Biden’s back. He won the largest primary contest of the season up to this point by the widest margin of the season up to this point, making him the leader in popular votes through the nomination’s opening month of elections (with 99.73% of South Carolina reporting at the time of this posting):
The power of being president Obama’s loyal lieutenant for eight years trumps accusations made by white progressives to black Democrats that Biden is a racist. White voters focus on what people say. Black voters focus on what they do:
The good news for Sanders is he showed he does have real support among young blacks (aged 18-29) which he edged Biden among by 38% to 36%.
The bad news is Sanders continues to do poorly with older voters, even white ones. Biden got twice as much support as Sanders did among whites aged 45-59 (29% to 15%) and he got three times as much support as Sanders among whites aged 60 and older (45% to 15%).
Framing the presidential election as a clash between socialism and capitalism may sound like the country is rehashing yesterday’s battles, but presidential elections are largely determined by yesterday’s people. Older moderates who came of age during the Cold War are not going to look favorably on Sanders’ history of comments about communism, communist Cuba, and the Soviet Union. And unlike the case with Obama’s Jeremiah Wright connections, mainstream conservative media will not be afraid to highlight them over and over again.
Though the “Bernie Bros” smear is cheap, it does get at another reason the establishment doesn’t like Sanders. They view his supporters as leftist versions of Trump’s deplorables–disproportionately white men without degrees whose ranks are substantially underrepresented by white women with degrees:
Tom Steyer, who test ran the Bloomberg strategy in a single state, sputtered out underwhelmingly. He spent tens of millions of dollars humiliating himself to come away with a forgettable third-place finish. Whether or not Bloomberg gets the same sort of lackluster support on super Tuesday is yet to be seen, but Steyer’s showing doesn’t bode well for the former mayor.
That’s just as well for Biden, who now looks to be the Democrat establishment’s best chance of stopping Sanders. Ironically, Bloomberg’s last minute bid as a viable ‘centrist’ to replace a putatively moribund Biden may end up being the thing that allows Sanders to get over the top by siphoning off votes that would otherwise mostly go to Biden. Steyer’s exit modestly helps the non-Sanders cause, but not as much as Bloomberg’s presence hurts it.