The Democratic contest for the right to lose to Trump in November has now shrunk to four candidates. But its really a battle between two tickets: Sanders and Warren on the left and Biden and Bloomberg in the center.
It’s unlikely that Sanders can win a majority of the delegates on his own. But, when Warren sees that she has no chance at the nomination, she will probably endorse Sanders rather than throw the convention into deadlock and into the arms of the party bosses she despises.
In the meantime Warren is a really convenient place for Sanders to stash his reserve delegates. She picks up votes Bernie could not attract on his own by adding feminism to socialism as her basic schtick.
Courtesy of the easy target Mike Bloomberg presents, she has been able to build a base of women voters. With Klobuchar out of the race, she will even more so be the candidate of choice for feminists.
But, when push comes to shove, Sanders will probably end up with her votes.
So, tonight, add Sanders’ vote to Warren’s. If they are a majority, as I think they will be, its a pretty good indication that it will be Trump/Pence vs Sanders/Warren in November.
Meanwhile, among centrist candidates, the exit of Buttigieg, Steyer, and Klobuchar from the race means that Biden and Bloomberg will be the sole repositories of the votes of the crowd that worries that Sanders can’t win. While Bloomberg and Biden do not share the same affinity for one another than Bernie and Liz do, they are forced by events into the same bed nevertheless.
So tonight, don’t worry so much about who finishes first or second — rather, add Sanders and Warren and contrast the total with Biden plus Bloomberg.
The first indication of how the night is going will be at 7pm (all times are Eastern) when Virginia’s polls close and it starts to apportion its 99 delegates. Biden hope that the South Carolina charm will work here, but polls taken before South Carolina have all shown Sanders ahead. So Virginia will be the first indication of whether the South Carolina bounce is going to transform the race as Biden hopes.
Then North Carolina with 110 delegates, the third largest Super Tuesday state, closes at 7:30pm. If Biden is to get a bounce from South Carolina anywhere it should be here.
Polls have split but lately Biden seems to have taken the lead.
If Biden doesn’t win iin North Carolina, he’s in for a long night.
Then one of Bernie’s moments of truth comes when Massachusetts closes at 8pm.
Warren, the home state senator, has been running a strong second leaving Biden way behind. If Bernie and Warren dominate the division of the Bay State's 91 delegates, it could produce the first lopsided margin with a treasure trove of delegates for the left.
In the, proportional representation system under which the Democrats are operating, the chances for a real gain in delegates are rare and, if Sanders and Warren can pull that off in Massachusetts, it will be very important.
Then comes Texas, also closing at 8pm.
With 228 delegates, second only to California, it is the key to the night.
Polls before South Carolina have put Sanders ahead but show Biden gaining.
If Biden can pull even or ahead, it will do much to throw a wrench into Sanders’ march to the nomination. But with the Latino vote going heavily for Sanders in Nevada, the prospects for a Biden upset are scant.
And then we all go to bed, except for those of us with an unhealthy addition to this stuff and wake up to find out about California with its 416 delegates. Polls close at 11pm Eastern, so we won’t know until late. Sanders will probably win by a good margin (10-20%). But the real question is how does Warren do vis-a-vis Bloomberg. Polls show her possibly even finishing second to Sanders, ahead of both Biden and Bloomberg.
Again, a lopsided victory for the left slate here could be decisive.
If Warren does well in California and Sanders takes Texas, it almost over.
DickMorris is the author of the best-selling book "Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary," written with Eileen McGann and published by Humanix Books, available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. to read more of Dick Morris's Reports — Click Here Now!
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