In the wake of his unexpectedly strong showing in South Carolina last weekend, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign has been re-energized, with some saying that he has reclaimed his front runner status from self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Biden got a 10-point last-minute surge in support, according to the results of a Morning Consult poll taken Monday evening, after former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar dropped out Sunday and gave Biden their endorsements.
Voters headed to the polls in 14 states Tuesday, and the choices they make will provide a strong indicator regarding how the race will ultimately play out.
As of early Tuesday evening, Biden was already on track to win the southern states of Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama, while Sanders was leading in his home state Vermont, Fox News reported.
Sanders still a threat
However, others warn that there are still serious challenges that lay ahead for Biden. “The worst-case scenario is that the good South Carolina results happened ‘too late’ to fully capitalize on heading into Super Tuesday,” The Hill quoted Democratic strategist Eddie Vale as saying.
Meanwhile, a longtime adviser predicted, “If we’re able to keep it close in California and Texas, and we can beat Sanders across the South, we live to see another week.”
“The goal is to remain neck-and-neck with him throughout and then hopefully we gain support as the field winnows and as the endorsements come in,” the unnamed advised explained. “That’s our pathway to victory.”
But Biden’s campaign is still troubled by a lack of resources. Regarding the spending and staff advantage held by the Sanders campaign, a Biden ally told The Hill, “That will definitely cost us. But hopefully not too much.”
Another argued, “If we’re able to keep it close in California and Texas, and we can beat Sanders across the South, we live to see another week. The goal is to remain neck-and-neck with him throughout and then hopefully we gain support as the field winnows and as the endorsements come in. That’s our pathway to victory.”
Another challenge comes in the form of ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The billionaire has self-funded his campaign and poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the race.
Democratic strategist Joel Payne envisioned a “worse-case scenario for Biden is Bloomberg siphoning away support from him especially in places like North Carolina, Virginia and California.”
Payne added, “If Biden has a chance to unite the center-left of the party, it has to start this week with Super Tuesday.”