Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with local residents, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Emmetsburg, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Biden is taking blacks for granted, and he may be overstating their support.
As the results were coming in from the closed precincts in New Hampshire last night it became apparent there was bad news for Joe Biden. In a fashion similar to a movie studio cutting the advertising budget of a film it recognizes will be a bomb, the former Vice President had cleared out of the state during the day, far ahead of the results, in order to move into the next battleground of South Carolina.
It was so bad for Biden that not only had he finished in fifth place but his vote total combined with Elizabeth Warren was still below that of Amy Klobuchar, finishing in third. It was an odd moment when the miserable results were being posted and CNN cut to Biden giving a speech to a rousing crowd in a completely different state. It was an odd disconnect for him to appear to be almost giving a victory speech, with a column beside his video feed displaying his anemic vote tally. Then the CNN staff attempted to reframe things.
John King offered up some visuals to show the demographics of the upcoming races in South Carolina and Nevada, and he was highlighting how the pie charts were displaying a significant difference from the Iowa and New Hampshire constituencies. Effectively the message was those first two states, which Sanders won, are primarily white, where Nevada and South Carolina each have a much more diverse gentry.
The implication being it will be Biden’s time to shine and re-enter the race as a contender, except — the numbers do not portend that happening. In the latest Monmouth University polling out this week it shows that Sanders is enjoying growing support among black Democrats, and he enjoys the biggest support among all minorities in the Democratic field. Morning Consult has shown that Sanders has seen a jump of 10% in black voter support, but that is not the worst news for Biden.
Even if his backing by black Democrats was at the high levels claimed by Biden those would not be enough to compensate for Bernie’s overall support from persons of color within the party.
That huge discrepancy among Hispanics is not just a greater margin, but Hispanics as a group comprise a much larger percentage of the population. So as Sanders has closed to within single digits of Biden among black voters he more than doubles Biden among Hispanics — 37%-16%. This spells doom for the Vice President, while he is counting on South Carolina to resuscitate his campaign.
Biden needs to get things corrected, and quickly. He needs to show some level of strength and competitiveness in order to be seen as a viable candidate by March 3, which is Super Tuesday, with 1,357 delegates up for assignment. If he is counting mostly on the Black voter turnout to bail him out he may be hard-pressed to even last to that landmark primary day in March.