Biden’s in trouble in New Hampshire …
If the polling holds out, former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden will not win the New Hampshire primary. According to Real Clear Politics, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, is polling at 26.4% while former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg is polling at 22.2%. Mr Biden has 12.2% of likely New Hampshire primary voters considering pulling the lever for him.
Over at the political betting markets, PredictIt has a “yes” vote selling at $.73 for Mr Sanders while a “yes” vote for Mr Buttigieg is going for $.28. Mr Biden may not even be worth using as a hedge as his “yes” vote is priced at two cents.
I suspect the New Hampshire projections are no surprise to Mr Biden. Hell. He reads the same data we do and reportedly he does not have that much of a ground game in the Granite State. But even if he does lose this Tuesday, he can likely make up ground after Nevada and South Carolina. Mr Biden appears in command in Nevada where he leads in the polls at 21%, with Bernie Sanders trailing at 17.5%. In South Carolina, Mr Biden polls at 31% with his nearest competitor, Tom Steyer, polling at 18%.
Both states allocate delegates proportionally. Right now the delegate count coming out of Iowa stands at 13 for Mr Buttigieg; 12 for Mr Sanders; 8 for Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; six for Mr Biden; and one for Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
The Bloomberg Factor ….
While I expect Messrs Buttigieg and Sanders to pick up delegates between now and through the end of Super Tuesday, the Mike Bloomberg factor is still out there to contend with. The former mayor of New York is focusing on the target rich environment that 3 March will provide. Also, Mrs Warren will still be a contender after Super Tuesday’s completion with an expected big win in her home state of Massachusetts. Because Mr Biden is starting from behind, he has lessened his ability to be the one voice around which the Democrats galvanize going into the fall.
Obama rises …. Obama falls?
Super Tuesday is in less than four weeks. Fifteen states and jurisdictions with no one candidate dominating the primaries will be in play. I believe this will be the time to start galvanizing the party around one candidate. To do this, I expect Barack Obama to issue an endorsement by 24 March in order to help center the Democratic Party around one voice going into the convention.
If Mr Obama places his bet on the eventual winner this fall, his political capital will increase and he will secure his position as an elder statesman in the party.
But if Mr Obama places his bet on the wrong candidate, his political capital evaporates. A few blacks will still be fond of him, but he will lose his leadership status in the party.
At least he has a Netflix deal.
Conclusion: Time is running out …
Time is running out? Are you serious, you may ask. Yes, it is. In my opinion, Democrats wasted time on the low value impeachment initiative. That initiative ended up being censure on steroids and censure is an act that sinks to the level of a footnote very quickly. The meaninglessness of the act has also contributed to further annoyance with the Democratic Party, a party increasingly seen as a do nothing party; one that should be walked away from.
The “walk away” wing is not necessarily conservative although its more vocal leaders are of a conservative bent. The other faction in the “walk away” wing tends to pursue independence; to live off-grid; to be more “libertarian.”
Strategy wise, whether traditional conservative or libertarian, the “walk away” wing of the black electorate will keep away from Mr Obama. His centrist approach to politics adds to the annoyance a growing number of blacks experience with him and with Democrats overall. Mr Obama’s desire to preserve his political capital, to preserve his legacy will see him endorse a moderate candidate. I expect that candidate to be Joe Biden.
I also expect more blacks to stay home this election, in part because of the endorsement I expect Mr Biden to receive from the former president and in part because the Democrats have not demonstrated the boldness necessary for making real investments into the black community. To galvanize the party around a more moderate voice will outweigh any desire on Mr Obama’s part to appease the walk away wing.
An endorsement will have to come by end of next month for the sake of efficient management of a campaign against Donald Trump, but the group Democrats hope to galvanize will be smaller and weaker than those groups of Democrats from past elections.