Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
South Carolina was the firewall. It was the state that was supposed to go overwhelming for Joe Biden in order to stop the bleeding of possibly losing the first three states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. That now looks like it may not happen and it’s a shocker.
Results presented by the Washington Examiner.
Biden’s support in South Carolina had held steady all campaign season, and the hope was that it was strong enough to allow him to survive early defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire and pull off a big win ahead of Super Tuesday when the largest single-day haul of delegates is available. If the new Post and Courier-Change Research poll is right and his lead is evaporating, then it puts much more pressure on him to win either Iowa or New Hampshire.
While the poll shows Biden still in the lead, he’s at just 25%, with Sanders at 20% and Steyer (who has carpet-bombed the state with TV ads) at 18%. Biden once led in the poll by as high as 31 points.
Just how much of a disaster is this result for Biden? His now commanding lead among African Americans had dwindled to almost nothing.
Especially alarming for Biden is that he’s down to 30% support among black voters, who make up two-thirds of the South Carolina electorate and are a crucial voting bloc in the later states. Last summer, Biden captured half of black voters. Steyer is now at 24% among black voters, with Sanders at 16%.
Worse for Biden is that this is all happening among a myriad of campaign trail gaffes, including him physically accosting an Iowa voter while telling him to vote for someone else. Other breakdowns include him once again forgetting obvious details about where he is and what he was going to say. If he’s not suffering from the mental lapses of an old man, he’s doing a good job at acting like he is.
It certainly looks like all those failures are adding up and causing his supporters to jump ship. Given that, it’s hard to see how he gets them back. Once someone is typecasted in a presidential primary (such as how Jeb Bush was), there’s usually no recovering.
Nothing is certain, but the chances of the Democrat establishment facing their worst nightmare of a Bernie Sanders nomination has gone up exponentially in the last two weeks. The voting is already upon us as well, so the time to change the outcome has dwindled. Iowa votes Monday, with New Hampshire just days later. If Sanders wins both those states, he’s going to also be favored in Nevada. At that point, the game will have fundamentally changed and Biden may lose South Carolina outright. If that happens, the game is over, and it may be before then.
While Sanders does represent the best candidate for Trump to run against given his myriad of communistic leanings, it’s a risk and a very scary one at that. If he ends up the Democrat nominee, the Flight 93 lever gets pulled for the 2020 election.