In just a few weeks, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders went from being the dark horse candidate that nobody thought could win to a serious front runner. But now it seems that Bernie Sanders’ popularity may actually be waning, and Hillary Clinton may be re-emerging as the most likely Democratic nominee.
According to a survey of national and state polls conducted by Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders’ momentum has recently peaked. While his so-called “Democratic Socialist” policies drew large support and substantial crowds at campaign events, recent polls suggest Democratic voters are favoring Hillary Clinton once again.
“Sanders is not so much declining, but has maximized his potential support and bumping up against his ceiling,” said Ken Goldstein, an analyst at Bloomberg Politics.
According to Fortune, recent studies suggest that Hillary Clinton’s lead is steadily growing while Bernie Sanders stays mostly static. Clinton’s performance during the first Democratic debate and the House’s Benghazi hearing seem to have helped sway voters back to her campaign.
The Bloomberg report explains.
“Early-state surveys have shifted in Clinton’s direction. Sanders is trailing by double digits in Iowa. His lead in New Hampshire through August and September has since diminished or evaporated, depending on the poll. In South Carolina, Clinton leads by a whopping 71 to 15 percent in a Winthrop Poll released Wednesday.”
The studies suggest that one of Bernie Sanders’ biggest problems is lack of support from within Congress itself.
“Sanders is also lagging in a metric that tends to be an important determinant of presidential primary outcomes: endorsements from party elites and leaders.”
Another issue is the similarities between the policies of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. While analyses of the candidates’ respective positions show Bernie Sanders further to the left of Hillary Clinton, there doesn’t seem to be enough of a difference for other politicians or political groups to side with Bernie Sanders instead. And perhaps it’s exactly because of Clinton’s moderate position that Democrats like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio chose to endorse her, since a candidate in the center may win more swing votes.
If the Democratic debate is at all responsible for Hillary’s surge over Sanders, Bernie himself may be partially to blame. During the debate, Bernie Sanders came to Hillary Clinton’s defense over the infamous email scandal, claiming that America was tired of hearing about her “d*mn emails.” But maybe Bernie would have benefited from taking a harder line against his opponent.
The days of going easy on Clinton may have ended, though, if an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Wednesday is any indication. Bernie Sanders criticized Hillary for making campaign promises to enforce stronger regulations on Wall Street while accepting huge donations from financial institutions at the same time.
The L.A. Times also reported on Bernie Sanders’ stagnating campaign. Even after announcing a piece of strongly pro-union legislation, Sanders has failed to win endorsements from labor unions.
“It’s not a question of winning,” Sanders told reporters. “This is legislation I have supported, quite honestly, since literally the first year I was in Congress.”
Many videos have circulated the internet showing that Bernie Sanders does, indeed, support the same issues he supported decades ago. But it seems that neither Sanders’ progressive policies or political consistency is enough to outshine Hillary Clinton.
Despite the apparent political plateau, Bernie Sanders has remained confident in his ability to win the Democratic nomination.
Sanders said in the interview with the Wall Street Journal, “we’re working hard, and I think at the end of the day we are going to pull off one of the major political upsets in American history.”
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]