Fresh off a blowout win that surprised even the most ardent Bernie skeptics in Nevada, the question must now be asked if it is Bernie Sanders nomination to lose.
Sure, there have only been three contests so far and there's a long way to go, but momentum is a unique beast in politics and it's pretty difficult to reverse once a candidate has it. Bernie Sanders unquestionably has the momentum now. The only question is will he still have it after Super Tuesday.
My prediction (which I should stress is as worthless as a $3 bill) is this: Biden will win South Carolina narrowly and get some much needed positive press for a few days, but Bernie will do very well in most Super Tuesday states while the moderates will continue to split the remaining 60-70% of votes. So Bernie may win a handful or more major states, but still only take home a plurality of the delegates due to the way Democrats apportion their delegates.
Bernie will be the unquestionable front-runner, but if the moderates coalesce around one candidate then it's anyone's guess what will happen next. Bernie is obviously a favorite of the progressives, but he has yet to prove that he can win over middle-of-the-road Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents. If he wins even a small minority of that group then, at least in my opinion, it would be his nomination to lose.
Thought it was interesting when all the candidates where asked in the 9th debate 'if no candidate wins a majority of delegates, should the person with the most delegates be the nominee?'. Everyone but Bernie said no, or no not necessarily.
Is that the candidates all realizing and admitting it very likely can turn out that way, with Bernie being the said delegate leader? I think so. I'm sure they are all doing the math, thinking if Bernie is CA and whoever gets TX and whoever gets NY, etc etc, this could come down to the DNC picking the nominee at the end of the day.
I think the delegate leader should get the nominee, unless its within a certain margin. And I think that's what Pete and maybe a few others would have said, if they were allowed to answer more than just yes or no. If a candidate is leading by a double digit % with delegate count, that would be enough for me. But if its single digits I think you open it up at the convention.
All that said, I have no idea if it will come down to that. Will feel more confident about all this after Super Tuesday.