Former Vice President Joe Biden returned to the top of the media heap last week.
For the first time this cycle, there was just one debate night, and only 10 candidates made the cut — so now we’re trying to make sense of what happened when the front-runners shared the stage. In recent weeks, the polls have shown a top tier of three to five candidates, with former Vice President Joe Biden leading, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren tied for second, and Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, a distant fourth and fifth — but did that change last night?
Welcome to FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
On Tuesday, North Carolina played host to the most closely watched election since the 2018 midterms. On paper, it was Republicans who emerged victorious, going 2-for-2 in two separate congressional elections. But there was also a silver lining for Democrats — their final vote margin in the night’s marquee race was much bluer than the district’s baseline partisanship.
Saudi Arabia has yet to comment on the extent of damage on its oil production but industry sources have said some 5-6 million barrels per day (bpd) or 5-6% of global supply have been affected.
A much-discussed poll last month showing an effective three-way tie between Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders at the top of the Democratic primary field has since proven to be something of an outlier. But the narrative that the Democratic primary has collapsed down into a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders is still going strong.
So far, Elizabeth Warren’s Democratic primary strategy seems to be working pretty well. She’s been steadily gaining support since the spring, when she was polling around fifth place, and is now neck-and-neck with Bernie Sanders, according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average. Early-state activists think she’s gaining momentum, the most plugged-in subset of Democrats seems to be coalescing behind her, and she’s well-liked among primary voters. But she’s still not within striking distance of Joe Biden, who continues to hold a double-digit lead over the rest of the field.
The North Carolina 9th District seat has remained vacant for a third of the 116th Congress — the fallout from a brazen case of election fraud that may have affected the outcome of the 2018 election. Allegedly, a consultant for Republican candidate Mark Harris coordinated an effort to illegally collect unsealed absentee ballots, mislead election authorities and, in some cases, fill out ballots on behalf of voters. As a result, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted in February to redo the congressional race and later set a new election for Sept. 10. Now, the 9th District will finally vote on a new representative in an election that could go either way. Here’s a look at what’s already happened in the campaign — and what to expect when results roll in after polls close at 7:30 p.m.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has said she has drawn crowds of up to 15,000. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden has not exactly been packing them in, even as he continues to lead by a healthy margin in most polls of the Democratic presidential primary. So could Warren’s big crowds be picking up on something that the polls are missing?