Bernie has been gaining a lot of momentum since the voting began in Iowa earlier this month, and as we approach Nevada this weekend it looks like he might take the crown there as well:
POLITICO – Bernie Sanders is becoming harder to stop. Nevada is where his opponents are starting to realize it.
Advisers to three rival campaigns privately conceded over the weekend that the best anyone else could hope for here is second or third. Some of them gape at the crowd sizes at Sanders’ events — like the swarm of supporters who accompanied Sanders, his fist raised, to an early caucus site in Las Vegas on Saturday, the first day of early voting in the state.
While few expect that Sanders can carry more than a third of the vote in Nevada, nearly everyone believes that will be enough to win in a field where the moderate vote remains splintered. It is becoming a source of celebration for Sanders’ supporters and an urgent problem for those who want to prevent him from claiming the nomination.
“He’s going to win with 28 percent of the vote. We’re not talking about him getting 50 percent of the vote,” said Andres Ramirez, a Nevada-based Democratic strategist and former vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee’s Hispanic Caucus. “But the rest of the field is so fragmented, and he has his base locked, that he can continue winning just by holding onto his base.”
I love how they call it the ‘moderate’ vote, when almost all of them are calling for radical socialist programs like Medicare for All. But I digress.
The latesting polling out of Nevada, which had previously been in Biden’s favor, seems to now be switching to Bernie. Real Clear Politics is giving Bernie the average by +3 thanks to a new poll from the Las Vegas Review-Journal that has Bernie at 25 and Biden at 18. Warren is at 13 and Buttigeig is behind Steyer at 10.
Then comes South Carolina, a week later, and Bernie appears to be rising there as well. Biden still has the average by +6.5, but Bernie is behind him in single digits. That’s saying something because Biden enjoyed a serious double digit lead in most South Carolina polling during the latter half of 2019. We’re talking +25, +28, etc. The latest polling there now shows Biden at 28, Bernie at 20, Steyer at 14, and Warren, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar fighting within a point of each other for fourth. Another poll shows it even tighter between those same top three, with Biden at 25, Sanders at 20, and Steyer at 18.
If Bernie wins in Nevada he could end up picking up South Carolina too, and that would be a dagger in Biden’s campaign, who has been counting on both Nevada and South Carolina since he performed poorly in both Iowa and New Hampshire.