The Politico lede says it all: “The Mike Bloomberg bubble has burst.”
Indeed it has. And the main beneficiary of Bloomberg’s fall might very well be Joe Biden. Biden has surged into the lead in Florida and despite everything, still maintains a lead in South Carolina.
New polling says former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is back on top with Florida voters, staving off former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
St. Pete Polls had been tracking this race as tacking toward Bloomberg, narrowly up in their previous survey.
However, the latest polling breaks to Biden, pulling away from the billionaire in what is a two-man race.
Biden, at 34%, is up 9 percentage points on Bloomberg, at 25% and fading.
In South Carolina, Bloomberg’s fall has helped solidify Biden’s lead.
Joe Biden stays well atop the field in South Carolina, according to the third Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll of likely Democratic primary voters there. Tom Steyer and Bernie Sanders are fighting for the second spot. Biden’s wide lead in the poll is underpinned by solid support among black voters in the state.
Among South Carolina voters who are likely to participate in the Democratic primary on Saturday, support currently stands at 36% for Biden, 16% for Sanders, and 15% for Steyer.
But Biden’s cash-starved campaign will not be able to compete with Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday. And Bloomberg’s debate performance in Nevada continues to haunt his campaign, leading many pundits to speculate about whether Bloomberg can win enough delegates on March 3 to keep his campaign afloat.
After a steady, weekslong climb in national polls, fueled by extravagant spending on ads, staff and events, Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has plateaued. The abrupt reversal of fortune, triggered by his disastrous debate performance in Las Vegas, has tarnished the former New York mayor’s sheen and injected uncertainty about whether he will rack up enough delegates on Super Tuesday to keep his campaign alive.
His national debate debut in Las Vegas last week laid bare his vulnerabilities around race and gender and gave many voters their first glimpse of his irritability. The performance short-circuited his rise in polling, and he has since made no headway against frontrunner Bernie Sanders in delegate-rich California, a state he was counting on. In addition, there are signs of a revival for Joe Biden in South Carolina this weekend — an outcome that would upset Bloomberg’s plan to seize on his demise as moderates search for a replacement to him.
Do voters really care about Bloomberg getting women to sign an NDA? Democratic voters apparently do. And they care that “stop and frisk” hurt the feelings of minorities in the inner city.
All the money in the world apparently can’t buy Bloomberg political correctness.
Bloomberg managed to climb into a tie with Sanders in Virginia, a tie in Oklahoma with Biden and is leading in Arkansas, polls show. Yet there are rising fears among his aides and allies not just of a Sanders wipeout but a Biden comeback if the former vice president does well in South Carolina on Saturday. Bloomberg and Biden are running neck-and-neck in Southern states with large black populations.
It isn’t looking good for Bloomberg everywhere else.
No, it doesn’t. Sanders appears to be a shoo-in in California and other blue states that vote on Super Tuesday. Sanders will still probably only win a plurality of delegates, which gives Bloomberg and a few other candidates hope that they can derail his ambitions at the convention in July.
But they’re going to need a lot of help from superdelegates, who will have to deny Sanders his first ballot win. Whether or not that happens will depend on how much blood party leaders are willing to see on the convention floor to deny Sanders the top spot.