The race for the Democratic nomination could not have changed more dramatically in less than a week. Gone is the fear or presumption — depending on one’s view — that Sen. Bernie Sanders was on course to a November matchup against President Trump. Gone are the candidacies of Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. Reeling are the candidacies of Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg that had seemed until days ago to have the resources and resolve to last until the July convention in Milwaukee.
Out of the ashes rose Joe Biden, the onetime front-runner whose shaky debate performances and tepid fundraising efforts had pushed him to the brink of irrelevancy. His Super Tuesday performance, coming off a robust victory in South Carolina on Saturday, brought him back to the fore in what appears to be a one-on-one battle with Sanders.
Such is the dynamic of American politics, where pundits shout with certitude and the states of Iowa and New Hampshire claim outsize influence, but assumptions can evaporate quickly when the masses start to vote. That reality arrived on Tuesday when 14 states, holding a third of the delegates to the Democratic convention, weighed in. Biden, the former vice president, showed remarkable resilience.