So, It Looks Increasingly Likely That Democrats Are Actually Going to Nominate This Man

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Posted: Feb 24, 2020 10:35 AM
So, It Looks Increasingly Likely That Democrats Are Actually Going to Nominate This Man

It's not over yet, we're told, and that's true.  Only three states have voted in the Democratic nominating process at this point, with 47 left to go.  Plus, maybe Joe Biden may be making something of a comeback, having finished second in Nevada and still seemingly on pace to win South Carolina next weekend.  Oh, and there's another debate tomorrow, in which the rest of the field has a very strong incentive to turn their rhetorical guns directly on the frontrunner.  His weaknesses are sure to be addressed aggressively and consistently.  Some potentially significant forthcoming endorsements will cut against him, including this one:


But let's get real: Biden's lead in South Carolina may hold up, but he's fallen precipitously and Bernie has momentum and is gaining.  The former VP, even with sharper attacks being deployed, is still a damaged, poor candidate who routinely causes all sorts of problems for himself.  And the intramural food fight among other candidates shows few signs of stopping.  Sanders is the first candidate from either party to win the most votes in all three of the first nominating states, in a contested race.  As establishment Democrats are grappling with the various stages of grief, including bargaining, the smart set is looking at the numbers and making clear that Sanders is getting very close to becoming the prohibitive favorite to at least have a delegate lead heading into the convention:


Well, his margin turned out to be...quite large, and his support in Nevada was...quite broad:


Sanders' dominance among Hispanics bodes well for him in upcoming states with huge delegate hauls at stake, like California and Texas.  He's in the driver's seat here, and some major Democratic political and media figures seem to be reconciling themselves to that emerging reality (others are, um, taking it harder).  I'm genuinely struggling to see: (a) how anyone other than Bernie holds a delegate lead heading into Milwaukee, or (b) how the party would manage a situation in which Bernie is denied the nomination at the convention, which would tear the party's base asunder with truly catastrophic recriminations.  The likeliest scenario, therefore, is that Bernie will keep racking up delegates, and the party will slowly but surely rally around him.  It's true that he could put down-ballot Democrats in serious danger, including in key Senate and House races.  It's true that he might be too radical to win.  It's entirely possible that suburban voters who flocked to Democrats in 2018 may be repelled by an angry socialist at the top of the ticket.

But I do not yet see evidence that Sanders is "unelectable," a word that may have outlived its usefulness after 2016.  Remember, in the last presidential cycle, one of the major parties had a nasty and grueling nomination fight, ending with the coronation of man of questionable partisan loyalty who was widely seen as a sure bet to lose the general election.  The oppo research file was cartoonishly thick, packed with any number of vulnerabilities that seemed problematic enough to knock him out of contention in and of themselves.  His 'toxicity' was chronicled in poll after poll.  Many in his party predicted doom and gloom.  And then he won.  I do not have confidence that something similar cannot happen with Bernie Sanders -- particularly because, unlike Trump, Bernie has actually consistently led his hypothetical opponent in the polls.  I have a very queasy feeling about all of this:


That being said, it is also very plausible that Bernie is a bridge too far for so many voters that he ends up losing handily.  He is, after all, a scowling, rage-fueled 78-year-old socialist who recently suffered a heart attack.  This piece alone is pretty mind-blowing:


And we'll hear a lot more about things like this in the coming months:


I'll leave you with a striking Bernie clip:


It's of course wild that the likely Democratic nominee believes that illegal immigrants should receive free healthcare and other 'rights' (among many other things, he also thinks that convicted rapists, murderers and terrorists like the Boston marathon bomber should be allowed to vote from inside prison), but this line really stopped me in my tracks: "What our campaign is about, and what our administration will be about, is rethinking America."  He means it.