For one 24-hour period, Joe Biden had everything going right for him — from his win in South Carolina to Pete Buttigieg dropping out, clearing one moderate opponent from the presidential primary field.
But the progressive movement’s answer to Biden’s run of good fortune was quickly materializing in California — where the deafening crowds that met Bernie Sanders on Sunday screamed a reminder of how quickly he still could pull away from Biden.
“The corporate establishment is getting nervous,” Sanders warned a crowd of 9,500 people in San Jose, a refrain he reprised in front of thousands more in Los Angeles hours later. “The political establishment is getting nervous as well. Some in the Democratic establishment are saying, ‘My God, look at the turnout here!’”
The effect of Buttigieg’s withdrawal from the race is unclear, with his supporters potentially going to any number of other candidates, including Sanders. On Twitter on Sunday, he congratulated Buttigieg “for running a strong and historic campaign” and went on “to welcome all of his supporters into our movement.”
But it is Biden, more than any other contender, who is desperate for a consolidated field that will offer him a head-to-head race with Sanders.