Biden win in South Carolina could turn tide, say strategists

Democrats strategists and donors say there’s a path for former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE to capitalize on a big win in South Carolina and become the party’s presidential nominee.

While Biden goes into the race behind Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) in the delegate count, observers say it’s not an insurmountable lead at this time.

“A Biden win turns the tide,” said Basil Smikle, who served as the executive director of the New York state Democratic Party.


The sources acknowledge, however, that several things need to fall into place for Biden to truly become a strong rival to Sanders for the nomination.

The first is a big win in South Carolina, where some polls show Biden building a 20-point lead over Sanders.

The second would be for that to turn into momentum for Biden on Super Tuesday, when 14 states will be holding contests.

The third piece would be for other centrist candidates, particularly former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, to drop out of the race after weak showings on Super Tuesday.

Polls now show Bloomberg and Biden eating away at each other’s support in states such as Texas, boosting Sanders in the race for 1,991 delegates.

One Democratic donor neutral in the race laid out those three steps as being crucial to Biden. But the donor also acknowledged that “the likelihood of all three of those is slim.” 


The more likely scenario, apart from Sanders winning the nomination, the donor said, is that Biden and other candidates win enough delegates to keep Sanders from clinching the nomination before the convention. That could allow Biden to win enough superdelegates at the convention to win on a second ballot. 

The problem for Biden, or anyone else looking to be the main rival to Sanders, is that the progressive senator is positioned to do well in a number of Super Tuesday states.

A Los Angeles Times-Berkeley IGS poll released Friday showed Sanders opening a double-digit lead in California. Sanders had 34 percent in the poll, compared to 17 percent for Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.). Biden placed fourth with just 8 percent, while Bloomberg had 12 percent.

In Texas, a CNN-SSRS survey found Sanders with 29 percent, compared to Biden with 20 percent and Bloomberg with 18 percent.

Sanders is also a huge favorite to win Vermont, Colorado and Maine, and is competitive in most of the states holding contests, all but ensuring a huge delegate count.  

Strategists who see a path for Biden say other centrists candidates Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) and Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE, the former South Bend, Ind., mayor, would need to suspend their campaigns. Some Democrats say that if Warren leaves the race, a portion of her support could also go to Biden.

Additional endorsements like the one Biden won from House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) this week would also help.

“That’s what’s been missing so far,” said one donor. “It’s been a clusterf— out there. It’s one big free for all. No one is directing traffic.” 

Biden has leaned into the argument that a Sanders-led ticket would hurt Democratic House and Senate candidates. Strategists say that if party leaders underscore that message, it will benefit the former vice president.

“Can Democrats win the Senate and maintain their advantage with Bernie at the top of the ticket? Probably not,” said Mike Morey, a Democratic strategist who served as communications director for Sen. Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE (D-N.Y.).

Smikle agreed with that assessment.

“I cannot overstate how critical the effect on the down ballot is and that’s the biggest argument a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leader can make,” he said.


Biden’s team is counting on a strong result in South Carolina to bring more money to his campaign.

Earlier this week, Biden’s campaign announced “additional investments” in Super Tuesday states including new paid media, staff and endorsements.

“Super Tuesday is critical for not letting Bernie get too big a lead,” said one ally who speaks to the campaign regularly. 

Rather than just winning states, the ally said the campaign needs to focus on targeting specific districts, blunting Sanders’s potential runaway in the primary. 

“If we’re in a strong position coming out of Super Tuesday, Bloomberg needs to weigh his options or Bernie is going to win,” the Biden ally said. “He said he got into this race because he felt like we couldn’t win. But that changes, I would think, if we’re winning.” 

Morey predicted a prolonged contest, despite some of the advantages enjoyed by Sanders.

“Do I think it is possible that after South Carolina and you get into the South where that he could catch or surpass Bernie in the delegate count?,” he said of Biden. “I do. Do I think anyone is going to run away with this? No, I don’t at all.” 


Click Here: cheap INTERNATIONAL jersey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *