Or maybe not, because alongside the shape of party opinion and the role of luck there’s a third factor that helped Biden do what NeverTrump could not: His fellow Democrats and especially his fellow politicians clearly just like him more than Republicans liked any of the NeverTrump candidates. Jebworld and Chris Christie loathed Rubio as an upstart, Kasich offered a cuddly persona but had alienated colleagues for years, and almost every powerful Republican in Washington simply hated Cruz. So the idea of rallying around any one of them for the greater good was a tough ask, in a way that it simply isn’t that tough for most Democratic politicians to sign on with Uncle Joe.

It’s in this sense that Biden himself deserves particular credit for yesterday’s consolidation. He wasn’t just in the right place at the right time; he was the right-enough person, because across years and decades he succeeded in building up good will among both his allies and rivals — a political resource worth husbanding, and one that on Super Tuesday definitely proved its worth.