The political rumble that is the Democratic race for President in 2020 is entering a crucial next fourteen days as 16 states are on the schedule - fourteen of them on Super Tuesday, March 3.
Just as the results in Iowa and New Hampshire helped to reshape the race and knock out some of the long shot contenders, the next two weeks should help determine whether the Democratic nomination is going to be sewed up quickly - or if the race will go on for some time.
The big news today is that Michael Bloomberg has qualified for his first debate - Wednesday in Nevada.
Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has qualified for the upcoming Democratic presidential debate, marking the first time he'll stand alongside the rivals he has so far avoided by bypassing the early voting states https://t.co/7IxoVY1iaj— MPR News (@MPRnews) February 18, 2020
Here is what to look for in a very active next two weeks:
+ Nevada comes first on Saturday. The third stop in this year's nominating schedule is the Silver State, as the Democratic candidates will now flood this state for the rest of this week, with caucuses set for Saturday. Just like in New Hampshire, there will be one final debate before the Nevada vote, that is set for Wednesday night on the Strip in Las Vegas. Unlike the Iowa Caucuses, there is early voting allowed in the Nevada version, as voters then indicate alternate choices if their candidate is not 'viable' in the caucus vote. So far, there has been a lot of interest among Democratic Party voters. Are Nevada Democrats ready? When early voting began last Saturday, Nevada Democrats said 56 percent of those voting were joining the caucus for the first time.
This is the overflow line to get in to vote early at one polling place in Henderson, NV. Several voters have told me they’re nervous about caucus process after Iowa, would rather vote in advance & be done. pic.twitter.com/mEZUboEw6w— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) February 17, 2020
+ After Nevada, it's off to South Carolina. Last on the schedule this month is the Palmetto State. Nevada has caucuses on Saturday February 22. South Carolina has a primary on Saturday February 29. Just as the results of Iowa and New Hampshire helped to winnow and further shape the Democratic race, one would think the same thing happens after Nevada. There will be another debate in South Carolina on Tuesday February 25, in Charleston. So, just in the next week alone, the Democrats will have two debates - the final two before Super Tuesday.
New: We have qualification rules for the SC debate. They're basically the same as the NV debate; Candidates need to win a national convention delegate from one of the preceding states or hit 10% in four DNC-approved polls (or 12 percent in two SC polls) https://t.co/vUstn7U4nk— Zach Montellaro (@ZachMontellaro) February 15, 2020
+ Will Democrats look ahead to Super Tuesday? Unlike the clear full week before the Nevada Caucuses, Democrats only have a couple of days from the vote in South Carolina on February 29 until the 14 states of Super Tuesday, which vote on March 3. Think about it for a second - do you just campaign around the Palmetto State for the full week next week? Or do you also go somewhere else which might help you the following Tuesday? One state? Or 14 other states? There is no easy answer when you consider that California and Texas are two huge states on Super Tuesday. The clock is ticking toward March 3. Fast.
Super Tuesday states where we currently have candidates projected to get at least 15% of the vote:— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 17, 2020
Sanders: All Super Tuesday states
Bloomberg: All states but VT
Biden: All states but VT, UT, MN
Buttigieg: OK, AR only
Warren: MA only
Klobuchar: MN onlyhttps://t.co/ufzEhLUuka
+ What about Mike Bloomberg? I don't think you can ignore Bloomberg. History tells us we should, as when you ignore Iowa and New Hampshire, usually your campaign for President goes nowhere (see Al Gore 1988, and Rudy Giuliani 2008). But right now, this seems different, mainly because Bloomberg is pouring vast sums of money into advertising for the Super Tuesday states, and the Democratic Party field doesn't seem like it's sorting out very quickly. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and others have all taken jabs at Bloomberg, who has not been on a debate stage as yet.
In Denver, @BernieSanders re-ups his attacks on Bloomberg: "Democracy to me means one person one vote. Not Bloomberg or anybody else spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy an election.”— Sean Sullivan (@WaPoSean) February 17, 2020
More and more, it’s becoming a part of the stump speech. pic.twitter.com/psMYZEo9wU
+ Voters are still making up their minds. I spoke to a voter in Virginia this weekend who didn't realize Super Tuesday was just in two weeks. The candidates have that hurdle to overcome. Like a lot of voters, this person was still undecided on who to support on the Democratic side, but indicated they were being bombarded with material from Mike Bloomberg. We haven't seen many polls from Super Tuesday states, but what is notable about this one from Monmouth is that 25 percent of voters say they could still switch. That means there is a lot of wiggle room - and uncertainty - in the next two weeks.
VIRGINIA DEM PRIMARY POLL: #2020Dem nomination preference:— MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) February 18, 2020