Been busy again, had to play a bit of catch up on the debate. I actually thought Bernie did very well. Warren devoured Bloomberg like a ravenous wolf picking off a sickly deer. Then everyone else piled on like a school of piranhas and picked the skeleton clean. I can't imagine this doesn't hurt him in the polls, especially with this as the most watched debate. I don't think it'll affect Nevada much though, since Bloomberg isn't there. Question is how does it affect Super Tuesday, does Biden recover? I hope not.
I have a weird feeling that Steyer will surprise with strong performances in Nevada and South Carolina. He could benefit greatly from a Bloomberg fallout if he invested similarly in Super Tuesday ads right after a couple of good top three performances in NV and SC. Considering how this race has gone so far with so many candidates in the second tier, why not one more?
Warren's performance will probably cause another surge. Let's hope it doesn't hurt Sanders too much in Nevada, but with so much early voting already done (almost 70k, nearly as much as the whole caucus turnout last year!) I think Bernie will still come out on top. If she and Steyer take second and third, and the occasional polls, rumors of carried over strength, and Biden's poor caucus turnout game and retreat to South Carolina gives Pete and Amy a sufficient opening, Biden could end up 5th or 6th place, which in a more diverse state would crush his campaign. Even a third place finish in Nevada would damage Biden at this point. He really needs to turn things around by proving he can win in diverse states.
I think everyone besides Sanders and Bloomberg need a good showing now in Nevada and/or South Carolina. Sanders seems established as a frontrunner (which also means he needs to win Nevada, or this image is damaged). Bloomberg seems established to be a strong candidate coming Super Tuesday.
Everyone else needs a strong showing before Bloomberg pushes into the race. So far Biden, Warren and Steyer had no strong showing. Steyer and Biden could possibly hope for South Carolina, as their polls are good there, but more shows of strength are obviously better. Warren cannot hope on SC, she needs a good result in Nevada.
Buttigieg and Klobuchar probably stay in the race until Super Tuesday in any case, but so far they are seen as candidates for the "white" states. A good result in Nevada or South Carolina could help a lot.
So in conclusion I see everyone hoping for the second place finish in Nevada, and the polls are close enough between all five. But only one can get it, right?