With the caveat that I’m a soft Warren supporter, here are the dynamics I see happening post-Iowa.
1) Sanders is not Trump
A lot of people have made this comparison, that since Sanders has a hard core floor of support and his rivals are divided 4-6 ways, he could creep into a win. This falls short since the GOP is largely winner take all primaries while ours are proportional. This leads to the second dynamic.
2) IA and N.H. won’t be gatekeepers
IA self immolated it’s gatekeeper status, but even N.H. will not act as a gatekeeper. There are still 4-6 tickets out of there. If Warren gets third as she did in IA, Biden gets 4th, and Klobuchar is close behind with a double digit 5th place-all have reason to continue into South Carolina.
3) SC won’t be a gatekeeper
Unless Biden loses and Sanders wins, SC will just act as a lifeboat for the Biden candidacy keeping him afloat and stalling Buttigiegs momentum from winning IA and possibly NH as he severely underperforms in SC (barring a massive shift in his polling)
4) NV and CA will be critical
I could see NV ending Warren and Klobuchar’s campaigns if neither breaks into the top 3. It could revive Biden’s if he can win. Otherwise, I see it going to Sanders, which after Buttigieg wins in IA and NH makes it a divided race going into CA.
If Bernie wins CA, I see that giving him a lot of momentum going into Super Tuesday. If Biden collapses and Buttigieg stalls out after more diverse states vote, the stop Bernie effort will come down to Bloomberg making his firewall strategy all the more relevant to the final outcome.