Another way to phrase my headline: The result in Iowa may determine whether Bernie is the Democratic nominee or not. If New Hampshire is in the bag then the caucus will largely decide what the race looks like on Super Tuesday. If Warren or Buttigieg wins Iowa then we may have a free-for-all, with the early states divided among multiple candidates. (Biden remains the favorite in South Carolina on the strength of his support with black voters.) If Biden wins Iowa and then follows it up with the expected win in SC then Sanders’s victory in New Hampshire might not matter much. It’ll be seen as a blip, Bernie winning on his “home field” while Biden wins elsewhere.
But if Sanders wins Iowa then he’s claimed the first two states. That may catapult him to victory in Nevada too. Suddenly it’s Biden’s “home field” win in South Carolina that would look like a blip. And maybe that win wouldn’t be so assured under the circumstances, since Bernie’s share of the black vote has been improving lately.
Are we going to have a socialist Democratic Party or something more mainstream? Tune in on February 3. Meanwhile, the new numbers from New Hampshire: