Wednesday, February 12, 2020

On to Nevada

Senator Amy Klobuchar in Concord, NH on election night
Former Vice President Joe Biden skipped town before the polls closed in New Hampshire, but Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar stayed around to bask in her surprising Third place finish.  Senator Elizabeth Warren and Biden, two of the early Democratic front runners, finished distant fourth and fifth, respectively.  Biden's 8.4 percent share of the Democratic vote was even surpassed on the Republican side by former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld's 9.1 percent.  For those of you keeping score, President Donald Trump got 85.5 percent of the GOP vote, compared to former President Ronald Reagan's 86 percent in 1984.

The race now moves to the Nevada caucuses on February 22nd and the South Carolina primary on February 29th.  Biden is banking on a strong showing in Nevada, followed by a win in South Carolina, but the strength of former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Klobuchar may put a big dent in the Bidenmobile.  Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Biden appeal to a similar demographic on the political spectrum (they're the perceived moderates, whereas Senator Bernie Sanders and Warren are the liberals.)  Since Warren has had some wind taken out of her sails in both Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders may be in a stronger position in this fickle, momentum-driven primary process.

What's Next

New Hampshire has winnowed the Democratic field.  Businessman Andrew Yang, Colorado Senator Michael Bennett, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick have all "suspended" (dropped out) their campaigns.  On the Republican side, former Congressman Joe Walsh dropped out before New Hampshire, but Weld will continue his long-shot effort.

Biden has a 3.5 percent lead in the average over Sanders, but there has been no serious polling done in Nevada in over a month.  Back when the last polls were taken, in early January, Biden was leading in almost all national polls and the public had not seen his poor finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.  There has also been an apparent drop in Biden's African American support, a key constituency for Biden, and a group that can make up to 60 percent of South Carolina Democratic primary voters.

Stay tuned for a special onevotecounts campaign diary with a heck of a lot of photos.

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