Joe Biden is expecting such a terrible finish in New Hampshire tonight that he isn’t even sticking around for his own primary election night party, MSNBC reported on Twitter moments ago.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 11, 2020
This decision comes hours before the polls close, suggesting that his campaign anticipates a fourth- or fifth-place finish in the Granite State.
Nikki Schwab of the Daily Mail reports that Joe Biden will address supporters in New Hampshire via livestream from South Carolina.
Oh my – @JoeBiden and Jill Biden are LEAVING New Hampshire tonight and will instead address supporters via livestream from their South Carolina event
— Nikki Schwab (@NikkiSchwab) February 11, 2020
Joe Biden spoke with reporters after the announcement, telling them, “We’re still mildly hopeful here in New Hampshire and we’ll see what happens.”
Biden entered a Manchester Dunkin’ seconds after his campaign advised that he’s headed to South Carolina tonight instead of attending his NH party. “We're still mildly hopeful here in New Hampshire and we'll see what happens,” he told us. pic.twitter.com/0psnI8Ikce
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) February 11, 2020
Make no mistake about it, the campaign wouldn’t be leaving if early indications didn’t show a disastrous finish for Biden in exit polling or other internal polls. Biden previously conceded he was going to lose New Hampshire during the debate on Friday.
“This is a long race and I took a hit in Iowa and I’ll probably take a hit here,” he said.
According to the Real Clear Politics average, Biden holds a 12.5-point lead in South Carolina, where the primary is being held on February 29. Biden’s lead in Nevada, which is holding its caucus on February 22, is only 3.5 points.
Biden clearly sees South Carolina as his make-or-break moment in this election. Recent polls have shown his support amongst African American voters has been cut in half, which now makes him vulnerable.
Watch closely how the Biden campaign reacts to New Hampshire’s results over the next few days. They are certainly trying to strategize how to keep the campaign alive after suffering two devastating losses back to back. The Biden campaign may very well be in the middle of a death spiral.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis