Did Joe Biden Win the Nomination Last Night?
Author: Greg Valliere
December 20, 2019
WE’RE STILL IN THE EARLY STAGES of the Democrats’ nomination battle, but this much seems certain after Joe Biden’s strong performance last night: he’s the clear front-runner; the nomination is his to lose.
BIDEN HAS SPENT THE PAST FEW WEEKS in town halls throughout Iowa, and the rust is gone. His sound bites were sharp and forceful last night; that will happen when you practice them every day.
THE DEBATE WAS REFRESHING after weeks of impeachment yelling, which shows no signs of ending. And there were some winners last night in addition to Biden:
Amy Klobuchar: She was relaxed and funny, but hit hard — an iron fist in a velvet glove. Klobuchar has modest funds and little time to climb out of single digits, but she probably locked up the VP nod last night.
Bernie Sanders: Same old Bernie — angry and shouting, passionate about his radical agenda. But he didn’t hurt himself last night and is very much in the running for Iowa and New Hampshire.
Elizabeth Warren: A solid performance but with no new sound bites. She’s a scold with a purity test for every candidate who takes a dollar in fundraising. Warren needed a comeback after several tepid weeks, but no one likes being lectured to.
Pete Buttigieg: He had several strong moments, but got zinged on his fundraising with wealthy Napa wine drinkers. Buttigieg hit back and is exceptionally articulate, but our sense is that he’s peaking six weeks too early.
Andrew Yang: We know people who love him, and we know people who don’t get him. He’s different and worth listening to, but it’s difficult to envision him getting out of single digits.
Tom Steyer: Seriously, what was this lightweight doing on the stage while a serious black candidate, Cory Booker, was excluded?
Mike Bloomberg: His ads are very good (and ubiquitous) but sooner or later voters will have to see Bloomberg in action. How ironic — he thought skipping Iowa and the early races was a smart move, but his premise was that Biden would implode. If Uncle Joe is about to open up a bigger lead, Bloomberg’s task just got even more difficult.
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