2020 democratic primaries

A pair of Floridians are asking a state court to remove Sen. Bernie Sanders from Florida's March 17 primary ballot.

Asked during this week's debate in Charleston, S.C., if he would drop out if he doesn't win the primary there, former Vice President Joe Biden was blunt.

"I will win South Carolina," Biden said.

Asked again after the debate if he could carry on if he doesn't win South Carolina, Biden was equally declarative.

Even now, with two early state wins and one virtual tie under its belt, and a chance to pull away from the rest of the presidential primary field on Super Tuesday, the campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a bit of a chip on its shoulder about the way it says it's covered by the media.

The Democrats debated for the 10th time Tuesday night and it was a bit of a mess. There was shouting. There was overtalk. There were lots of attacks.

So what to make of that muddle? Here are four takeaways that emerged as the dust settled.

1. Joe Biden was focused on the win in South Carolina

South Carolina is a must-win for the former vice president after disappointing finishes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. He came into the debate with a game plan and executed it the best he could.

Days before the South Carolina primary, seven Democratic candidates will face off in a debate in Charleston, S.C.

The debate comes after Sen. Bernie Sanders handily won the Nevada caucuses, won in New Hampshire and tied in Iowa.

Here's what you need to know:

When is the South Carolina Democratic debate? Tuesday, from 8 to 10 p.m. ET.

Where is the debate being held? Charleston.

What channel is the debate on? CBS and streaming online on CBSN.

Nick Wagner / Austin American-Statesman via AP

Bernie Sanders’ remarks about Fidel Castro on “60 Minutes” Sunday night continued to set off alarms among Florida Democrats on Monday, as worries spread about the presidential front-runner’s views on authoritarian regimes and the effect on Hispanic and undecided voters in a swing state.

The 2020 Democratic nomination is now Sen. Bernie Sanders' to lose.

The independent from Vermont ⁠— who is running as a Democrat and often speaks about the ills not just of Republicans, but also of Democrats ⁠— handily won the Nevada Democratic caucuses.

In Las Vegas — a city known for prize fights — the Democrats were gloves off.

And a new entrant in the ring took a lot of incoming: former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent more than $300 million of his own money on ads to raise his profile.

He isn't on the ballot in Nevada's caucuses, but billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be on the national debate stage for the first time, joining five other Democratic candidates Wednesday night during the debate in Las Vegas. He qualified after surging in the polls.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the man largely responsible for making his state's presidential caucuses a prominent early contest, has declined the opportunity to defend caucus systems in an interview with NPR.

"I will talk about that after Super Tuesday, after when we get California and Texas out of the way," Reid said. "Right now, we're gonna make the best we can of the system we have."

Updated at 7:08 a.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a double-digit lead in the Democratic nominating contest, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Sanders has 31% support nationally, up 9 points since December, the last time the poll asked about Democratic voters' preferences.

The Democratic presidential nominating contest now heads into a critical phase.

The candidates have so far stood for elections in two of the whitest states in the country, Iowa and New Hampshire. But Nevada and South Carolina — the next two states to vote — will provide far more diverse electorates.

The head of the Iowa Democratic Party filed his resignation Wednesday, as the organization is still picking up the pieces from last week's caucus debacle.

Troy Price had been head of the state party since 2017, but after his role in overseeing a process widely panned as disorganized and opaque, it became an open question whether he would stay on in his job.

As the Democratic primary season rolls on, one big lesson already is sinking in from the party's caucus-night meltdown in Iowa: Secrecy isn't a strategy.

State Democratic chair Troy Price declined to answer questions a month ago about what sorts of tests were conducted on the smartphone app the party was planning to use on caucus night or detail backup plans should it fail.

But he did promise some sort of transparency.

For centrist Democrats the most important theme to emerge from the New Hampshire primary was "don't count us out."

For weeks they have been grappling with the reality that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is shaping up to be their party's front-runner for president. Moderates say surging support for two more moderate Democrats is a signal that their wing of the party has a chance to take the nomination. But there is growing pressure on centrists to unite around a single candidate before Sanders becomes unbeatable.

Pages