After losing in New Hampshire, is Joe Biden done?

(11 February 2020) Early returns from tonight's New Hampshire primary have Bernie Sanders in front with 26 % of the vote.  The Vermont Senator was expected to win NH and has therefore become the frontrunner for nominee of the Democratic party in the presidential election in November.  Pete Buttigieg (24%) is running a close second with Amy Klobuchar (20%) a very respectable third.  Elizabeth Warren (10%) is a distant fourth and former Vice-President Joe Biden an even more distant fifth (8%). 

The takeaway here is Sanders has consolidated his leading position for the nomination while Amy Klobuchar is suddenly very much a going concern.  Perhaps the bigger news is that Biden has done so poorly that there may be pressure on him to drop out of the race.  Biden had been the frontrunner for most of last year as the former VP enjoyed the highest profile of any candidate.  But after his weak performances in Iowa and now in New Hampshire, Biden may be on the verge of ending his campaign.

Biden will likely soldier on until the South Carolina primary on February 29 where he has a strong base of support.  But few analysts expect him to have much chance of winning now. 

I must admit I thought Biden would have done better at this point.  That said, I have previously noted a few weaknesses in Biden's horoscope that made him less likely to do well in early in the campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire.  He is currently running the Mars minor dasha period and Mars is badly placed in his 12th house, albeit conjunct benefic Mercury.  Also, I noted that Jupiter, his major dasha lord, was opposed by transiting Saturn in February.  This perhaps made him more vulnerable in this early contests. 

And we can see how impossible Biden's transits were for today's New Hampshire primary.  Not only is Saturn (2 Capricorn) exactly opposite his Jupiter (2 Cancer), but transiting Mars (2 Sagittarius) also aspects his Saturn by its full-strength 8th house (quincunx) aspect.  It's a double shot of negative energy to his dasha lord and a very, very tough configuration.   And to make matters worse, Rahu is sitting on his equal 8th house cusp (10 Gemini) indicating negative situations causing embarrassment and humiliation.

Last year, I thought Biden's chart looked good enough to be the Democratic nominee mostly due to the Jupiter-Rahu dasha period that started in early April 2020.  Biden's Jupiter is very strong near its highest degree of exaltation in Cancer in the lucky 9th house.  Biden's Rahu is also very well placed in the 10th house of status and boosts his public profile and sense of achievement during its dasha.  What I hadn't seriously considered, however, is whether he could be forced to drop out of the race before this very favourable Jupiter-Rahu dasha period began.  The current Jupiter-Mars dasha definitely has some shortcomings due to Mars' 12th house placement.  And now this Mars-Saturn aspect to his Jupiter is very difficult indeed. 

And yet, if he somehow manages to hang on, his fortunes may improve both in South Carolina (February 29) and on Super Tuesday (March 3) and also the other March primaries.  Jupiter will aspect his Midheaven (unequal 10th house cusp) in late February and early March.  This transit usually coincides with some kind of achievement or success related to career and status.  But even here, Biden's chart still has its share of challenges.  Rahu will still be parked on his 8th house cusp (scandal, humiliation) and now Mercury will be conjunct his natal Ketu.  This forms a larger alignment with Uranus and Rahu and could coincide with some disruptive and strange situations. 

While the Jupiter influence is very good, this Mercury alignment looks more stressful for Biden.  It is less negative than the Saturn-Mars-Jupiter alignment for New Hampshire, but it is not clearly positive either.  An additional source of concern for Biden is the Sun-Saturn square alignment.  This suggests some injury to his ego is more likely in SC.

While he should do better in SC in any event, it is unclear if this chart setup will be enough to win.  The horoscope doesn't really look good enough for Biden to win and to reclaim his frontrunner mantle.  But I wonder if it may be enough to keep him in the race. 

His chart does look better for the decisive March primaries so there is still a chance that he could somehow pull this out.  And yet, I have to say I would not be surprised if he dropped out in the coming days.  One such possible time would be around the Nevada primary on February 22 as the planets look very bad for him.  Mars will conjoin Ketu on his 2nd house cusp while Mercury is in a square alignment with his Saturn.  He seems likely to lose again, whether or not he chooses to end his campaign. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have extended their rebound this week as fears diminished somewhat about the potential impact of the Wuhan coronavirus.  The size of this move higher has been somewhat greater than expected, as I thought we might have seen some more downside from this week's Mars-Saturn alignment following Friday's pullback. 

The downside risk remains elevated this week, however, as Mars will remain in fairly close alignment with Saturn.  Thursday's Moon-Saturn square also favours some selling and Friday's Sun-Saturn alignment has a bearish quality.   The ongoing Jupiter-Neptune alignment is likely offering some support to market sentiment here although it is unclear if it can offset some of the upcoming negative transit setups.

For more details and potential timing scenarios, check out my weekly subscriber newsletter which is published every Saturday afternoon (EST).   I outline the key technical and planetary influences for US and Indian stocks for the short and medium term, as well as currencies, gold and oil.

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