Democrats are undergoing what Republicans experienced in 2016. There’s an anti-establishment juggernaut named Sen. Bernie Sanders who could very well lock up the nomination and the window to stop him is quickly closing. There’s talk about some moderate candidate that can beat out Sanders if there’s unity among the other wings of the party. Does this sound familiar?
In 2016, conservatives were panicking how to stop Trump. They thought if two or three candidates drop out, those voters would go to the strongest alternative. That didn’t happen—and that’s certainly not going to happen with the Democrats. For starters, there are no moderates running. They’re all left-wingers or hardcore liberals. It’s a battle between different shades of Bernie and bleeding hearts—and Sanders enjoys high popularity among Democratic voters. They like him. There is no ‘stop Sanders’ movement coming. So, what now? Like Never Trump voters who were mad that Trump won the GOP nomination and the 2016 election, will there be Never Sanders voters?
Rahm Emanuel: Bernie Sanders Is Still "Stoppable" If Moderates "Coalesce Under One Person" https://t.co/575wg2D80t— RCP Video (@rcpvideo) February 23, 2020
Based on reactions from Sanders’ total domination in Nevada last week, there might be some who sit out over a Bernie nomination. Granted, this is all anecdotal and from social media so take it with a grain of salt. And while we may find those Democrats who are panicking over a Bernie candidacy, project an electoral landslide win for Trump, etc., let’s not forget the GOP had some folks who said the same things about Trump who then went on to clinch one of the biggest political upsets in modern American political history.
I will absolutely vote for Bernie if he’s our nominee, since I’ll #VoteBlueNoMatterWho. But it won’t matter — he’ll still lose in a landslide. Moderates looking for an alternative to Trump won’t vote for Trump, but they’ll stay home. They won’t vote for a self-declared Socialist.— Jon Cooper ???? (@joncoopertweets) February 23, 2020
I’m undecided. But I know this isn’t what I want. https://t.co/OBKZi0hee1— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 22, 2020
Anecdata: I have now privately heard from multiple folks who were either going to sit this out or going to vote the Dem that they're going to affirmatively vote for Trump. My friends are obviously not nationally representative, so do with this what you will. https://t.co/PMpokVPRgx— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) February 23, 2020
I think this is largely true, but I also think some affluent voters who are tempted to pick Trump over Bernie will feel a little embarrassed/ashamed about it and won’t shout their intentions from the hilltops as Bernie-or-Busters do. https://t.co/Hv9gTcKBYu— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 23, 2020
I’m one of those. Didn’t vote for Trump in 16. Wanted an option in 20. But will never EVER vote for a Communist. If Sanders is the nominee I will vote for Trump.— #NeverCommie (@bpjauburn) February 23, 2020
Democrats in disarray:— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 23, 2020
Democrat House Whip Jim Clyburn says socialist Bernie Sanders puts Democrat House in jeopardy. pic.twitter.com/Bjrv1w7Y7j
If there is a Never Sanders wing, it’s not crazy to suggest that their impact will be like their Never Trump counterparts: minimal but insanely annoying. Yes, Bernie’s policies are radical, but so is the Democratic Party. Government-run health care is their policy. Abortion on demand is their position, with now a ghastly obsession with late-term abortion. Abortion being taxpayer-funded is a goal. High taxes, regulations, gun confiscation, and other left-wing nonsense is the core of what the Democratic Party wants and fights for on a daily basis. Bernie wants the same. He will push for what the vast majority of Democrats want, so what’s the problem? I ask the same of the Never Trump clowns. Trump’s agenda is 85 percent of what conservative Republicans want. His judicial agenda is wholly what they want—and yet they complain because of this, that, or the other concerning his personality. Who cares? Frankly, no one really cares about character if they’re yielding results. Bill Clinton, for better or worse, came into office when the USSR collapsed, allowing for a massive expansion of the economy under his presidency, but he also had an affair with an intern, among other things. No one cared, especially when the median household income rose by over $6,000 under his presidency. Not saying this is good or bad, moral or immoral—it’s what it is.
Also, and back to the point, Democrats hate Trump—and this unifying factor along with the war cry to boot him from office is enough to get those who might be wary of Bernie to vote for him. At the end of the day, you pick a party for a reason and you vote for that party when Election Day comes. And unlike 2016, I think Bernie’s strength with the base will be a lot stronger. Right now, he’s gathering young people, Latinos, and union workers to his side. He did that in Nevada, with a key union telling their people to avoid Sanders over his health care policy. They didn’t listen.
It’s a bit eye-opening because that coalition is the one that ushered Obama into office. The GOP has failed to counter it if it can be at all. We can be entertained about the Democratic blood sports for sure; some top Democrats warning that the House is gone if Bernie is at the top of the ticket. We already have some wonks wondering if suburban women, who have fled the GOP, will rush back into the GOP camp over Bernie's agenda. Enjoy the show, but we need to also prepare for how to define this guy that goes beyond he’s a ‘socialist’ because a good chunk of the country already sees that as a positive.
Counterpoint: I feel the single greatest empirical regularity in US politics is suburban women choosing security for their families over ideology every. single. time. Touch their health care, their 401(k)s or their 529 funds & they will go to the polls en masse and slaughter you https://t.co/PldB9e9D5A— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) February 23, 2020
That's not to say Sanders definitely loses--I honestly have no idea what the odds are. But I am pretty confident he loses a whole bunch of suburban women, and men, back to the GOP.— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) February 23, 2020