Bernie Sanders Is Officially The Front-Runner. Now What?
Bernie Sanders is now the clear favourite to win the Democratic nomination.
No, the primaries aren’t over. Yes, if we’ve learnt anything since 2016 it’s that nothing is impossible in American politics. But after winning the most votes in each of the first three states (Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada), Bernie now has more money and momentum than all of his rivals – except for the two billion-dollar elephants in the room, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg.
Yet instead of voters accepting this probable outcome and rallying to unify behind Bernie’s campaign, everyone has lost their f*cking minds. Voters are terrified. They’re terrified that nominating a self-proclaimed socialist won’t give Democrats the best chance at beating Trump in November. They’re terrified that Bernie’s multi-racial, multi-generational, anti-establishment, pro-workers movement will only further alienate potential swing voters (free healthcare is still some voters’ definition of insanity apparently). They’re worried that his diehard supporters are launching aggressive attacks online towards those who don’t share Bernie’s views (I have a theory that the “Bernie Bros” accused of online harassment are actually Russian trolls but that’s a story for another day). And they’re worried that he’s coming across angry. But let’s not forget that this is a man who has been astoundingly consistent his entire career, even when it has left him criticised and isolated, “I have cast some lonely votes, fought some lonely fights, mounted some lonely campaigns. But I do not feel lonely now.” He articulates injustice, in all of its forms, more explicitly than any other candidate. And when you look at it through that lens, it makes sense that the man’s feeling impassioned and impatient.
It’s this collective panic from voters which helps explain why more candidates haven’t dropped out yet. Former Vice President Joe Biden saved enough face in Nevada to march on to his must-win in South Carolina a week from now. Buttigieg finished top-two in both Iowa and New Hampshire and continues to be an appealing alternative for moderates feeling uninspired by Biden and Klobuchar, and Warren – after sending Bloomberg to an early grave at the debate last week – is experiencing growing support around the country. Her campaign raised more than $9 million in three days. But at some point these candidates must feel guilty about draining the money and resources of working people if they know their chances of winning the nomination are diminishing.
Right? They have to. Otherwise this is going to be a clusterf*ck.