With three states completed and South Carolina on deck, Democratic Primary season is in full swing. After Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg claimed victory in Iowa, Sanders sneaked out a win in New Hampshire, with 25.6% of the vote. Buttigieg came close, registering just over a percentage less than the Vermont Senator. Nevada, like Iowa, held a one-day caucus event last week, but the results were much more telling. Not only is Nevada a more diverse state than the previous two, but Senator Sanders has made it clear that he’s the candidate to beat.
According to The New York Times, Bernie Sanders won nearly half of the County Convention Delegates in Nevada, delivering him 24 state delegates. Joe Biden, whose position as the conservative stalwart in the race has to this point been overtaken by Buttigieg, came in second, winning 20% to Buttigieg’s 14%. Elizabeth Warren surged in the polls last year but has failed to impress primary voters; she garnered less than 10% of Nevada’s C.C.Ds, with Billionaire #1 (i.e. Tom Steyer) and Amy Klobuchar winning less than 5% each. Billionaire #2…er…Michael Bloomberg won’t appear on primary ballots until Super Tuesday.
As candidates prepare for South Carolina’s primary on Saturday, let’s take a look at where we stand. The Nevada landslide victory delivered a huge boost to Sanders’ campaign, which now counts 45 state delegates to its name. Buttigieg, who still represents the largest challenge to Sanders’ nomination, has 25, and former Vice President Biden has 15, nine of which he gained in Nevada. Warren and Klobuchar, who were both endorsed by the Times, each count less than ten total delegates in their corner.
Fifty-four delegates will be up for grabs in South Carolina, but the real test will be on March 3rd, also known as Super Tuesday. Fourteen states will hold their primary elections or caucuses on that day, including states like Texas and California which will deliver hundreds of delegates each. Super Tuesday, as noted by Vox, is shaping up to be the closest thing to a national primary—it features voters from three New England states (Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont), two mid-Atlantic states (Virginia, North Carolina), five in the south (Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama), three in the west (California, Utah, Colorado), and Minnesota.
The next couple weeks will be instrumental in deciding the future of American and global politics. With Sanders the outright favorite, mainstream media outlets like the Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Economist have published articles detailing why the Senator won’t beat Trump, or why a Sanders presidency would spell trouble for the United States. Not only is this somewhat irrelevant to primary voters—we should take a measured policy-oriented approach in the ballot box—it is also false. All six major polling organizations have Bernie downing Trump in a general election, with the Journal’s own poll showing Sanders four points clear of the billionaire-in-chief.