Ethics & Public Policy Center

Democrats Essentially Have a Three-Person Race Now

Published in The Washington Post on February 26, 2020

Tuesday night’s Democratic debate was predictably nasty. But the donnybrook did indirectly narrow the race to a final three candidates: Sanders, Biden and Bloomberg.

This was the last debate before the Super Tuesday primaries. Fifteen states and territories will vote that day, awarding about one-third of all pledged delegates. If a candidate hasn’t broken through after that with at least one win and a significant number of delegates, he or she won’t have a serious chance to be the nominee absent a deal at a brokered convention.

Polling before the debate showed that only Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former vice president Joe Biden and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg were doing well enough in enough states to meet that test. Sanders leads or is tied for first in every state except Arkansas, Oklahoma and Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s home state of Minnesota. Biden is second in five states and will surely do well in two unpolled states, Alabama and Tennessee, which are home to large black populations. Bloomberg leads or is tied for the lead in three states and is close in four others to the 15 percent mark that candidates need to get delegates. No other candidate comes close to meeting that breadth and depth of support.

Click here to read the rest of this piece at the Washington Post’s website.

Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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