the line for anything much at all: not even his sexuality.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t hear much more about him in future.

  10. meher baba:

    For all that though, you have to give him credit for outlasting and outcompeting several much better-credentialled and more experienced candidates (eg Booker).

  11. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t hear much more about him (Pete Buttigieg) in future.
    meher baba, March 2, 2020


  12. Sanders presidency may well give a kick in the butt of the establishment however to get his legislation thru he needs to get control of both houses. Now the Democrats may well get the House again however the Senate is a totally different issue. Have a look at the Senators up for grabs – the majority are in the red states which is a key issue. And another issue is Democrat senators don’t necessarily follow on party lines (unlike Australia) – if you a Democrat senator from say South Carolina you may well vote with the Republicans to ensure re-election.

    And Biden projecting himself as a third Obama Administration – reckon that’s more than a plus given the woeful Bush and Trump administrations

  13. meher baba

    To be fair Buttigieg only worked at McKinsey’s for three years before he decided it wasn’t for him

    And as for this

    “….. Buttigieg projects self-importance……”

    I suggest you take a long look in a mirror

  14. Kirky, yes that is one of the lines that Biden and most of the establishment are running. However, many of the people that really matter when it comes to the Senate – Democratic Senators themselves – do not agree…

    Why Senate Dems aren’t freaking out about Bernie

    Despite some panic in the party, a key piece of the Democratic establishment thinks Sanders can beat Trump.

    House Democrats are warning of a down-ballot bloodbath and centrists are freaking out. But Bernie Sanders’ colleagues have a more placid take on the rise of democratic socialist: Bernie can beat Donald Trump.

    After jumping out to an early delegate advantage, seizing the lead in national polls and racking up eye-popping fundraising numbers, Sanders is the clear frontrunner as the party heads into a potentially decisive March stretch for the Democratic primary. And that’s OK with many Senate Democrats, who have served alongside Sanders for 13 years.

    It’s not just senators being courteous to a colleague known for being something of a loner in the upper chamber. Instead, Senate Democrats respect the durable political movement he’s built over the past five years that threatened to topple Hillary Clinton and a populist streak that could be wielded against Trump to win over some of his voters.

    “I do believe he can beat President Trump,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who sought the presidential nomination earlier this cycle. “What Bernie has shown us until now is that he has a very broad base of very, very passionate followers. That is the first thing you need for a campaign on any level. Especially in a red or purple district.”

    “He’s running even with [Trump] in the national polls and… his win in Nevada shows that he won over all the demographics. So I think he’s looking really strong,” agreed Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, a state that Trump wants to flip in November. “It looks like he’s the leader right now and he’s doing very well.”

    Should he win the presidency, Sanders’ agenda is sure to run into major roadblocks in the Senate, and the Vermont independent could pose a problem for the party’s efforts to win Senate races in Sun Belt states like Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia. Most Senate Democrats have not endorsed a 2020 candidate, and there’s no apparent move by senators to get behind Sanders while the primary still plays out.

    But few in the caucus are predicting the electoral doom that you might hear from their colleagues in the House if Sanders ends up coming out on top in the primary. Summing up the mood of House Democrats running in Trump-won districts with Sanders atop the ticket, Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) put it this way earlier this month: “We’re going to get absolutely wiped out.”

    “I hope I’m wrong, but Bernie seems to have declared war on the Democratic Party,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), a centrist Democrat who has endorsed former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. “To win in November, we need someone who will bring us together under a big tent and protect the Democratic majority in the House — not burn the house down.”

    That handwringing is enough for Sanders to send out a text message on Monday claiming that “the establishment is in full panic mode.” But such sentiment is not felt in the halls of the Senate, which effectively remains the power center of the establishment of both parties.

    “I’m not part of the collective freakout, if that’s what you’re asking,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who chaired the campaign committees for Democrats in both the House and Senate.

    In interviews with more than a dozen Democratic senators on Monday, the majority said Sanders was not the electoral anchor that critics are making him out to be. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said were he to emerge from the long primary as the nominee, Sanders “steals” some voters from Trump’s base: “He is getting a lot of people riled up and he does take some of [Trump’s] votes.

    “I absolutely think Bernie can beat Trump,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who said several of the other Democrats in the race could also win a general election. “He’s done very well, I think his coalition is real and it’s impressive. But it’s got to stand up to more than just three elections.”

