UPDATE: (Jazz) As anticipated, Joe Biden has taken a commanding win in Virginia while Bernie Sanders took his home state of Vermont.
(Original post continues below)
In this thread, we’ll cover four races from the eastern time zone because… I’m old and I go to bed early. (There. I said it.) If you’d asked me 48 hours ago how these states were going to fall, I would have told you Biden would pick up one of them solidly (North Carolina) and Bernie Sanders would probably take the other three with varying margins of victory. Today, however, that’s all gone out the window. Particularly considering that late round of polling that Allahpundit covered earlier, the Joementum may indeed be both real and spectacular unless you’re a Bernie Bro. We’ll have the usual live-tracking widgets in our main Super Tuesday results thread, but you’ll be able to follow the split of the delegates at the bottom of this post if any of these are the races you’re most interested in.
Let’s start with North Carolina, which was considered to be one of Joe Biden’s safe states even before the South Carolina explosion because the two states share a lot of the same political DNA. The RCP average already had Biden up 37/23 over Sanders with Bloomberg hovering just below the 15% cutoff for delegates. But the last poll out this morning shows a major shift in Uncle Joe’s direction. He’s sitting at 44% to Sanders’ 17.6. Bloomberg drops off the delegate radar with barely 10%. Unless everyone is wildly off the mark, Biden blows this one out of the water.
Moving on to Maine, Sanders was previously up by 14 and this is one state where even the shock polls from this morning don’t show more than sliver of a shift toward Biden. Bernie is still up 34-25 with both Warren and Bloomberg positioned to grab some delegates. There is one poll from the same period that has Bernie way out in front 43/24, but it’s probably an outlier. Bottom line? Bernie seems to be positioned to win in Maine, but its small number of delegates will wind up being split up between four people so there won’t much convention treasure heading Sanders’ way.
Virginia is considerably different. Coming out of Nevada, Bernie had a nine-point lead there. But as of this morning, we’re seeing an almost 25 point shift with Biden taking a 15 point lead. The new RCP average post-South Carolin shows Biden up 42/25! Both Warren and Bloomberg are still potentially in the hunt for a couple of delegates, hovering just above the 15% mark. If these numbers hold up, Sanders will still get some additional delegates, but Uncle Joe will take more. Potentially those delegate figures will be diluted by the third and fourth place finishers.
And finally, we come to Tennessee. The Volunteer State’s 64 delegates are also in flux. Sanders was well ahead after Nevada, but that shock poll from Data for Progress is now giving it to Biden 34/27 over Sanders. Even worse for Bernie, both Warren and Bloomberg are positioned to likely pick up some delegates as well, so it will be another small delegate pool to fish from.
I realize we’re putting a lot of faith primarily in one poll from a lefty firm, but they’ve been tracking fairly closely to the other major polling outfits. And unless they’ve really dropped the ball all of a sudden, South Carolina may have pulled Joe Biden’s fat out of the fire and set him on track to either take the lead in delegates tonight or at least wipe out nearly all of Bernie’s lead. The big questions will be answered in California and Texas. If Sanders can hang on there he’ll still be in viable shape. But if the Joementum wipes out his major leads in those states, Bernie’s path begins to look almost impossibly steep.
Let’s get to the delegate widget, folks.