After cruising to a landslide victory in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont emerged as the undisputed frontrunner in the Democratic Party presidential race. The victory came after he won the popular vote in Iowa and the New Hampshire primary.
Former Vice President Joe Biden seems poised to win South Carolina -- his longtime stronghold -- but Sanders appears to be favored to win a significant number of delegates on Super Tuesday. Among the 14 states that vote on that day are Massachusetts and Minnesota, and Sanders winning them could be a devastating blow to two other candidates, according to a new report from The Hill.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are both losing ground in their home states, with the Vermont senator looking stronger than ever. For instance, according to the latest polling, Sanders is only five percentage points behind Klobuchar in her home state.
During a CNN town hall on Wednesday, when asked about the prospect of losing in Minnesota, Klobuchar projected confidence but noted that winning her home state primary is not a must.
"I never set litmus tests, but I know I'm going to win Minnesota, so that's not a factor," she said.
But, according to Kathryn Pearson, associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, Klobuchar "needs to worry about Senator Bernie Sanders."
Warren is in a much worse situation than her Minnesota counterpart. The Massachusetts senator is falling behind Sanders in her own state, with the latest polling showing her trailing him by 8 percentage points. Similarly, a poll released last week also suggests that Warren is in danger of losing her home state to Sanders.
"Warren's situation is vastly different, part of the reason for that is because progressives are a larger share of the Massachusetts vote and Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center,
Warren has an additional Super Tuesday concern to worry about -- the primary in Oklahoma, where she was born. In the Sooner State, it is not only Sanders that is ahead of Warren, but also Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as well, according to the latest polling.As Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist, put it, "the repercussions for either Klobuchar or Warren not winning their home states are pretty severe."
"If they lose their home state I think they're forced to suspend their candidacies because I don't see where they'll get the money to sustain themselves," he added.