Democratic Primary News

Sanders is now the frontrunner. Biden goes down in New Hampshire. Bloomberg doubles down.

Bernie Sanders
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders attends the Comanche Nation Fair Powwow near Lawton, Oklahoma, September 29, 2019 (Bernie 2020)
  • Bernie Sanders is now the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to FiveThirtyEight, which takes into account the Iowa caucus results and recent polls. The runner-up: no one. FiveThirtyEight believes there is a one-in-four chance no candidate will have a majority of the delegates by the time Democrats convene in Milwaukee in July. (Those odds will change.)
  • Joe Biden‘s support in New Hampshire, which votes on Tuesday, has collapsed from a high of 22-23 percent a month ago to 13 percent.
  • Biden did benefit the most in terms of fundraising from the departure of Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris from the race.
  • Michael Bloomberg could benefit the most from the inconclusive Iowa caucuses. He is up to an average of 10-11 percent support in national polls, has surpassed Sanders in the endorsement primary, doubled his spending on television commercials and doubled his field staff to more than 2,000 (the biggest of any campaign).
  • But Sanders raised the most money in January: $25 million.
  • South Carolina Republicans are plotting to vote for Sanders in the February 29 primary.
  • California, the biggest state voting on March 3, Super Tuesday, with 415 pledged delegates at stake, is making it easier for non-Democrats to vote.

New Hampshire polling averages

270toWin FiveThirtyEight RealClearPolitics
Sanders 24.7% 25.9% 26%
Buttigieg 19.3% 19.6% 22.5%
Biden 15.2% 13.3% 13%
Warren 13.3% 12.8% 13%
Klobuchar 8% 8% 8%

National polling averages

270toWin FiveThirtyEight RealClearPolitics
Biden 26% 24.3% 27%
Sanders 21.6% 21.4% 21.8%
Warren 14% 13.3% 14.4%
Bloomberg 10.2% 11.2% 10.6%
Buttigieg 8.4% 8.4% 7%
Klobuchar 4.2% 3.8% 4%

Read more

  • James Carville, the architect of Bill Clinton’s 1992 victory, urges Democrats to reject Sanders’ “ideological cult that alienates large swaths of America” and prioritize defeating Trump.
  • Shay Khatiri on what Sanders and Trump have in common.
  • Maggie Koerth on “electability”.
  • Dylan Matthews makes the case for Buttigieg, who is more left-wing than you might think.
  • Ben Mathis-Lilley on the overlooked unity candidate: Warren.
  • Derek Thompson on Bloomberg’s candidacy: “The former mayor could go down as the white knight of establishment Democrats, a secret agent for democratic socialism, or a real-world experiment in the limits of plutocracy.”
  • Jordan Weissmann argues Sanders should be grateful to Buttigieg: the former mayor is weakening both Biden and Warren.
  • Kevin D. Williamson sees the Democratic debacle in Iowa as another example of political parties becoming weaker at the same time as partisanship is growing stronger.

What’s next?

  • February 11: New Hampshire primary
  • February 19: NBC debate in Las Vegas
  • February 22: Nevada caucuses
  • February 25: CBS debate in Charleston
  • February 29: South Carolina primary