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Bernie Sanders joins 2020 race: Darcy cartoon

February 21, 2019

Bernie Sanders joins 2020 race: Darcy cartoon

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Senator Bernie Sanders raised $6,000,000 after announcing he is joining the presidential race.  That also the same number of candidates currently competing with him for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination.

Sanders is making his second bid for the nomination after coming in second to Hillary Clinton in 2016, but he is joining a much more crowded field this time.  That field now includes fellow progressives like Sen Elizabeth Warren, who can claim to be an early flag bearer for many of the same issues Sanders claims he championed first.    

Warren and Sanders may also soon be joined by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who won re-election convincingly in Republican-dominated Ohio, based on his history of fighting for working class issues.

Sanders bringing in $6 million just off his announcement is noteworthy because much of it is composed of small donations.  That’s important, because placement in crowded Democrat debates will be determined in part on small contribution stats.

The contribution total would seem to indicate the Bernie’s base is back along with him.   But like President Trump, Sanders will have to expand his base to succeed, and like Trump, he’s showing little evidence of doing that.

It’s only been a little over two years since Sanders last ran, but a lot has changed.  Democrats took back control of the House on the strength of a “Pink Wave.”  That wave was especially fed by African-American women voters.   The two areas Sanders was weakest in 2020 was with women and minority voters.

Hillary Clinton and her supporters still hold Sanders partially to blame for Clinton losing a tight race to Trump.    Just like Trump really isn’t a Republican, Hillary Clinton pointed out in a recent interview that Sanders isn’t really a Democrat.  He’s an Independent and self-described Socialist.

Sander’s reminded Democrats he’s still really not a team player when he chose to give his own State of the Union response over the Democratic Party choice.

Bernie’s back, and so are the old viral video and radio recordings of him praising Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega as “impressive.”

Sanders is bragging about being the leader of the socialist revolution in American politics when Trump has already shown he will use the socialists label to target Democrats.  He’s doing that because he and the Republicans clearly have data showing that it’s an effective attack.

In 2016, Sanders stood out because his rallies generated bigger crowds and bigger buzz than Hillary Clinton’s.  But that crowd size and buzz never translated into enough primary wins to gain the nomination.   Already in 2019, candidates like Harris, Klobuchar and Warren are also drawing big crowds.

Trump won the 2016 election because independents and disillusioned Democrats voted for him.   Many of them won’t vote for him again in 2020.  But they also will not vote for a Socialist like Sanders.   

If Democrats want to nominate an old white guy, they will be wise to choose Joe Biden over Sanders.