Bernie Sanders’ Rise Contrasted With Coronavirus Spread In CNN Segment

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivers remarks on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

During a recent segment on CNN, commentator and radio host Michael Smerconish contrasted the spread of the coronavirus to the rise of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, as reported by Media Matters for America.

“Can either coronavirus or Bernie Sanders be stopped?” he asked. “I’m Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. An already unpredictable presidential campaign just became moreso.”

Smerconish continued to cover a “list of intangibles” in the political landscape, including the coronavirus, the lingering effect of impeachment, and the possibility that no individual from the “congested candidate lanes” will be able to earn a majority of the delegates necessary to secure the nomination.

Sanders is currently viewed as the national leader in the Democratic primary. According to a report from The New York Times, some national and state Democratic party leaders are not happy with Sanders’ success. Such leaders are reportedly willing to bet on a brokered national convention to stop the 78-year-old politician’s nomination, an action which could damage an already divided party.

While Sanders has expressed his belief that the candidate with the plurality of the delegates should win the nomination, not everyone is on-board with such a scenario.

“Bernie wants to redefine the rules and just say he just needs a plurality,” said Jay Jacobs, the New York State Democratic Party chairman and a superdelegate. “I don’t think we buy that. I don’t think the mainstream of the Democratic Party buys that. If he doesn’t have a majority, it stands to reason that he may not become the nominee.”

According to The New York Times, fear of a Sanders win has pushed some Democrats to call on Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio to be a “white knight nominee” at a potentially brokered convention. This possibility hinges partly on the belief that Brown could carry Ohio in the general election.

Per Vox, Sanders is currently fighting with businessman Tom Steyer for second place in South Carolina, which holds its primary Saturday. In first place is former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been leading the primary in the state for some time.

“In fact, nearly every poll taken in February found Biden to have a sizable lead on his fellow candidates,” Vox reported.

Despite the likelihood of a Biden victory in South Carolina, it’s not guaranteed. As The Inquisitr previously reported, FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley noted that Biden hasn’t invested much campaign resources in Super Tuesday states compared to Sanders, who has spent a significant amount of resources in these crucial areas.