What's pushing Bernie Sanders to the Democrats' top?

Up until now, Democrats have been focused on finding the right candidate who can Get Trump.

For a while, many were gravitating toward Joe Biden for this very reason, citing his Scranton roots and supposed common man demeanor.  It wasn't based on any authentic affection for Biden.  It was who could Beat Trump.  As Biden fell apart over impeachment, with revelations about how he amassed wealth for himself and his relatives in public office, some moved over to Pete Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar. 

Then Michael Bloomberg came on the scene, scarfing up a large part of the collapsing Biden vote by pouring money into the presidential race.  He hired staff at exorbitant salaries.  He spent so much on TV ads that he drove rates up, leaving the remaining Democrats with just scraps.  Bloomberg's effectively bottomless pit of money and his tactical history of bribing activists to keep quiet about him were effectively a leveraged buyout of a down-and-out Democratic Party.

Yet he was everything Democrats hated: he was a billionaire, Mister 0.00001%.  He was politically incorrect. He was as sexist and racist as they came.  He was a phony, paying "influencers" to booster for him, which is about as inauthentic as it gets.  He also was an unpopular mayor who neglected New York City with no preparations as Hurricane Sandy hit and turned Manhattan into a sea of glass skyscrapers and empty storefronts.  Not even lefties like this stuff.  Then he got the DNC to bend the rules to allow him onto the Democratic debate stage, his first appearance today, which was something Cory Booker and Kamala Harris could not do.  All this, through the miracle of money.  To the Democrats who moved to Bloomberg from Camp Biden, that made him the guy who could beat Trump.

But something else happened, and the timing was pinpoint: Bernie Sanders rose to first place in several polls, and by a massive double-digit margin.  Sanders broke out. 

Politico and Slate have more.

That's despite Sanders's age, his ten tons of political positively communist baggage, and his unworkable plan to "transform" America into Venezuela, all things that pretty well kept him from rising to the top earlier.  He's an old, old, old radical whose communist views have never mellowed, as Megan McArdle noted here.  But somehow he's now the Democratic frontrunner, and that's despite the conventional wisdom, probably correct, that he can't Beat Trump.

And most important, that's despite this issue described by NPR:

Poll: Sanders Rises, But Socialism Isn't Popular With Most Americans

People, including Democrats, despise what Sanders stands for.  But they're still signing up for Bernie.

Coming at this time, it's a sign that what Democrats really don't like is Michael Bloomberg's cynical takeover of their party, based on his big money.

There are actually two pieces of circumstantial evidence to suggest that this scurry to Bernie is being propelled by Bloomberg's rise.

One, there's the extreme negativity on Twitter on Bloomberg — and most of it's coming from the left.  Here's a random sample from the past few hours:

Two, there's Chris Cillizza's CNN analysis of why Bloomberg has risen, which is actually a more important story about why Sanders has risen.

He describes the breakup of the Biden campaign as benefiting Bloomberg among various Democratic groups, contributing to shifts in the Democratic nomination dynamic.  Bloomberg is up, yes.  But look more closely at what this Biden breakup has done for Sanders.

First, Cillizza cites this demographic:

1) Moderates: Bloomberg has emerged as the top choice for Democratic voters who view themselves more in the ideological middle of the party. He takes 29% among moderates as compared to 23% for Sanders, 14% for Biden and 13% for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Twenty-three percent of moderates have moved to Sanders?  Over the arguably moderate Bloomberg?  That's the strongest sign that Bloomberg is a problem even for lefty voters who think Sanders is too extreme.

2) Non-college whites: This was one of the pillars of Biden's support going into this race — he's from Scranton! — but no longer. Among this group, it's Sanders who leads with 34% followed by Bloomberg at 24% and Biden at just 10%. (Among all white voters, Bernie leads with 29% followed by Bloomberg at 18% and Warren at 15%. Biden takes just 9%.)

Memo to Chris: These voters are going to Trump, not Bloomberg.

