As you might expect, there hasn’t been a wealth of polling between Joe Biden’s blockbuster South Carolina win on Saturday night and Tuesday, when voters in 14 states, including California and Texas, go to the polls. But what data there is shows a big — perhaps unprecedentedly big — swing toward a candidate in just a matter of hours.
Data for Progress, whose forecasts have been among the most accurate among polling firms across the first four primary and caucus states, released a set of numbers showing Biden dramatically improving his standing across the Super Tuesday calendar.
Swayable, another polling outfit, also showed rising numbers for Biden across the Super Tuesday calendar. And polls of Virginia and North Carolina — a state key in his strategy of running up the score against Sanders in the South — followed the same trend.
The shift has been so rapid that in a matter of hours, Biden surged past Sanders in FiveThirtyEight’s forecast of which candidate has the best chance to assemble a majority of delegates before the Democratic convention in Milwaukee. (The site still predicts that nobody capturing a majority is the most likely outcome.)
The polls aren’t the only good news for Biden. Moderate rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar both dropped out and appeared at a rally for him on Monday night, along with onetime contender Beto O’Rourke, signaling to voters that the party’s Establishment wing has at last unified behind one candidate.
There are caveats to the cavalcade of positive signs for Biden. Sanders still retains a significant edge in California, by far the most populous of Tuesday’s states — and a good portion of voters there have already cast their ballots. Sanders’s core supporters are also spread out across the country in a way that could favor him when the votes are tallied up.
Still, Biden is in a stronger position than almost anyone could have imagined just a few days ago. Now he’ll wait to see if all the apparent good news in the wake of South Carolina translates into actual good news on Tuesday night.