According to a new report from Politico from Holly Otterbein and David Siders, Democratic party insiders are suddenly taking the candidacy of Bernie Sanders seriously and thinking he could potentially win the nomination.
Sanders has leapfrogged over Warren to 2nd place in national polling and is doing better than Biden in most Iowa and New Hampshire polls.
Sanders has also secured highly coveted endorsements from the progressive wing of the party including AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and has the support of celebrities including Michael Moore and Ariana Grande.
Politico reports suddenly, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is being taken seriously.
For months, the Vermont senator was written off by Democratic Party insiders as a candidate with a committed but narrow base who was too far left to win the primary. Elizabeth Warren had skyrocketed in the polls and seemed to be leaving him behind in the race to be progressive voters’ standard-bearer in 2020.
But in the past few weeks, something has changed. In private conversations and on social media, Democratic officials, political operatives and pundits are reconsidering Sanders’ chances.
“It may have been inevitable that eventually you would have two candidates representing each side of the ideological divide in the party. A lot of smart people I’ve talked to lately think there’s a very good chance those two end up being Biden and Sanders,” said David Brock, a longtime Hillary Clinton ally who founded a pro-Clinton super PAC in the 2016 campaign. “They’ve both proven to be very resilient.”
Democratic insiders said they are rethinking Sanders’ bid for a few reasons: First, Warren has recently fallen in national and early state surveys. Second, Sanders has withstood the ups and downs of the primary, including a heart attack. At the same time, other candidates with once-high expectations, such as Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke, have dropped out or languished in single digits in the polls.
“I believe people should take him very seriously. He has a very good shot of winning Iowa, a very good shot of winning New Hampshire, and other than Joe Biden, the best shot of winning Nevada,” said Dan Pfeiffer, who served as an adviser to former President Barack Obama. “He could build a real head of steam heading into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.”
The durability of Sanders’ candidacy has come as a surprise even in some states where he performed strongly in 2016 and where he is attempting to improve his standing ahead of the 2020 election.
California state Sen. Scott Wiener, who defeated a Sanders-backed Democrat for his seat in the liberal-heavy San Francisco area in 2016, said Sanders has been “more resilient than I anticipated.”
“But in retrospect,” he added, “he has a very, very loyal following, and people have really stuck with him.”
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