3) Old(er) voters: While Sanders has a massive lead over the field among voters younger than 45 (he's at 54%!), it's Bloomberg whose the top choice of the 45 and older crowd. He takes 27%, to 22% for Biden and 13% for Sanders.

Beating Trump is strong with this crowd, so off to Bloomberg it is. Plus, the older voters would remember how well communism worked out the last 40 or 50 times it was tried. Likely no gains there.

Then there's this demographic:

4) Small-town/rural voters: Yes, it's not exactly the most obvious fit: the guy who spent more than a decade running New York City performing well among people who lives in small towns and rural areas. But here we are! Sanders leads among these voters with 28%, but he is followed closely by Bloomberg at 24%. Biden takes 13%.

Rural voters, even lefty ones, are keenly aware of being shut out of pretty much everything by the contemptuous elites, which would explain their broad support for President Trump. On the leftside, though, this dynamic holds, too, so they're moving to Bernie, not Bloomie, too. Plus, Bernie didn't insult farmers the way Bloomberg did, the percentage since that came out for Bernie is now likely even higher.

Now Sanders is soaring to the top bigtime as Bloomberg gains traction. It's almost as if Bloomberg is driving the Democrats into the arms of Bernie Sanders whose chief virtue now is that he's Not Bloomberg. It's a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. And it's like Beating Trump no longer even matters, Sanders voters on some level must know that Bernie can't beat Trump. But they're still in his corner. They just don't want to be in a party that's run by a vulgar, racist billionaire who can call any shot he wants with the power of his money, and every lefty activist group that takes it will be happily dancing to his tune.

Nice work, Mikey. You've now driven the Democratic Party into the far-left abyss.

As Lenin once said: "When it comes time to hang the capitalists, they will vie with each other for the rope contract." As voters flock to Bernie, and Democratic elites, establishmentarians and beat-Trump fanatics move to support Bloomberg, that's what we have now. With guys like Kyle Jurek still on Bernie staff, you can bet the Bernistas are noticing.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Up until now, Democrats have been focused on finding the right candidate who can Get Trump.

For a while, many were gravitating toward Joe Biden for this very reason, citing his Scranton roots and supposed common man demeanor.  It wasn't based on any authentic affection for Biden.  It was who could Beat Trump.  As Biden fell apart over impeachment, with revelations about how he amassed wealth for himself and his relatives in public office, some moved over to Pete Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar. 

Then Michael Bloomberg came on the scene, scarfing up a large part of the collapsing Biden vote by pouring money into the presidential race.  He hired staff at exorbitant salaries.  He spent so much on TV ads that he drove rates up, leaving the remaining Democrats with just scraps.  Bloomberg's effectively bottomless pit of money and his tactical history of bribing activists to keep quiet about him were effectively a leveraged buyout of a down-and-out Democratic Party.

Yet he was everything Democrats hated: he was a billionaire, Mister 0.00001%.  He was politically incorrect. He was as sexist and racist as they came.  He was a phony, paying "influencers" to booster for him, which is about as inauthentic as it gets.  He also was an unpopular mayor who neglected New York City with no preparations as Hurricane Sandy hit and turned Manhattan into a sea of glass skyscrapers and empty storefronts.  Not even lefties like this stuff.  Then he got the DNC to bend the rules to allow him onto the Democratic debate stage, his first appearance today, which was something Cory Booker and Kamala Harris could not do.  All this, through the miracle of money.  To the Democrats who moved to Bloomberg from Camp Biden, that made him the guy who could beat Trump.

But something else happened, and the timing was pinpoint: Bernie Sanders rose to first place in several polls, and by a massive double-digit margin.  Sanders broke out. 

Politico and Slate have more.

That's despite Sanders's age, his ten tons of political positively communist baggage, and his unworkable plan to "transform" America into Venezuela, all things that pretty well kept him from rising to the top earlier.  He's an old, old, old radical whose communist views have never mellowed, as Megan McArdle noted here.  But somehow he's now the Democratic frontrunner, and that's despite the conventional wisdom, probably correct, that he can't Beat Trump.

