Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at a caucus night campaign rally on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa with Jill Biden. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Alright, I’m going to just say it. Joe Biden is done.
After having made no headway in New Hampshire, he has left the state early and is headed for South Carolina. That’s big news for two reasons. One, it means he’s going to finish 4th or 5th in New Hampshire, compounding on a 4th place finish in Iowa. But two, it means he’s conceding Nevada to Bernie Sanders, a state Biden led just a month ago. Starting 0-3 in the first primary contests was always his doomsday scenario and it has arrived.
This is what a campaign looks like when it dies.
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
That’s left some asking why he’s doing this, as if a rational, non-catastrophic answer exists.
I have no idea why you would announce this so early in the day. Wildly demoralizing to your NH staff who is still GOTV’ing. And not great for after work voters who were still making up their minds. https://t.co/deetAgB8wt
— Sarah Isgur (@whignewtons) February 11, 2020
Isgur works for The Dispatch, who are obviously very sympathetic to Biden’s candidacy, but I think she’s asking the wrong question at this point. Occam’s razor says to stop looking for a grander strategy, because there isn’t one. Biden bailing on New Hampshire and Nevada is a sign of defeat and nothing more.
Now, he’s relying on trying to thread a needle that I’m not sure has ever been threaded in the modern political era. He’s cratering and hoping that South Carolina will save him via a majority of African American support.
But that’s fool’s gold. That strategy does not work because by the time we get to South Carolina in 18 days, Biden will be a three time loser who has crashed in the national polling. Prognosticating is always a risky adventure, but I don’t think it’s going out on much of a limb to say it’s over for him.
The only thing left to analyze is why. Was it Hunter Biden? I really don’t think so. Democrats are very defensive about any attacks that come from Trump, so they wouldn’t base their votes on one. I think this has much more to do with Biden’s general inability to campaign, his constant gaffes, and the fact that he’s a doddering old man at this point.
With Biden’s collapse, a Bernie Sanders nomination comes into clearer view. Things are going to get wild in 2020.