Biden Wins in SC, Two Drop Out, But Sanders Still Favorite

Joe Biden was the big winner over the weekend as the former vice president easily won the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary on Saturday. But was that win enough to turn the tide away from Vermont US Sen. Bernie Sanders ahead of Super Tuesday?

Joementum 2.0? Biden’s win in South Carolina Saturday sets him up to be the main challenger to Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Image: IBEW)

According to PredictIt, perhaps not.

Biden’s stock on the online political betting exchange was up 4 cents late Sunday (ET) to 31 cents a share. However, Sanders shares remained strong, trading at 57 cents, up a penny from Saturday.

Saturday’s South Carolina primary, which Biden won with 48 percent of the vote and more than 150,000 more votes than Sanders, gave the former VP 33 delegates. That puts him at 48 overall, according to the New York Times, and eight behind Sanders.

After posting near-disastrous results in the early states, Biden appeared to put his focus on the Palmetto State. That essentially meant the campaign could have ended if it produced another lackluster result.

Instead, the candidate who once was considered the favorite, got the jolt he needed.

All those who’ve been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign,” Biden said in his victory speech Saturday night. “Just days ago, the press and the pundits declared this candidacy dead. Now, thanks to all of you, the heart of the Democratic Party, we just won and we won big because of you.”

After Saturday, it appears to be a two-man race in the Democratic Party. The winner likely faces Donald Trump 245 days from now.

The only other candidate with shares trading at 10 cents or more is former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His shares went up 2 cents to a dime on Sunday.

Massachusetts US Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s stock is at two cents. That’s 4 cents lower than Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that Warren’s actually the one running this year.

Super Tuesday Next

On Tuesday, Democratic voters will go to the polls in 16 states as part of the Super Tuesday primary. Those races will dole out about a third of the delegates available.

The two biggest states are California, with 415 delegates, and Texas, with 228 available. Unlike the general Presidential election, which has 48 states offering their electoral college votes to their state popular winner, primaries award delegates on a complex formula involving vote totals, typically for each Congressional district. That’s why Sanders was able to win 11 delegates in South Carolina Tuesday.

According to Real Clear Politics, Sanders appears to have leads in California and Texas, and Biden was up slightly in North Carolina. However, that was based on polls that took place before Biden’s first primary win and a couple of candidates announcing their withdrawal from the race.

Two Candidates Drop After South Carolina

On Saturday, shortly after the South Carolina primary closed, billionaire Tom Steyer opted to suspend his campaign. The activist was but barely a blip on the screen in the race. Before dropping out, polling showed the entrepreneur and environmental activist at just 3 percent in California, his home state.

A more significant announcement came Sunday evening, when South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced his departure. Buttigieg won the most delegates in the Iowa caucus, but he could not parlay that into success in other states.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight noted Sunday that Buttigieg’s departure muddies the water just a bit. Without Buttigieg, Sanders’ chances of clinching the nomination during the primary process dropped from 28 percent to 23 percent. Biden’s chances remained the same at around 12 percent.

However, the chances the party goes to the convention in Milwaukee without a nominee secured rose from 59 to 64 percent.

“He was polling at <15% almost everywhere on Super Tuesday, meaning he was tracking to get very few delegates, but his votes will help other candidates to get over 15% and get delegates,” Silver tweeted about Buttigieg’s support.

In the past four days at PredictIt, shares on the convention needing to be brokered have risen from 47 cents last Wednesday to 60 cents on Sunday. Nearly 32,000 shares were traded on Sunday alone in that market.

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