In 2019, the Republican candidates refused to get out of the way. They could not bear to let Ted Cruz gain after Iowa. So they locked themselves in place and failed to prevent anyone gaining enough to rival Trump. That gave Donald Trump the advantage. And yes, to be clear, the moderate and centrist Republicans who loathed Ted Cruz were very happy to keep Trump in the race thinking they could finally take him out. They were wrong.
The Democrats are experiencing this now. Bernie can keep collecting delegates ahead of the pack while the Democrats fail to consolidate. And why should they? Bloomberg has not even begun and Super Tuesday is not till March 3rd. They have no reason to leave the field. Klobuchar, who polls worse with black voters than Buttigieg, now has a real shot moving forward. Buttigieg has done phenomenally well. Warren and Biden have collapsed, but Biden is hanging on to visions of a fire wall in South Carolina.
Frankly, someone needs an intervention with Biden. This was his race to lose and he has lost it. Likewise, Warren has cratered. She is not going to gain any momentum. Buttigieg and Klobuchar have taken it from her. Ironically, she could endorse Bernie and really have an impact on the race in a way most of the others could not. Warren continuing cannot improve her position, but it can drag down Bernie a bit and hold him back for Bloomberg.
In New Hampshire, roughly 60% of the voters wanted someone who could beat Trump and 30% wanted someone who shared their beliefs. Bernie got the latter and the former group all divided between candidates. Still, Bernie is not benefitting and that could fuel a sense of grievance among his supporters. He has twice now gotten the most votes and is having to battle Buttigieg for delegates.
If Democrats do not consolidate soon, they are going to have serious problems uniting later. But they have no reason to consolidate with Bloomberg out there.