In a recent Dallas Morning News column, Gromer Jeffers wrote that Texas will be critical to the survival of former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Biden was once the expected front-runner, but that’s changed, and Jeffers says Biden will have to “up his ground game” in Texas if he wants to stay in contention.
Polls show Biden with a lead among Texas Democrats at 35%, compared to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who’s in second place with 18%. But with the primary vote on Tuesday in New Hampshire, Biden looks set to take another hit after a poor showing in Iowa.
Political analyst Matthew Dowd has been in New Hampshire covering the primary contest for ABC News. He says last Friday’s debate among Democratic presidential candidates didn’t bring a fundamental change to the contest.
“I would say that if there was one thing that might have changed the trajectory a little bit of the race, it was Amy Klobuchar’s performance,” Dowd says. “By most people’s standards, she did better than anybody else. She’s now gotten a lift since Friday, in New Hampshire.”
Dowd says Minnesota Sen. Klobuchar’s debate performance probably won’t lead to a victory for her in New Hampshire, but it could “launch her into third place.” Polls show Sanders leading in New Hampshire, with former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg expected to come in second.
Dowd says either of the two remaining female candidates in the Democratic field, Klobuchar and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, could benefit from the high percentage of women in the electorate in upcoming primaries states like South Carolina and Nevada, and in the Super Tuesday states like Texas.
“There’s still this grand space left, I think, for a female candidate in this race, because 60% of the voters who are remaining are women voters,” Dowd says.
Dowd says that if Biden does badly in New Hampshire, the South Carolina primary becomes “open” because Biden is the only candidate who has strong African American support.
As for how Biden will do in Texas, his campaign lacks the local organization that other candidates have poured into the state. But Dowd says momentum will be a key factor for candidates hoping to capture the huge number of Democratic delegates Texans will choose on March 3.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.