    Both Murphy and Cantwell, like many of their colleagues, said with 47 states, the District of Columbia and several territories to go, it was too early to say that Sanders is now the presumptive nominee. But some Democrats are already mobilizing against Sanders amid worries that the anti-Sanders vote is currently fractured among Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Bloomberg.

  15. Clinton`s 2016 strategy was largely a 3rd Obama term strategy, policy-wise. It did not inspire enough of the voters who wanted more improvement than they got under Obama, causing her to loose. Biden, Bloomberg and Klobushar suffer the same problem. Sanders has the advantage of bringing a lot more improvement to the table, bring many more of the improvement wanting voters, while the 3rd Obama term wanting voters heavily prefer him to Trump and would largely turn out for him in the general election.

  16. Firefox
    “…a centrist Democrat who has endorsed former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg”
    Imagine endorsing a recent former republican who is trying to buy the election

    Tom the first and best
    Also remember Obama initially campaigned much the way Bernie is now – hope and change

  17. “Clinton`s 2016 strategy was largely a 3rd Obama term strategy, policy-wise. It did not inspire enough of the voters who wanted more improvement than they got under Obama, causing her to loose.”


    Exactly. That strategy has already been tried and it didn’t work.

  18. Unless she is badly beeten by Sanders in her home state on super Tuesday, Klobushar is likely to stay in the race until at least the Wisconsin Primaries on the 7th of April, as there are several mid-west and similar states voting in that month. There is still a significant white moderate vote up for grabs that is dubious about both Biden and Bloomberg (with good reason, they are both terrible candidates).

  19. Personally, I find the argument that “Hilary ran for Obama’s third term and lost” a bit glib. For sure, she was the continuity candidate, while Trump was the change candidate, but let’s not forget that Clinton did win 3 million more votes than Trump, and in any even slightly more democratic system than the US, she would have been President for the last three years. I suspect that the 2016 result came down to personalities on the end, with enough voters in the key states deciding to take a punt on a reality tv star promising to “shake things up” over a professional politician offering competence and the status quo. But in the end, it was something of an electoral fluke that the Donald won, so I’m not so sure we can categorically say that Americans rejected a continuation of the Obama era.

    Of course, we are now three years into the chaos, dysfunction and division of the Trump term, and I’d say that a return to the normalcy of the Obama years looks more attractive than it might have in November, 2016, and so Biden’s appeal along these lines to some voters is not entirely misplaced. Whether it proves to be the right message this year, of course, remains to be seen (and there are always a lot of Monday footy experts out in force once the result is known), but at the moment, it doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad strategy.

  20. Hi everyone, does anyone know for sure –

    1 – Do the new voting machines in the Los Angeles county (randomly) rotate the (four) candidates shown on the first (and subsequent) screens, or is it the same four candidates on each screen?

    2 – How many ‘Neither Party’ registered voters would normally vote on the Democratic party primary?

    Apparently due to the combined effect of electoral act changes, involving fewer polling stations in some counties) , more postal voting, and the need to specifically request a Democratic ballot, a much smaller number of NPP participants are expected.

  21. Firefox,

    The problem with the 2016 Clinton strategy was obvious, it was Hilary Clinton. Pretty sure that was obvious to all and sundry. Biden was part of a competent administration. Enough said.

    The problem with 2020 is trying to get the senators up for re-election in those red states becoming Democrat senators and not Republican senators again. Take a look at the map, a lot of the Democrat senators in strong Democrat states aren’t up for re-election and there is probably only one state, Arizona, where the Republicans are at risk of flipping. The rest are generally likely or safe Republican. That is the issue, if you can’t get a Democrat controlled senate you haven’t got a snowballs chance of getting legislation thru the chamber.

    Sometimes you actually need to apply logic and not hubris.

  22. Kirky, so you think that some establishment Dem has a better chance of winning votes off Trump in purple and red states than Bernie does? Didn’t you read what the other senators said? Obviously not.

    “I do believe he can beat President Trump,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who sought the presidential nomination earlier this cycle. “What Bernie has shown us until now is that he has a very broad base of very, very passionate followers. That is the first thing you need for a campaign on any level. Especially in a red or purple district.”

