Bernie Sanders has made it official, announcing this week that he is joining 11 other Democrats in seeking his party’s nomination for president in the 2020 election. So how does Sanders’ announcement shake up the already-crowded field of Democrat contenders?
He Leads In Polling Among All Democrats Who Have Announced
Yesterday the Inquisitr reported that, among Democrats who have officially announced their candidacy, Kamala Harris leads, at 11 percent. However, two other Democrats, neither of which had announced their candidacy at the time, had higher polling numbers than Harris, those being former Vice President Joe Biden (29 percent) and Sanders (16 percent). That now means that Sanders is the front-runner, according to Monmouth University polling, at least among announced candidates.
If the current polling numbers hold in the event Biden announces his candidacy, Sanders would be in second place and Biden would be in first. However, it’s far too early in the election cycle to draw any firm conclusions, and anything can change.
But Can He Win?
Sanders is admittedly further to the left than any of the 11 other candidates, at least as far as can be known at this point. But some of the issues Sanders talked about in his 2016 presidential run, such as universal healthcare and a $15 minimum wage per hour, which at the time seemed too far-left to resonate with voters, are now being talked about by more mainstream candidates such as Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.
Bernie is headed into choppy waters. https://t.co/tgEUjncgug
— VICE (@VICE) February 19, 2019
Still, so desperate are Democrat voters, and the party at large, to defeat Donald Trump, says Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray, that they may put aside their values or agenda in favor of a more “electable,” mainstream candidate.
“In prior elections, voters from both parties consistently prioritized shared values over electability when selecting a nominee. It looks like Democrats may be willing to flip that equation in 2020 because of their desire to defeat Trump. This is something to pay close attention to when primary voters really start tuning into the campaign.”
Similarly, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said, via Yahoo News, that only one Democrat can defeat Donald Trump in 2020, and it’s not Bernie Sanders, it’s Joe Biden. Echoing Patrick Murray, Lott believes that Biden is the most electable of all of the likely and announced candidates.
“Joe will be able to perpetuate the image of Uncle Joe, and he is pleasant. He is qualified.”
Similarly, as a 77-year-old, white male, CNN noted that Sanders represents the opposite of the image the Democratic Party is trying to present for 2020, and indeed, he’s facing off against several women, many of whom are women of color. The Democrats may very well reject Sanders on that basis alone, opined writer Chris Cillizza.