Don’t get your hopes up about Super Tuesday, Joe Biden fans.
Same goes for fans of anyone running for the Democratic presidential nomination other than U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Biden dominated South Carolina on Saturday, but Sanders is poised to build an insurmountable lead in the Super Tuesday primaries, which include voting in 14 states and American Samoa and voting by Democrats abroad.
The last three polls of California voters show Sanders leading California by 12 to 19 percentage points. California has 415 of the 1,357 delegates at stake tomorrow night.
You need 1,991 to win the nomination.
Sanders also leads former Vice President Joe Biden by 5 points in the latest poll in Texas, which awards 228 delegates.
This is all according to numbers on RealClearPolitics.com.
As of Monday, Sanders had 58 delegates, Biden, 54, departed ex-South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 26, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, 8; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, 7.
California and Texas will award almost half the delegates available Tuesday.
The other states with primaries Super Tuesday are North Carolina (110 delegates), where Biden is up 4 points in the latest poll; Virginia (99 delegates), Sanders +11 in latest poll; Massachusetts (91 delegates), Sanders +4; Minnesota, Klobuchar +6 in her home state; Colorado (67 delegates), Sanders +12; Tennessee (64 delegates), no polling available, but Biden favored; Alabama (52 delegates), no polling available, but Biden favored; Oklahoma (37 delegates), Biden +1; Arkansas (31 delegates), former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg +1; Utah (29 delegates), Sanders +9; Maine (24 delegates), Sanders +9; and Vermont (16 delegates), Sanders +38.
Tally that, and you’ll find Sanders winning eight states, including the two with the most delegates to award.
A word of caution about the polling: most of it happened before Biden won South Carolina. His victory there could shuffle things around tomorrow if voters start thinking he can win the nomination.
Nonetheless, if Sanders wins California and Texas, especially if he wins California big, overcoming his delegate lead before the last state primaries June 2 will take a lot of work.
The simple reason is this: Democrats generally award delegates proportionately.
Once you take a substantial lead in delegates, you just need to match what your opponents do the rest of the way to stay ahead.
That’s what happened between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008 and Clinton and Sanders in 2016. Clinton didn’t let what happened to her on Super Tuesday in 2008 happen to her again in 2016.
Of course, this time around may be different if Bloomberg, Biden, Klobuchar and Warren keep hanging around after tomorrow. They could keep picking off enough delegates to prevent Sanders from reaching 1,991 before the convention in July in Milwaukee.
I’m betting the results tomorrow will force Klobuchar, Warren or both out of the race, though maybe they stick around to maintain a female presence.
That would leave as serious contenders only Sanders, Biden and Bloomberg, who really has to win a few states tomorrow to have something to show for the more than $500 million he’s spent.
We are really going to find out what all that money bought him tomorrow.
Yeah, I know, I didn’t mention Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who seems engaged in nothing but a vanity project at this point.
I’m betting Sanders pretty much locks it up tomorrow or at least locks up a solid lead headed into the convention.
His campaign just seems better organized than everyone else. His grass-roots operation also comes with a lot more supporters who work free because of their passion for the candidate.