And most important, that's despite this issue described by NPR:

Poll: Sanders Rises, But Socialism Isn't Popular With Most Americans

People, including Democrats, despise what Sanders stands for.  But they're still signing up for Bernie.

Coming at this time, it's a sign that what Democrats really don't like is Michael Bloomberg's cynical takeover of their party, based on his big money.

There are actually two pieces of circumstantial evidence to suggest that this scurry to Bernie is being propelled by Bloomberg's rise.

One, there's the extreme negativity on Twitter on Bloomberg — and most of it's coming from the left.  Here's a random sample from the past few hours:

Two, there's Chris Cillizza's CNN analysis of why Bloomberg has risen, which is actually a more important story about why Sanders has risen.

He describes the breakup of the Biden campaign as benefiting Bloomberg among various Democratic groups, contributing to shifts in the Democratic nomination dynamic.  Bloomberg is up, yes.  But look more closely at what this Biden breakup has done for Sanders.

First, Cillizza cites this demographic:

1) Moderates: Bloomberg has emerged as the top choice for Democratic voters who view themselves more in the ideological middle of the party. He takes 29% among moderates as compared to 23% for Sanders, 14% for Biden and 13% for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Twenty-three percent of moderates have moved to Sanders?  Over the arguably moderate Bloomberg?  That's the strongest sign that Bloomberg is a problem even for lefty voters who think Sanders is too extreme.

2) Non-college whites: This was one of the pillars of Biden's support going into this race — he's from Scranton! — but no longer. Among this group, it's Sanders who leads with 34% followed by Bloomberg at 24% and Biden at just 10%. (Among all white voters, Bernie leads with 29% followed by Bloomberg at 18% and Warren at 15%. Biden takes just 9%.)

Memo to Chris: These voters are going to Trump, not Bloomberg.

3) Old(er) voters: While Sanders has a massive lead over the field among voters younger than 45 (he's at 54%!), it's Bloomberg whose the top choice of the 45 and older crowd. He takes 27%, to 22% for Biden and 13% for Sanders.

Beating Trump is strong with this crowd, so off to Bloomberg it is. Plus, the older voters would remember how well communism worked out the last 40 or 50 times it was tried. Likely no gains there.

Then there's this demographic:

4) Small-town/rural voters: Yes, it's not exactly the most obvious fit: the guy who spent more than a decade running New York City performing well among people who lives in small towns and rural areas. But here we are! Sanders leads among these voters with 28%, but he is followed closely by Bloomberg at 24%. Biden takes 13%.

Rural voters, even lefty ones, are keenly aware of being shut out of pretty much everything by the contemptuous elites, which would explain their broad support for President Trump. On the leftside, though, this dynamic holds, too, so they're moving to Bernie, not Bloomie, too. Plus, Bernie didn't insult farmers the way Bloomberg did, the percentage since that came out for Bernie is now likely even higher.

Now Sanders is soaring to the top bigtime as Bloomberg gains traction. It's almost as if Bloomberg is driving the Democrats into the arms of Bernie Sanders whose chief virtue now is that he's Not Bloomberg. It's a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. And it's like Beating Trump no longer even matters, Sanders voters on some level must know that Bernie can't beat Trump. But they're still in his corner. They just don't want to be in a party that's run by a vulgar, racist billionaire who can call any shot he wants with the power of his money, and every lefty activist group that takes it will be happily dancing to his tune.

Nice work, Mikey. You've now driven the Democratic Party into the far-left abyss.

As Lenin once said: "When it comes time to hang the capitalists, they will vie with each other for the rope contract." As voters flock to Bernie, and Democratic elites, establishmentarians and beat-Trump fanatics move to support Bloomberg, that's what we have now. With guys like Kyle Jurek still on Bernie staff, you can bet the Bernistas are noticing.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.