  23. “The problem with the 2016 Clinton strategy was obvious, it was Hilary Clinton. Pretty sure that was obvious to all and sundry. Biden was part of a competent administration. Enough said.”


    No doubt she was a big part of the problem but if you think just whacking Biden up there instead will work you’re kidding yourself. He’s a nice guy but he’s not Clinton and definitely not Obama.

  24. “but let’s not forget that Clinton did win 3 million more votes than Trump, and in any even slightly more democratic system than the US”


    Yes, we all know the US system is undemocratic but that doesn’t change the reality that it was the system in 2016 and it still is in 2020.

  25. But he is better than Trump and is generally safe and conservative – just like the US electorate.

    And missed the point, name the states that existing Republican senators up for re-election will flip.

  26. Kirky – Actually, most observers suggest that there are four Republican Senators up this year who are vulnerable, with another few who are outside chances. By contrast, only one Democrat is likely to lose, Doug Jones in very Red Alabama. Assuming the loss of Alabama, the Dems need to win all four possibles to win back the Senate (and/or one of the smokies), assuming that they also win the White House (and so provide a Vice-President to break a 50-50 tie).

    Arizona – Martha McSally was appointed in place of John McCain, despite losing to Kirsten Sinema in 2018. Arizona is trending purple, following its neighbours like New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and California. The Dem candidate – former astronaut Mark Kelly – seems a good fit for the state.

    Colorado – Cory Gardner is an increasingly out-of-step Senator for Colorado, a state that has moved consistently Blue over the last decade. The Dems have recruited former Governor John Hickenlooper, and he has been ahead in most polls.

    Maine – Susan Collins has managed to survive Maine’s move from Rockefeller Republican state to semi-solid Democratic, but she faces her toughest test this year, especially after her votes on Brett Kavanaugh and then on impeachment. No Democratic candidate yet.

    North Carolina – NC is a pink-to-purple state, and Thom Tills’ fate may well depend on turn-out for the Presidential vote. Dems still to provide a candidate.

    Wild Cards:

    Iowa – will Trump’s trade wars affect Iowans enough to affect Joni Ernst’s re-election bid? Probably not, but not out of the question.

    Georgia – both seats are up, and the Special election for Jonny Isakson’s old seat might be vulnerable in a state slowly trending purple.

    Montana – if Chuck Schumer can convince popular former Democratic Governor Steve Bullock to run, then this is definitely in play. Montana’s other Senator (John Tester) is also a Democrat.

    The odds are probably against the Democrats re-taking the Senate, but it’s not impossible, particularly in a Presidential year, when turn-out is usually better for the Blue team than in the off-years, and particularly this year, with one Donald Trump on the ticket.

  27. Comey made the difference. At a minimum Penn Mich and wisc. Pros Florida, maybe NC and Ariz. That’s a lot of Electoral College votes.

  28. C@tmomma – There is no Senate election in Indiana this year. Todd Young (R) is up in 2022 and Mike Braun (R) in 2024 (all Senators serve six-year terms, with staggered elections of a third of the Senate every two years). FYI, the Indiana gubernatorial election is this year, but the filing deadlines have already passed. The smart money says that your “friend” is looking at challenging Young in two years. It’s also possible that your friend has been promised a cabinet gig in a Biden administration.


    Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg ended his presidential bid on Sunday night, announcing the “difficult decision” in an emotional speech.

    Thanking supporters for helping him make historic wins in the primary race, Buttigieg, who became the first openly gay candidate to run a major presidential campaign, vowed to do everything in his power to “ensure that we have a new Democratic president.”

    With the former mayor leaving his supporters to turn to another candidate in the crowded Democratic race, a recent poll conducted ahead of Buttigieg’s exit shines a light on who might stand to benefit most from his departure.

    In the Morning Consult poll, which was conducted before Buttigieg’s exit between February 23 and 27, the majority of his supporters said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would be their top second pick for president.

    Twenty-one percent of Buttigieg supporters who participated in the poll, which saw a total of 13,428 Democratic primary voters surveyed, said they would go for Sanders as a second choice.

    However, the other top candidates in the Democratic race did not fall far behind in claiming support from the Buttigieg base.

    Nineteen percent of Buttigieg supporters said they would they would support former Vice President Joe Biden, while the same share said they would throw their weight behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, if the former mayor were to drop out of the race.

