Election 2020

Did Biden's South Carolina Win Really Change the Race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination?

Former Vice President Joe Biden arrives at a convention center in Toronto on Nov. 28, 2017, to give a speech on leadership. (Colin Perkel/The Canadian Press via AP)

Joe Biden won the South Carolina primary and the national media has gone into overdrive to resurrect his campaign. Politico’s Ryan Lizza even wrote a piece on “The Resurrection of Joe Biden.” It’s a “two-man race” we’re told. Biden is the “only one who can stop Sanders.”

The media would dearly love a Biden comeback. They’re praying for a brokered convention. Unfortunately, in less than 48 hours, voters in 14 states will be going to the polls to vote for their favorite Democrat to win the nomination.

Despite Joe Biden’s big win, it may be too little too late. The infusion of cash that the Biden campaign is receiving comes too late to help him on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders raised $46 million February — Trumpian numbers to be sure. Sanders is a lock to win California and receive the lion’s share of the 415 delegates up for grabs. But the question becomes what impact on Super Tuesday will Biden’s big win have?

Perhaps Biden can make it interesting.

Fox News:

Minutes after Biden was projected the winner, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe — who was co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential run — endorsed the former vice president.

“It’s time to unite behind the candidate who can beat Trump. @joebiden has the experience, character, and broad appeal to win Virginia and the White House in 2020,” McAuliffe tweeted.

McAuliffe’s backing came a day after Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia — Clinton’s running mate in 2016 — also endorsed Biden.

Biden is banking on momentum from his South Carolina win — along with the belief that only a “moderate” can beat Trump — to make up for the millions of dollars in TV ads he won’t be spending. Frankly, it hasn’t worked before and may not work now. Sanders still has the momentum. The enthusiasm of the “Bernie Bros” has not been diminished in the slightest. He has an impressive presence in all the Super Tuesday states with a sophisticated ground game. Biden is nearly invisible in many of those states.

But Biden will be sharing the “Anybody But Bernie” vote with Michael Bloomberg. And that might put him hopelessly behind Sanders when Tuesday’s votes are counted.

Washington Examiner:

David Mowery, a Democratic strategist in Alabama, which holds a primary on Tuesday, said Bloomberg is a “wild card” in the Alabama contest that might otherwise favor Biden because he has spent so much money on staff and field offices.

“He has four field offices and 30 staffers,” Mowery told the Washington Examiner. “That’s a lot. I don’t know if you’ve seen a governor’s race or a U.S. Senate race here that has that resource investment.”

Bloomberg, according to RealClearPolitics, is polling at about 16.5% in North Carolina, another Super Tuesday state. He trails Biden, who is leading with 25%, and Sanders, with 19.5%.

There’s a chance that Bloomberg has flamed out and will do very poorly on Tuesday. That would be a godsend for Biden, who needs to win several of those Southern states where Bernie Sanders’ name and ideology are poison.

But it’s what happens after Super Tuesday that will matter. Sanders will be ahead, no question. It’s also a foregone conclusion that he won’t have the 2376 delegates when he hits the convention to lock up a first-ballot win. He may be very close, however, in which case he may not be denied by the party establishment without blood on the convention floor.

But the reality for Biden is that he just doesn’t have the resources or national organization to take the nomination from Bernie Sanders. He may play a spoiler role by staying in the race long enough that he keeps Sanders from a first-ballot victory.

But his own chances for the nomination are fading to black.