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Democrats are in full-blown panic mode over the prospect of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont winning their party’s nomination. Those I have spoken with are not only concerned that the 78-year-old democratic socialist could lose to President Donald Trump, but even more concerned that it could negatively impact down-ballot races. 

Enter former Vice President Joe Biden, whose political death may have been prematurely called by pundits. Yes, he was beaten by Sanders in Nevada, and Sanders beat him like a drum. However, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar didn’t. 

Biden needed to come in second place in Nevada, desperately. A win in South Carolina on Saturday will give us an indication for how he may perform on Tuesday in Super Tuesday states such as Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

That said, Super Tuesday polling does not look good in several states for Biden, and it points to a big night on Tuesday for Sanders. But could a big night in South Carolina translate into momentum for Biden heading into Super Tuesday?

I have my doubts.

Except for American Samoa, every contest on Tuesday is a primary. American Samoa holds a caucus. Every state offers delegates at the district level (what determines a district varies by state, for instance, California and most states are congressional districts, but Texas bases it off of their state senate districts). 

So the thing to remember is that we can’t just consider the popular vote in the state. It will be essential to note where they won, especially in California, with 54 congressional districts, and Texas with 31 state senate districts. So if a candidate wins in just a few densely populated areas to carry the statewide popular vote, that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she will take the lion’s share of the delegates. 

To receive delegates, a candidate has to hit 15 percent statewide and at the district level. Delegates are then allocated proportionately. 

Let’s look at some of the polling averages.

South Carolina

Biden has reason to be optimistic on Saturday in South Carolina, a state with 54 delegates (35 district delegates). Poll averages of the last four polls conducted this week show him with an over 12 point lead. This lead isn’t the vast margin we saw in the fall, but considering the last three contests, a 12-point lead is welcome, I’m sure.

  1. Biden – 36.8 percent
  2. Sanders – 24.3 percent
  3. Tom Steyer – 12.8 percent
  4. Buttigieg – 11.3 percent
  5. Warren – 7.5 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 5.3 percent
  7. Tulsi Gabbard – 3.0 percent

California

The state offers 416 pledged delegates (271 district delegates). 

Here’s the poll average of the last four polls conducted between February 16 to February 26.

  1. Sanders – 32.5 percent
  2. Warren – 15.3 percent
  3. Biden – 12.5 percent
  4. Mike Bloomberg – 10.8 percent
  5. Buttigieg – 9.5 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 5.3 percent
  7. Steyer – 3.3 percent
  8. Gabbard – 1.7 percent

Sanders has a big lead, but it’s also a question of where he has that lead. If it’s just in heavily populated centers, it’s possible, like Iowa, that he could win the popular vote, but still see a competitive race in delegates.

Texas 

The Lone Star State offers 228 pledged delegates (147 district delegates). 

Here is the poll average of the last three polls conducted in Texas in February. 

  1. Sanders – 26.0 percent
  2. Biden – 20.0 percent
  3. Bloomberg – 18.7 percent
  4. Warren – 13.3 percent
  5. Buttigieg – 7.0 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 4.7 percent
  7. Gabbard – 1.7 percent

North Carolina 

The Tar Heel State offers 110 pledged delegates (72 district delegates).

Here are is the poll average for the last two polls conducted this week:

  1. Biden – 25.0 percent
  2. Sanders – 19.5 percent
  3. Bloomberg – 16.5 percent
  4. Warren – 11.0 percent
  5. Buttigieg – 6.5 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 4.5 percent

Virginia 

There are 99 pledged delegates up for grabs in Virginia (65 district delegates).

The poll average only has two polls conducted in February. 

  1. Sanders – 25.0 percent
  2. Bloomberg – 19.5 percent
  3. Biden – 18.5 percent
  4. Buttigieg – 11.5 percent
  5. Warren – 11.0 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 7.0 percent
  7. Gabbard – 1.0 percent

Massachusetts 

There are 91 pledged delegates up for grabs (59 district delegates).

