The Battle of South Carolina

Joe Biden's big bet on South Carolina, explained - Vox

Instant analysis from tonight’s primary:

  • Biden well out-performed expectations – going in with a forecast 15 to 20% margin of victory, it was actually 30%, and close to an outright majority in an 8-way race. I wonder if some of this is due to coronavirus panic causing people to vote conservatively.
  • Sanders did not have a good night at all (performing 10 points lower than he did in 2016, albeit that was a 2-way race) but is still the front runner. Tuesday will be instructive. (If Sanders had come within 5 points of winning, or actually beat Biden, Biden’s candidacy would most likely have ended immediately.)
  • Bloomberg is also just waiting for Tuesday. My gut tells me that he will underperform, to Biden’s benefit. The next few days’ coverage will be brutal for him.
  • Steyer out, as expected. He bet everything on an upset victory tonight to upend the table and lost.
  • Klobuchar is almost certainly waiting to win the Minnesota primary before calling it in.
  • Warren and Buttigieg, if they continue to have single-digit vote results and zero delegates, will find it impossible to stay in the race. Both would ideally like to come into a possibly brokered convention with a slate of delegates to begin with, but it does not look likely to happen at this rate.