THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER:
Bernie Sanders’s path to the Democratic presidential nomination looks more viable than ever. Despite making enemies within the party establishment because of his 2016 run, polls paint a nightmare scenario for Joe Biden and the rest of the Democratic presidential field that puts the Vermont senator up against President Trump.
“We’re feeling really confident that we’re going to win the nomination,” said Eric Blanc, an activist who works with the Sanders campaign on union issues. “Bernie is surging right when he needs to surge, and the momentum is with us.”
Supporters allege that Sanders’s candidacy wasn’t treated with appropriate seriousness by the media for nearly all of 2019 and blame that treatment for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s rise while Sanders suffered in the polls. Those problems were compounded in October when Sanders suffered a heart attack and canceled campaign events for two weeks.
But the 78-year-old recovered quickly from his health problems and returned to the campaign trail with the largest rally of the Democratic primary that featured an endorsement from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the celebrity left-wing New York congresswoman. He ended 2019 with the best fundraising quarter of any of the candidates thus far, with $34.5 million, and the momentum is with us.”
With Warren’s support ticking downward and on the verge of total collapse and polls in Iowa and New Hampshire showing Sanders in the lead or tied for first place, the idea of him facing off against President Trump in the general election no longer seems like a fantasy.
“What we’re looking at is a win in Iowa, a win in New Hampshire, and that really makes it clear to the American public that Bernie is not only viable but our best bet to beat Trump,” Blanc said.
Early wins there would likely trigger a domino effect, causing more Warren supporters to abandon their candidate. Sanders’s strategy of winning back Biden supporters who cast ballots for him in 2016 would also see further success.
“It’s hard to imagine a scenario where both come out from the first few contests as still even,” University of New Hampshire political science professor Dante Scala said of Sanders and Warren.