Here is the poll average of the last three polls in February.

  1. Sanders – 23.7 percent
  2. Warren – 20.0 percent
  3. Buttigieg – 14.3 percent
  4. Biden – 11.7 percent
  5. Bloomberg – 11.3 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 7.3 percent
  7. Gabbard – 2.7 percent

Minnesota

Minnesota offers 75 delegates (49 district delegates).

Klobuchar, being the state’s senior U.S. Senator, has an advantage in the two polls conducted in February.  

  1. Klobuchar – 28.0 percent
  2. Sanders – 22.0 percent
  3. Warren – 13.5 percent
  4. Biden – 8.5 percent
  5. Buttigieg – 6.5 percent
  6. Bloomberg – 6.0 percent
  7. Gabbard – 2.5 percent

Colorado

This state offers 67 pledged delegates (44 district delegates).

There have been two polls conducted this week, here is the poll average of those two polls.

  1. Sanders – 30.5 percent
  2. Warren – 17.5 percent
  3. Buttigieg – 13.0 percent
  4. Bloomberg – 12.5 percent
  5. Biden – 10.5 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 6.0 percent
  7. Gabbard – 1.0 percent

Tennessee 

The volunteer state offers 64 pledged delegates (42 district delegates). There are no available polls.

Alabama 

The state offers 61 pledged delegates (34 district delegates).

The last poll conducted in this state was in March. 

Oklahoma 

The state allocates 37 delegates (24 district delegates).

Here is the poll average of the two polls conducted in February.

  1. Bloomberg – 20.0 percent
  2. Biden – 16.5 percent
  3. Sanders – 13.5 percent
  4. Buttigieg – 10.5 percent
  5. Warren – 8.5 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 6.5 percent

Arkansas

The state offers 31 pledged delegates (20 district delegates).

There was only one poll conducted in the state in February. Here are the results:

  1. Bloomberg – 20 percent
  2. Biden – 19 percent
  3. Sanders – 16 percent
  4. Buttigieg – 16 percent
  5. Warren – 9 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 5 percent 

Utah 

The state has 29 pledged delegates (19 district delegates).

Deseret News/Hinckley released a poll this week. Here are the results:

  1. Sanders – 28 percent
  2. Bloomberg – 19 percent
  3. Buttigieg – 18 percent
  4. Warren – 15 percent 
  5. Biden – 6 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 4 percent

Maine 

There are 24 delegates awarded in Maine (16 district delegates).

There was one poll conducted in Maine in February:

  1. Sanders – 25 percent
  2. Buttigieg – 16 percent
  3. Bloomberg – 14 percent
  4. Biden – 12 percent
  5. Warren – 9 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 4 percent 
  7. Gabbard – 3 percent
  8. Steyer – 2 percent

Vermont 

The Green Mountain State offers 16 pledged delegates (11 district delegates).

There was one poll conducted in March it’s no surprise to see Sanders leading by a wide margin in his home state.

  1. Sanders – 51 percent
  2. Buttigieg – 13 percent
  3. Warren – 9 percent
  4. Bloomberg – 7 percent
  5. Biden – 5 percent
  6. Klobuchar – 4 percent
  7. Gabbard – 1 percent

American Samoa and Democrats Abroad

American Samoa holds a caucus on Super Tuesday for six pledged delegates. Democrats voting abroad on Tuesday offer 13 pledged delegates.

Conclusion

Sanders is in the drivers’ seat leading polls in eight states and, based on the 15 states with recent polling, could pick up delegates in 12. Biden and Bloomberg each lead polls in two states and could likely pick up delegates in five states each. Klobuchar leads in her home state, and that will probably the only state she wins delegates. Warren could pick up delegates in five states, but she leads none.

I suspect Biden will win Alabama. I think he will do well in Tennessee, but there’s no polling to be sure. Sanders’ lead in California and Texas is huge, but a lot will depend on where that support is located.

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