Biden’s success building the most racially diverse voting coalition makes him the clear favorite to win the nomination. With strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, he would likely put the nomination away as the race moves to states closer to his political comfort zone.
But Sanders’ ability to draw more-diverse support than he did against Hillary Clinton in 2016 also makes him a legitimate contender. Despite a summer swoon, he’s now polling in second place nationally. If he tops Biden in Iowa and New Hampshire, he’d be well-positioned to claim front-runner status with a victory in the Nevada caucuses. Solid support from Hispanics would mean the two biggest states on the Super Tuesday map, California and Texas, would be very much in play for Sanders under that bullish scenario.
One thing’s clear: Biden and Sanders are in an enviable position with two months to go until the Iowa caucuses. And it’s because the two septuagenarian white guys have been the only candidates able to broaden their appeal beyond anyone’s early expectations.