Last night, former Vice President Joe Biden was the decisive victor of the South Carolina primary, a race we’ve been told nearly for a year he was likely to win.
This should not be a big deal given the entire selling point of Biden’s third bid for the presidency was that this time, he was the most electable contender among the Democratic field, thus supposed to be winning elections. I will acknowledge that Biden’s win says a lot about his support from Black voters (who largely swatted away my advice at least in this state) and leaders such as the revered House Majority Whip James Clyburn, who endorsed Biden days before the primary. And yes, Biden is now only 12 delegates behind Sanders and officially in the lead of the popular vote so far by some 30,000.
However, Super Tuesday is looming and it’s still not looking so hot for Biden. The campaign has no money and has been grossly outspent by Bernie Sanders’ campaign, and of course, Bloomberg’s campaign since it comes with a money-printing machine. And of all the candidates failing to catch fire, only one has dropped out.
Despite spending more than $191 million on advertising nationally, Tom Steyer has not earned any national pledged delegates in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina. Without seeing a path to the nomination, he has ended his campaign. To this day, I’ll never know why Steyer bothered. He should have stayed that nice man who kept telling us to impeach Donald Trump and doesn’t want the world to literally burn down.
I will miss his wife, Kat, though.
As for the others, at a rally in Houston, Warren acknowledged her disappointment but won’t back out before Tuesday. “I’ll be the first to say that the first four contests haven’t gone exactly as I’d hoped,” she told supporters. “But Super Tuesday is three days away and we’re looking forward to gaining as many delegates to the convention as we can.” I appreciate people with a plan, but this one sounds less optimistic.
Warren along with Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, are not garnering much support from non-white voters so as the states only become more diverse, it’s difficult to see a plausible path to the nomination for any of them. For the record, of the trio, only Warren really had much of a shot to outright win the nomination (she also just announced raising $29 million in February so I can’t see her going anywhere). Yet, Warren is no real threat to Biden’s vote, but the latter two are, further splintering the vote. Meanwhile, Bloomberg, who thanks to his dubious ads that run seemingly every second of every hour of every day, has some measurable Black support that will impact Biden in upcoming elections.
Worse is by the following morning, the Sanders campaign announced it raised more than $46 million in February.
During his victory speech, Biden, who finally won a primary after three shots at running for president, argued: “If Democrats want a nominee who’s a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, a proud Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat, join us. We have the option of winning big or losing big. That’s the choice.”
Biden is correct in that it is a choice, but as it stands now, a man sold as the most electable, and by that virtue, the inevitable, is now selling himself as the comeback kid, after so much of this floor has been cleared for him. All the money and media that went to Biden could have gone to the kind of candidates Democrats claim to want, but then snuff out. But in spite of all this advantages, Biden is managed to screw this up again and again.
Still, last night was the first time a Biden rally didn’t look like a memorial.
Biden earned this win, but Mike Bloomberg has infinite money while Bernie Sanders has money and a movement behind him. Biden continues to sell himself as the best choice, but the optics have looked terrible for some time now, and the rich folks are now trying to come to the rescue. If they look even worse after Tuesday, it won’t be long before his campaign is formally sent to glory.