The Democratic primaries and caucuses are proportional, not winner takes all. If a candidate gets 30% of the vote, they get 30% of the delegates. With an important caveat. They must poll at least 15% to get delegates. Any candidate with less than 15% gets nothing. Depending on the state, Warren or Sanders could get nothing, like in South Carolina and New Hampshire.
Biden is polling extremely well in the South, which leaves less room for another candidate to get 15%. The first four states to vote in order are Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Iowa is close between Sanders and Biden. Of course Sanders will take New Hampshire, it’s next to Vermont (and is in northern New England, which is different from southern New England where Warren is, it just is.) Biden is leading in Nevada and stomping it in South Carolina.
Focusing on the two small states of Iowa and New Hampshire as bellwethers has always seemed silly to me. They just aren’t that important in terms of delegates. The big day is Super Tuesday, March 3, with results coming from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. IMO, we will know on March 4 who the frontrunner, and maybe the winner is. I think it’ll be Biden. Based on recent polls, Biden is also crushing it in Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and more. He’s strong in the heartland.
As always, the first few Democratic primaries are very exciting. However they don’t mean much in terms of the final result.
Who Is Ahead? The Economist. Nationwide polls. With breakdowns by race, age, education.
2020 Presidential Election Calendar. Polling by states, in order by date of primary / caucus. Hugely useful resource.