March 2, 2019
Crystal Ball Forecast Revision Has Joe Biden
on Track for Photo Finish Win in Texas Primary
By Mike Hailey
Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden arrived in Texas on a serious roll on Monday night when a pair of former rivals and a long list of state lawmakers rallied behind his campaign at a Dallas rally on the eve of the Super Tuesday primary election.
Biden's resurgence after weeks of stagnation has sparked an eleventh-hour alteration in the Capitol Inside crystal ball forecast that now has Biden passing Bernie Sanders at the finish line in the battle for bragging rights in the state with the second richest delegate trove at stake in 2020.
Fueled by a blowout victory in the South Carolina primary election this past weekend, Biden had his newfound momentum on display at a lively event at the Dallas nightclub Gilley's where Amy Klobuchar shut down her own campaign for the White House and shifted her support to the former vice president in simultaneous moves. Democrat Pete Buttigieg had endorsed Biden an hour earlier at a fried chicken restaurant in Big D after pulling the plug on his presidential bid on Sunday night.
More than a half-dozen Texas legislators and congressional members showered Biden with praise on the Dallas stage before a fashionably late appearance by Texan Beto O'Rourke complete with a glowing review for the ex-VP and vow to vote for him at the polls on Tuesday.
O'Rourke - a former U.S. House member who almost beat U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in 2018 - had appeared to be Biden's most serious threat when he launched a bid for the White House less than a year ago. But O'Rourke bowed out of the race several months ago and had remained on the sidelines until now - contending that the Democrats' quest to take the Texas House back this fall had been a more pressing priority.
The Democrats at the Dallas rally focused their fire on President Donald Trump amid the assertion that Biden has the best shot at knocking the Republican out of office in November. State Rep. Chris Turner - a Grand Prairie lawmaker who chairs the House Democratic Caucus - contended that Biden would be the strongest possible asset that the Democrats could have at the top of the ticket here in their quest to take the lower chamber back this fall.
State Rep. Rafael Anchia - a Dallas Democrat who leads the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus - predicted that Biden with pick up support here from independents and some Republicans as well as the best choice to unite the nation after four years of Trump's tumultuous reign.
But Biden appeared to take indirect shots at Sanders and Mike Bloomberg as his two last serious threats when he told the crowd that party loyalists like themselves wanted a presidential nominee who's actually a Democrat.
Bloomberg had been a self-styled independent during a stint as the mayor of New York City. Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, had labeled himself as an independent as well before converting to the Democrats before his initial bid for president in 2016.
Biden had fallen behind Sanders in the polling in Texas in the past week or two after appearing to flounder and to stall. Biden got his campaign back on track when he crushed Sanders by almost 30 points in the South Carolina vote on Saturday.
But the belated nature of the Biden fortunes-reverse could come back to haunt him on Super Tuesday in Texas in light of the fact that more than 1 million people had already voted early here when Sanders had been perceived as the frontrunner for a couple of weeks last month.
Sanders could hold the lead long enough to edge Biden here. The massive Biden victory margin, however, in the first southern primary could knock the steam out of Bloomberg's hopes for a strong showing in Texas and other Super Tuesday states where he's making his debut on the primary ballot.
Bloomberg, who'd been positioning himself to be the establishment candidate in anticipation of a Biden collapse, could end up in a distant third in the Texas primary election after appearing to have some shot a victory here in recent weeks. .
more to come ...