LIVEBLOG: South Carolina Democratic Debate | Talking Points Memo

LIVEBLOG: South Carolina Democratic Debate

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at



Dayum. This IS going to be interesting.

  1. Roughly 1 in 3 Biden backers in the poll (32%) said they might vote for another candidate on Saturday. Just more than 1 in 10 Sanders supporters (12%) said the same. That’s broadly consistent with what we’ve seen throughout this primary to date; Sanders has the most committed support, while Biden’s has been among the least committed.

Bernie winning SC would be a tsunami to the Dem Establishment. How the tears would flow.


Well, let’s first see if it happens.


I’m still expecting Biden to eke out a victory, to be clear.


Average of all South Carolina polls taken since Jan 1:

Biden 29.4%, Bernie 19.5%, Steyer 14.7%, Warren 9.2%, Pete 7.9%, Klobuchar 4.3%. I think taking the average of all polls since Jan 1 allows for more data points and an ability to smooth out the volatile IA/NH cycle which was Biden’s low point.

Steyer underperformed his NV polling going from 15% in the average to 9% in the first alignment and then down to 4.7% on delegates.

In other words, Steyer is a paper tiger and his numbers will drop by a larger margin in SC than they did in NV because black voters will move to Biden. There are also signs in the PPP poll that Biden is slightly ahead of Pete among white voters and only a few points behind Bernie in that demo. Given Pete/Amy’s general weakness, it’s a more consolidated field for Biden so he will perform much better in SC than he has in the first 3 contests.

With a solid debate performance tonight and some help from Bloomberg in putting the focus on Bernie, Biden has a good chance to get up to 35% or higher and win SC by a solid margin. That will shift the Super Tuesday races to a 3 way contest between Biden, Bloomberg and Bernie, with each of them getting into the 20% range. That appears to be happening already in the Southern contests (NC, TX are examples). With a clear win in SC, Biden can make the pitch to registered Dems that he’s the moderate candidate they should choose. He should be able to get more votes from Pete/Amy supporters in the key states as he will be more viable than either of them following a win in SC.

I will be curious to see if Warren, Klobuchar, or Pete have any juice against Bernie in CO, ME, UT, MN and MA. I would think Klobuchar should be able to win the MN primary and Warren the MA primary, but it’s not a given.


In TX in Jan. Biden was at 34% now he trails Bernie.


Oh right…the debate…I’m two Old Fashions in…let’s roll.

late: Laissez le bon temps roulez y’all!


Rep. Clyburn just did a brief warm-up welcome for the debate audience on the cbsnews feed. Maybe a little bit of front-loading encouragement for Biden, since everyone knows Clyburn will endorse him.

Cheap jug wine here. Well, not that cheap, but nuthin’ fancy.


Slow down! I’m not even home yet. How will I catch up?


but a jug, none the less…



I’m working. Libations will come later, if at all.


Drink and drive?

Yep, 1.5 Liter bottle, that’s a jug. Quantity beats quality on a night like this.

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I’m here at the library until 8:00 pm…ignoring all the patrons while talking to all of you!

I’ll get home about 8:15, where cheap wine is waiting for me. :wine_glass:


It appears that once again all the remaining candidates are going to take each other on instead of aiming their fire at the monster in the WH. I’m counting on someone who watches this to debrief tomorrow.


I’m having an after dinner capuccino. Vodka in the freezer at the ready. Cheers!


I just got back from a dinner that was not on my tab…


Warren’s wearing her power red jacket, Klobuchar in maroon colors, not standing out much among the guys in dark suits. For all you fashionistas out there.


Oh wait…I’m supposed to turn the TV on?