    Seventeen percent said they would back former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

    Overall, Morning Consult said, the division of support would amount to a 2 percentage-point boost for all four candidates in the national polling, which as a 1-point margin of error.

  30. Hmm, I’m not sure that Morning Consult poll tells us anything meaningful, other than the probably obvious conclusion that Buttigieg’s voters will spill all over the place. The poll claims a 1% MOE, but this seems an unlikely level of confidence for any poll, and in any event even the figures provided suggest that all four of Sanders, Biden, Warren and Bloomberg would each get in the region of 20% of Buttigieg voters. This is really little more than a wash, and I’d suggest that the headline is highly misleading.

  31. I’d say it’s probably meaningful if Bernie is as much a beneficiary of Buttigieg dropping out as anyone else, given the media hivemind would have us believe a typical Buttigieg supporter would be of the ‘anyone but Bernie’ mindset

  32. “the probably obvious conclusion that Buttigieg’s voters will spill all over the place”

    I’d say the “obvious” conclusion keeps changing, then :-P.

  33. 21% is not a “majority” or even close, and Newsweek should know better than that.

    The real question of Buttigieg’s supporters is whether they’ll push one or two candidates over the crucial 15% line in more states and districts, given that a few of the remaining candidates were polling just under that line (15% is the cut-off for getting a share of the delegates).

  34. According to Nate Silver, there’s more of a downside to Sanders from the re-alignment of Buttigieg voters

    In California; Warren and Bloomberg are on the cusp of the 15% viability level in the current averages, if they each pick up a couple of points – even though Sanders will too – it stops Sanders clearing up in delegates like he did in Nevada. The viability applies to both statewide and district level

    eg Sanders 34, Biden 18, Warren 15, Bloomberg 13 is the current average – if that went to say 36, 20, 17, 15 it would have a disproportionate effect on Sanders delegate haul

    The 538 delegate estimate model is today predicting +59 delegates net Sanders v. Biden – last week it was showing +147 before the SC vote and with Buttigieg still in

    There are other Super Tuesday states (and later on) where it also applies

    In addition the Morning Consult poll is not the only one on candidate second preferences – YouGov did polling for the Economist where Buttigieg supporters put Sanders much further down the list for second preferences

    The Politico article above quotes 5 incumbent Dem senators from pretty reliable blue states – NY, WA, CT, MD, NM – but I’d be more interested in the views of Senator Tester from Montana or Senator Brown of Ohio. Not to mention the challengers in states like Arizona, N.Carolina, Maine and Georgia that Hugoaugogo mentioned upthread

    On the Dem outlook that Hugoaugogo mentioned I’ll just remind everyone that Susan Collins in Maine is facing a ranked choice ballot this year after the state Dems finally got that through in 2018 🙂 .. if there are other candidates that is

  35. And so the coalescing continues, with Klobuchar dropping out. Just the three serious candidates left now, in Sanders, Biden and Bloomberg, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the former New York drop out in coming days, especially if Biden capitalises on his SC win in the Super Tuesday states.

    I agree with Ray (UK) about the tactical downsides for Sanders about these developments. If just a few of the erstwhile supporters of Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Steyer jump over to more viable candidates and push them over the 15% vote threshold, it greatly cuts into Sanders’ hitherto expected delegate hauls from California and Texas. This greatly reduces the likelihood of the Vermont Senator building up a big delegate lead this week, and probably makes both Biden and Bloomberg far more competitive.

    In any event, we can now say with absolute certainty that the Democratic Party will be putting forward the oldest nominee in history this year, which makes the VP choice of whoever it is particularly important. It’s something of an open secret that Biden will choose Stacey Abrams (or maybe Kamala Harris), but who would Sanders or Bloomberg pick? Bloomberg would probably have a similar need to Biden, and go with a younger woman of colour (Harris probably more likely for him), but Sanders would be a bit of a mystery. Personally, I think he’d need to pick a moderate, younger woman, so as to keep both wings of the Party together. I would have said Klobuchar would be a good balance for Bernie, but given that she’s about to endorse Biden, that probably rules her out. Maybe Abrams?

  36. ———
    the Democratic Party will be putting forward the oldest nominee in history
    Boooooooooooo x3

    They better have good hand hygiene and avoid mass gatherings.

    Go Tulsi!


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