Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Spencer Platt/Getty Staff, Joe Raedle/Getty Staff

MANCHESTER, N.H.— The political market is rendering two unambiguous trend lines: Mike Bloomberg's TV monopoly is fueling his surge into the top tier of Democratic presidential rivals, and cash-strapped Joe Biden is crashing.

State of play: The billionaire and former New York mayor is achieving a critical mass in national polls and capturing the attention of the media, establishment Democrats (and Republicans) and the betting market. And the former vice president is dropping in those same metrics.

The big picture: Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are the candidates to beat today in New Hampshire — but beneath the surface, the Bloomberg and Biden trends are the ones to watch.

  • State polling and our conversations with voters and campaigns show Biden at risk of finishing here as low as fifth, behind Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. That could imperil the firewall he's always counted on from black voters in the South Carolina primary at the end of this month.
  • Bloomberg, who jumped in the race late, is skipping the first four states to focus on Super Tuesday and beyond.

A Quinnipiac University poll out Monday found "Biden no longer dominates on the key question of electability," with 27% of national Democratic or Dem-leaning voters giving Biden the best chance of beating President Trump — a steep drop from 44% just two weeks ago.

  • Sanders was second with 24%. Bloomberg was third with 17% — up from 9% in late January, and ahead of Buttigieg, Warren and Klobuchar.
  • Among black primary voters, the poll found Biden's lead has dropped to 27% from 51% in December, with Bloomberg jumping to the second spot, at 22%, slightly ahead of Sanders.

Meanwhile, the oddsmakers see Bloomberg in second among Democrats right now, behind Sanders.

  • Biden has tanked in the PredictIt online market, where his shares cost 43¢ on Jan. 8 and now go for 11¢. Bernie goes for 48¢, Mike for 28¢ and Pete is 14¢.

By the numbers: As Axios' Stef Kight and Alexi McCammond have reported, in Q4 Bloomberg outspent his Democratic rivals and Trump combined — and that's only going to grow.

What we're hearing: At a closing rally Monday night at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manchester, N.H., Biden told hundreds of supporters and potential supporters that he's the candidate Trump fears most.

  • But several in the audience who admire Biden and his policies said they're still undecided and had questions about his energy and electability after watching him in debates and after his disappointing results in Iowa.
  • "Anyone who can beat the current president, that's what I'm trying to gauge" said Tony Tortorici, 55. "And someone relatively centrist." He said he was leaning toward Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar because he wants "more youthful ideas" and Biden "doesn't seem as energized as I would like."
  • Rachel Chase, 44, said for her "it's between Biden and Bloomberg" because "I think they both have the most likelihood of beating Trump." She said she still leans Biden but has a growing unease.
  • "When he first came out, I thought he was going to be an easy in" but now "it just doesn't seem that way. I worry in these debates, whether he'll be able to do well against Trump."

One sign of hope for Bloomberg: Will Nickerson, 68, came to a Buttigieg rally in Milford, New Hampshire, just to see what it was like. He was a Republican for most of his life — except for the time he voted for Obama in 2008 — and he supported John Kasich in 2016. 

  • This year, he’s got his eye on Bloomberg. “Celebrity matters,” he said of what it would take to beat Trump. “At least Bloomberg can go toe-to-toe with Trump in terms of resources.” 

Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told reporters Monday morning that if this were the World Series, "I would say this is Game 2 and we're going all the way to Game 7."

  • She acknowledged Biden is "the underdog" in New Hampshire, but said the campaign is confident that "we have the resources that we need to compete" through Super Tuesday and beyond.
  • She said many Democrats have the “perception” that “Bloomberg is trying to buy his way to the nomination.”

Between the lines: Money is a big X factor in the Democratic contest, but it cuts both ways.

  • Wins fuel donations — that's helping Sanders and Buttigieg. Losses shake donor confidence. Biden needs money to keep going.
  • The self-funded Bloomberg is immune from those forces. But with an anti-billionaire message at the core of Sanders' campaign, it's an open question whether the same wealth that has propelled Bloomberg's unorthodox candidacy could be an inherent disqualifier for too many primary voters.

Go deeper:

Bloomberg's Super Tuesday splurge

Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.

Go deeper

34 mins ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — The first exit poll from Sunday's German elections showed the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a dead heat at 25%, leaving the race to succeed Angela Merkel too close to call.

The state of play: A second exit poll showed the SPD narrowly ahead. That's the one televisions displayed at SPD headquarters in Berlin, where the room erupted into cheers. Official results will roll in throughout the evening.

Abbott says he'll hire Border Patrol agents who whipped at migrants

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Sunday defended the actions of U.S. Border Patrol agents who charged at Haitian migrants on horseback, blaming the Biden administration for not preventing them from crossing the border.

Why it matters: Abbott's remark on "Fox News Sunday" comes amid increased backlash over the incident, with President Biden saying, "I promise... those people will pay,” and the Department of Homeland Security launching an investigation.

Everyone wants to be an influencer

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The number of people looking to become online influencers has exploded during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Almost anyone can find themselves in a position to become an influencer, and brands are throwing billions of dollars at online content creators.