Perhaps the most exciting thing about today's 14-state bonanza is that the major media polls are almost completely meaningless. Averages of surveys in crucial states all include multiple candidates who have dropped out of the race, shuffling the deck so thoroughly that the ripple effects are really just an educated guessing game at this point. The race is fluid and 'experts' are mostly flying blind. That being said, there are indications that Joe Biden's commanding victory in South Carolina, followed by a flurry of endorsements, could be having a dramatic impact.
Because Bernie Sanders is still expected to win California (it would be an absolute earthquake if he somehow does not) and several other Super Tuesday races, he'll win a boatload of delegates regardless. Keep in mind that Sanders has banked a huge trove of votes through early voting already. That could prove significant. But minimizing his haul, and catching up to him, is the key for Biden. And the movement -- as far as we can tell, based on imperfect and incomplete new data -- suggests that Biden is surging dramatically. He's now the clear favorite in Virginia:
He's closing the gap in California (where having multiple candidates above the 15 percent threshold would go a long way to denying Bernie a huge haul):
NEW California Point Blank Political (NR) poll Feb 29-Mar 1 (change since Feb 28):— Spencer Gray ?? (@realspencergray) March 2, 2020
Sanders: 34% (-)
Biden: 22% (+8)
Warren: 14% (-)
Bloomberg: 10% (-2)
(Buttigieg: 6% (-3))
Klobuchar: 3% (-)
(Steyer: 1% (-2))
Gabbard: 1% (-)
MOE +/- 4.1%
And the positive momentum appears to be moving numbers across the board:
Here's the shift in the Sanders/Biden margin Data for Progress data from now compared to post-NV: CO +24 S to +14 S, NC: +2 S to +9 B, TX: +9 S to +2 B, VA: +9 S to +15 B (!)... Average shift +14 B... That is NUTS. (1/?)— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) March 3, 2020
I wouldn't be overly shocked by a Biden upset in Texas, though it's impossible not to think about how much the early voting process might end up blunting or even beating back his late surge. Of course, this data is very limited, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt. But the direction of things seems relatively clear, and the 'smart set' is realigning their projections. Things could get very, very bumpy ahead:
Data for Progress has just released the most comprehensive set of Super Tuesday polls - and they show massive Biden movement. Also have *both* Warren and Bloomberg hitting thresholds in most places. Putting these into my crude calculator, Super Tuesday becomes a Sanders/Biden TIE pic.twitter.com/ytKfgV5YgK— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) March 3, 2020
We'll have results to pore over soon enough. On that front, I'll leave you with this handy guide to poll closure times across the country this evening:
Super Tuesday poll closing times pic.twitter.com/Tw1uaRSnw5— Bruce Mehlman (@bpmehlman) March 3, 2020
And in case you were wondering, Michael Bloomberg is sounding defiant and buying up some post-Super Tuesday airtime for yet more ads. Also, is this pro forma? Or is there any chance she'd jump in with Bernie?
NEW: Warren takes on Biden tn in a LA speech.— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) March 3, 2020
"I respect his years of service. But no matter how many Washington insiders tell you to support him, nominating their fellow Washington insider will not meet this moment."
Worth noting Pete/Amy dropped out sooner than they expected pic.twitter.com/YoDVaAAZc8