Uncle Joe's firewall: South Carolina primary open thread

This is the last stop on the primary bus route before Super Tuesday and we should at least have the benefit of knowing the results fairly early. (Since they use actual voting machines and all.) As usual, we’ll have the live results widget installed below and it updates in close to real-time. As Allahpundit wrote earlier, everyone seems to believe that Uncle Joe will finally pull out his long-awaited first win. The socialist surge had Bernie challenging him for a while and then it sort of faded. But will it be the firewall Joe predicted, then denied predicting before admitting he’d said it? If he brings in 40% as many analysts anticipate it will be a solid night, but the basis for most of those forecasts were based on the fact that Biden was supposed to consolidate and dominate the Black vote in the Palmetto State.

So who really did the best with African-American voters? At least according to one analysis from NBC Newsnone of them.

No matter who wins the Democratic presidential primary on Saturday, the story of South Carolina will be one of missed opportunities for a field of candidates that failed to fully connect with the state’s black electorate.

That may be most true for former Vice President Joe Biden, who is well positioned to win the state but could fall short of the kind of decisive victory that catapulted Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to the Democratic nomination in 2008 and 2016, respectively.

This is the first time since 2004 that no single candidate is poised to take the vast majority of the African American vote. So, there should have been a premium this year on candidates courting black voters pocket by pocket to build a coalition. But polling suggests that, with only a day left until the last election before Super Tuesday, that hasn’t happened yet.

All the polling from the past ten days has Biden anywhere from the mid-30s to the low-40s, with an RCP average of 39.5. As I said, that’s a solid, respectable number, but not a blowout. Sanders isn’t all that far behind, and if he can do better than 25% he’ll still bag a respectable number of earned delegates and hold his lead going into Super Tuesday. Unless one of the others pulls off a miracle, they probably won’t get any delegates out of this race, or at best just one or two.

As far as I’m concerned, that would still leave Sanders as the nominal frontrunner, but there won’t be anyone who is a clear favorite heading into Tuesday. And as I’ve written here before, the longer the field remains splintered, the less chance that the Democrats will be able to “clear the field” and just start focusing on beating Donald Trump. We’ll know soon enough. Let’s get to the live results. Cross your fingers, everyone. This could remain an interesting, chaotic race far longer than the DNC would like.