The Iowa debacle is a boon for Bernie

But most important is that the campaign of Sanders’ major rival, Joe Biden, seemingly collapsed in Iowa. Dozens of caucus sites reported little or no Biden support, and there were suggestions he may even finish in fifth place behind Amy Klobuchar. This is probably because his ground game is weak, and the argument for his candidacy is based on fear of Trump rather than genuine enthusiasm. His campaign was reduced to limply complaining about process to distract from the epic loss. It’s not a coincidence that both of Biden’s previous campaigns for president were disastrous flops.

New Hampshire votes next, and Sanders is currently leading polls there by nearly 10 points. Even with a tie or narrow defeat in Iowa, he should be able to win the state easily — putting him in an ideal position to scoop up Nevada and maybe even South Carolina. From then he could very well turn Super Tuesday into a rout.

Nationally, Sanders has closed the polling gap with Biden from nearly 10 points in early January to just over 3 points now. A humiliating defeat in Iowa and then New Hampshire is going to severely dent the perception of electability that is the only possible justification for nominating Biden. The general election is going to be a grueling slog — getting bested by Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg doesn’t exactly speak well of Biden’s stamina and competence.