The Note: Biden's fade creates vacuum in front-runner-less race

The electability candidate is losing elections -- and it hasn’t even been close.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The electability candidate is losing elections -- and it hasn’t even been close.

Former Vice President Joe Biden didn’t stick around in New Hampshire to see how far he fell in the final votes. But his fade has created its own kind of force in the Democratic race, creating a vacuum that represents a challenge to Democrats as they sort through the early stages of the primary race.

A clean New Hampshire win by Sen. Bernie Sanders provides little clarity in the race. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg comes out of the first two states with two more delegates than Sanders, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s surprise finish puts her in renewed contention, too.

Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar have significant potential problems in South Carolina, where Biden is planning a last stand.

Awaiting them is Tom Steyer, still a wild card who is polling well and advertising heavily there, with Michael Bloomberg looming on the other side of February.

Most of the past year of primary campaigning has been centered on a candidate who is fading but has not disappeared from the race. Biden remains an intriguing presence -- for what he might still do, and also for what might take his place in the campaign.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Buckle up -- the party caucuses again next. In 10 days, the candidates go toe-to-toe again in the Nevada caucuses, though early voting in Nevada starts this coming Saturday.

During his victory speech in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Sanders told supporters that he thought he would win in Nevada too.

His team has been laser-focused on the Latino vote for months and that could make a big difference in Nevada. While New Hampshire is predominately white, Sanders did win 40% of the self-identified Hispanics voters in the state, according to ABC News exit polls. That could be an early sign of more to come.

More, they have moved significant resources to Nevada too. They are boasting of 10 field offices and staff in the hundreds.

Klobuchar and Buttigieg will ride in with serious momentum and while that is nothing to balk at, a team’s organization goes an extra mile in a caucus situation.

The TIP with Kendall Karson

A high turnout in New Hampshire Tuesday night might quell fears stemming from Iowa's lackluster showing last week.

Democrats outlook on turnout was all over the map heading into the first-in-the-nation primary, with New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley downplaying expectations 24 hours before of the contest after suggesting "record" prospects at the onset of the year.

But Granite State voters came out in a show of force, coming within striking distance of 2008's record turnout of 288,672 ballots cast, far closer than Iowa's numbers were to their 2008 record.

This year, with 97% of the expected vote reporting, 283,440 voters showed up at the polls in New Hampshire's Democratic race, which could start to allay concerns about enthusiasm ahead of November, even as 2016's slightly lower Democratic turnout in key battlegrounds in the general election still haunts the party.

ONE MORE THING

In his ongoing bid for the White House, Mike Bloomberg has sought to overcome a controversial record of supporting policing tactics that overwhelmingly harmed communities of color in New York City during his time as mayor. But those efforts hit a snag Monday night when a series of video and audio clips of the former mayor making controversial remarks about criminal justice emerged on social media -- less than a day after a new poll showed him gaining traction with African American voters.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Wednesday morning’s episode features a full wrap-up of Tuesday night’s primary results from New Hampshire. Then, ABC News Legal Contributor Kate Shaw tells us why the Department of Justice says it’s reversing course on sentencing recommendations for President Donald Trump's longtime friend and former campaign adviser Roger Stone -- and why prosecutors are leaving the case over it. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast. ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl recap the New Hampshire primary results. https://apple.co/23r5y7w

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Donald Trump holds a press conference with Ecuador President Lenín Moreno at 2:25 p.m. at the White House. He then attends a roundtable with his supporters at 6:55 p.m. in Washington. Later, he participates in a fundraiser at 7:30 p.m. in Washington.
  • Tom Steyer delivers speaks at a meet-and-greet event in Fernley, Nevada, at 8:30 a.m. (PST). He then leads “Climate Talks with Tom” at 2:30 p.m. in Reno. Later, he delivers remarks at a meet-and-greet event in Carson City at 6:30 p.m.
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, holds a press availability at 11 a.m. in North Charleston, South Carolina. She then hosts a town hall at 2:30 p.m. in Hilton Head. Later, she attends “Uni-Tea with Tulsi” at 5 p.m. in Beaufort. She then leads a town hall at 6:30 p.m. in Beaufort.
  • Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg holds a rally at 2 p.m. (CST) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He then hosts a rally at 7 p.m. in Nashville.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., holds a fundraising event in New York City at 6 p.m.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.