Political junkies are touting this ECU data as a hopeful sign for Biden, which is sort of true. After all, there haven’t been many early-state polls lately in which he’s been leading. Or in second. Or, er, third.
Or, in New Hampshire’s case, fourth.
So, sure, good news for Joe. He hasn’t collapsed in his must-win state — yet. But the trend line is important. The day before the Iowa caucus he stood at 37 percent in South Carolina, nearly twice as large a share as second-place Tom Steyer, who had 19. Bernie was a weak third at 14 percent, in keeping with the rap on him that he can’t win in places with large black populations. Biden’s 37 percent was also in line with his polling in SC for much of the race, which has seen him consistently in the 30s and occasionally even in the 40s. All along, South Carolina was conspicuous as a state poised to deliver not just a win to its first choice but a decisive one, a rare departure in this 40-car pile-up of a primary.