Having written him off as an internet-based phenomenon who could rally college kids but couldn’t grow his popularity beyond that limited demographic, Democratic Party insiders and establishment officials are suddenly nervous that Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) could actually do the unthinkable and win the 2020 party nomination. According to Politico, many in the DNC are starting to think that Sanders will sustain momentum as Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren begin to falter.
For months the Vermont senator was written off by Democratic Party insiders as a candidate with a committed but ultimately narrow base who was too far left to win the primary. Elizabeth Warren had skyrocketed in the polls and seemed to be leaving him behind in the race to be progressive voters’ standard-bearer in 2020.
But in the past few weeks, something has changed. In private conversations and on social media, Democratic officials, political operatives and pundits are reconsidering Sanders’ chances.
Democratic insiders said that they are rethinking Sanders’ bid for a few reasons: First, Warren has recently fallen in national and early-state surveys. Another factor, they said, is that he has withstood the ups and downs of the primary, including his own heart attack. At the same time, other candidates with once-high expectations, such as Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke, have dropped out or languished in single digits in the polls.
While Sanders and his supporters constantly complain about the mainstream media leaving them out of the conversation – an allegation with an element of truth to it – that lack of focus has been a double-edges sword. True, it comes across as if the MSNBCs and New York Times of the world aren’t taking Sanders seriously, but it also saves the socialist senator from the glaring criticism that comes with the national spotlight.
Democrat political operative Michael Ceraso told Politico that this might be one reason that Bernie hasn’t busted.
“If you really think about it, Bernie hasn’t been hit a lot with anything. It’s not like he’s getting hit by other campaigns,” Ceraso said.
It’s immediately tempting to believe that because Sanders is so out there ideologically that he would make winning reelection a breeze for President Trump. We’re reluctant to endorse that theory. If you look back through the years, the most charismatic candidates tend to win presidential elections. Sanders isn’t exactly Obama when it comes to the “it” factor, but he’s got a hell of a lot more of it than Warren, Biden, or Buttigieg. Him winning the nomination would put this country in the kind of danger zone we haven’t seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis – no exaggeration.
Polls still heavily favor Biden, so maybe this is just a little bit of fake news Politico stirred up for some post-holiday clicks. For now, we’re going to hope so.