With the New Hampshire primary in the rearview mirror, democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is now the “clear progressive frontrunner,” and has seized control of his party’s “left lane” to compete for the nomination, according to Democratic pollster and commentator Doug Schoen.
Schoen added that in his view, former Vice President Joe Biden is “on his last legs.”
Speaking in an exclusive Newsmax interview, Schoen said, “You’ve got three moderates: [former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete] Buttigieg, Biden and [Minnesota Sen. Amy] Klobuchar.
“And you’ve got one left candidate in Bernie Sanders, and [progressive Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth] Warren is sinking.
“So, Sanders has clearly emerged as having a clear track as a socialist; it’s just very difficult to see what’s going to happen,” he said, adding, “but it’s a bad night for Biden, a bad night for [businessman Andrew] Yang, and a bad night for [Colorado Sen. Michael] Bennet.”
Yang and Bennet suspended their campaigns after weak showings in New Hampshire primary. Biden pulled up stakes earlier in the day and left for South Carolina, signaling his anticipation of a poor performance.
Biden supporters said they expected him to at least place third or fourth in New Hampshire. Instead, he placed fifth, trailing Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Warren.
Tuesday’s outcome was an embarrassing setback for Warren, aggravated by the fact that her home state borders New Hampshire.
Said Schoen, “I think it’s clear that Warren is in bad shape . . . and Bernie is the clear progressive frontrunner.”
Schoen said Warren sounded “pretty downcast” in recent interviews, and added, “I’m not sure she’s ready to abandon [the race], especially before the [Feb. 19] South Carolina debate.”
Schoen has been hired by former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who’s seeking the Democratic Party nomination but wasn’t competing in New Hampshire, to conduct polling.
He noted that Buttigieg “exceeded his poll numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire. But this is a divided party, with a clear advantage to Bernie Sanders at this point. But we have Mike Bloomberg coming in on Super Tuesday, and who knows what’s going to happen?”
Now, attention will turn to whether Biden can make a comeback in South Carolina, and Schoen is skeptical.
“I think losing the first two as badly as he did, I’m not sure he wins South Carolina,” Schoen said. “I think Biden is on his last legs.”
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