Below, Alexandra DeSanctis notes that reports of the death of Joe Biden’s lead are, so far, greatly exaggerated, with the former vice president still leading, 33 percent to Elizabeth Warren’s 21 percent in the latest national Morning Consult poll. Still that survey result stands out a bit; the three previous national surveys put Warren narrowly ahead, and the Massachusetts senator narrowly led four of the last six in the RealClearPolitics average.
Ah-ha, someone is shouting out there, the country doesn’t have a national primary! But in the early states, the trend looks about as good for Warren as the national numbers. She narrowly led the last two polls in Iowa, narrowly led the two most recent polls in New Hampshire, and three of the last four in Nevada. (Keep in mind, many of these leads are just a percentage point or two.) Only in South Carolina does Biden’s lead still look gargantuan.
Does this mean Warren is now set to cruise to the nomination? Biden just had himself elevated into a mano a mano fight with Trump on the Ukraine phone call and hasn’t quite made the most of that opportunity. (It’s rather revealing that Biden hasn’t done a lengthy sit-down interview, addressing any questions about his son’s employment and dealings at Burisma or anywhere else, and he’s snapping at reporters who do ask about them.) Warren’s other big rival, a 78-year-old man, just had a heart attack.
But there’s a school of thought among some Democrats that in the weeks before people start voting, every serious candidate will get one last look — and that might include those who have slid down to “also ran” status like Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris. Warren doesn’t seem like a sure thing. Democratic strategists worry about a campaign promising to end private health insurance, whether she appeals to African Americans, and the Native American controversy getting stirred up again. Wall Street hates her and isn’t shy about saying so. Democrats have already seen one woman senator go up against Trump and ensure a stunning defeat.
There’s one other new X-factor in the race. No party has has ever held a presidential primary during a presidential impeachment before. That will eat up media oxygen and basically force the country to spend a year thinking about removing Trump before they face the decision on whether they reelect Trump. Whether the future Democratic nominee likes it or not, they will be sharing the stage with Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Jerry Nadler for the next few months.
The media wanted a more competitive, more dramatic Democratic presidential primary. Fate is providing one.