WASHINGTON, DC: Bernie Sanders is poised to win both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary in the coming two weeks. This will set him on a trajectory to the Democrat nomination for President that will be unstoppable if he also takes the Nevada caucuses Feb. 22 and then wins the California Primary on Super Tuesday, March 3.
Joe Biden may squeak out a victory in South Carolina, but who knows if he will last even that long. By the time voters there cast their ballots, Biden will have already lost three contests.
Sanders leading in Iowa and New Hampshire polls
The latest optimism for the Sanders campaign comes in the wake of the latest polls from Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, Bernie Sanders is peaking at just the right time. The latest NY Times poll has Sanders ahead with 25%, with Pete Buttigieg at 18% and Vice President Joe Biden at 17%. Warren follows with 15%, followed by Klobachar at 8%. Another 17% is split among the rest of the candidates.
The CBS poll released on Sunday has Sanders still ahead at 26%, Biden a closer 25%, Buttegeig at 22% and 15% for Warren, with Klobuchar at 6%. But this poll seems to overrepresent Biden and Buttegeig, while only dividing 5% of respondents amongst all the other candidates. What both polls show is Sanders holding a lead with about 25% of the vote.
In New Hampshire, Bernie’s lead is even stronger. A CNN/University of New Hampshire poll has Sanders at 25%, 9 points ahead of Biden at 16%. Buttigieg has 15%, Warren is at 12%, and Klobuchar is at 6%. Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang are both at 5%. Another 16% is spread out across the rest of the field.
An NBC Marist poll from Sunday has Bernie at 22%, Butiegeig in 2nd at 17%, and Biden at 15%, 7 points behind Sanders. Warren has 13%, Klobuchar 10%, with Gabbard and Yang both at 5%. 13% is divided among the remaining candidates. Both polls have Sanders with comfortable lead 14 days before New Hampshire votes.
Iowa caucus is Feb 3rd, 7 days away
The Iowa caucus is in one week, on Monday, Feb 3rd. New Hampshire has its primary the following Tuesday, Nov. 11th. Nevada caucuses are set for Saturday, Feb, 22nd. The South Carolina Primary is one week later on Saturday, Feb 29th. Super Tuesday is three days later on March 3rd when California, Texas, Colorado and 10 other states have their primaries.
The momentum of the first two contests will be the decisive factor in setting the stage for Super Tuesday. A win in Iowa may set the stage for an even bigger Sanders victory in New Hampshire. If Sanders, as expected, wins both Iowa and New Hampshire he would have extensive momentum going into Nevada and Super Tuesday. Joe Biden’s only hope to slow him down would be in South Carolina.
Assuming a Biden win there, the candidate showdown between Sanders and Biden will come down to Super Tuesday, and California. Colorado and Texas will be a factor, but Sanders is strong in Democrat strongholds in both. There are also primaries in North Carolina and Virginia. But if Bernie wins the big prize, the California primary, the nomination of Sanders is all but certain.
Sanders is surging in Iowa
In Iowa, the Warren campaign seems to be breaking down in spite of the recent Des Moines Register endorsement. Sanders seems to have all the excitement on the ground. Enthusiasm is high. The key in Iowa is the turnout for a caucus event, which lasts for several hours. It requires committed supporters. Sanders showed time and again in 2016 that he could dominate caucus states. That is a crucial advantage.
Sanders has his own formidable organization, but also the active endorsement of AOC, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The combination of die-hard Sanders supporters from his last run in 2016 and the far left energy that AOC brings to the table may be enough to create critical mass at the caucuses. It is swelling the crowds at his rallies.
The other crucial aspect is that a candidate must get 15% of the vote in an individual caucus to qualify for delegates. Warren is fading. Buttigieg has no proven turn out organization in a state where that is critical. Klobuchar doesn’t seem to be translating her next-door status as Senator from Wisconsin to get her above 6%. Bernie stands to take well over 15%.
This year both raw vote numbers and percentages of delegates will be issued. Bernie stands to have both the most votes and to win the largest percentage of delegates. It could be a double blow to Joe Biden.
Biden may not even make the 15% threshold in Iowa
Biden has no energy and a very weak ground game. He is relying on party regulars and the old guard of county chairmen to come thru for him. That may work in a low turnout or badly contested election. But Biden is getting very little traction on the ground. Crowd sizes are small. Debate performances are sketchy.
Joe Biden faces the very real possibility, if not probability, of coming in 3rd or 4th in Iowa and not reaching the 15% thresh hold in many counties. Klobuchar will definitely not make the thresh hold in most of the state. Where will her caucus-goers gravitate to? Where will the 17% of other voters whose candidates have less than 15% in a caucus go to?
In many ways, Joe Biden’s only hope in Iowa is that the other candidates’ supporters combine with him when their candidates do not have 15% in a caucus. But they are just as likely to join Pete Buttegeig’s caucus instead. If Biden comes in 3rd or 4th in Iowa and then loses the New Hampshire primary the bottom could very well drop out for his campaign.
Setting up a showdown on Super Tuesday in California
Between Iowa and Super Tuesday a number of candidates may well drop out of the race as well. Warren and Klobuchar come to mind immediately. Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard will hang on until Super Tuesday but to no avail. Billionaire Tom Steyer will be there regardless, whether he wins one delegate or not. Multi-billionaire Mike Bloomberg is betting the farm on Super Tuesday.
Here is the problem. Super Tuesday will be the final showdown between Bernie Sanders and the moderate wing of the Democrat party. What should be a one and one contest with Bernie and Joe Biden will be muddled by Bloomberg and Steyer’s continued presence.
Put simply, Bloomberg will split the Biden /moderate Democrat vote and allow Bernie to win in California, Texas, and Colorado. Biden may well manage to pull it off in Virginia and North Carolina, with its large numbers of black voters. All the media coverage will be on the big states.
Bernie combined with AOC’s supporters are a formidable combination
But the combination of Bernie’s diehard supporters and the energy of the far left AOC wing of the party stands to carry the day. They have energy. They have momentum. The DNC may not be able to stop him this time. In spite of their best efforts. Super Tuesday will be a big day for Bernie.
When Bernie Sanders wins the California primary it will be alarm bells sounding throughout the Democrat Party establishment. 85% of all convention delegates will be picked by the end of March. While the old guard Democrat establishment and their media minions are already trying to sabotage Sanders, they may not be able to get away with it this time.
Bernie Sanders had 40% of the delegates at the 2016 convention. He is almost certain to amass the 50% plus one he needs to secure the nomination if present trends hold. It will be nearly impossible to stop him if he wins Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and California. That is what is about to happen.
That is good news for Bernie Sanders. Its good news for AOC. But its also very good news for Donald Trump.