From left, Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, talks before a Democratic presidential primary debate, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
He doesn’t know where he is half the time, but former VP Joe Biden was probably always going to win the race, even as we watched him sink lower and lower in the polls until he was finally overtaken by Vermont’s “Democratic Socialist” Senator, Bernie Sanders.
Sanders had momentum thanks mostly to the fact that he swindled much of America’s youth into believing that socialism is a great tool to run a country with. No matter your age, paying attention to history or economics in any way is one solid way of dispelling the notion that socialism is a system that actually works. Having a job and paying taxes is enough to cure one of a desire for socialism in the absence of the first two.
But America’s youth is drowning in student debt as they work a job at McDonald’s, waiting for the opportunity for a job to open up that 40 to 50 of their peers are also competing for. As their master’s degree gathers dust in the corner, they wonder why they participated in this system in the first place and wish there was a way to absolve themselves of their mistake. Some old guy promises a dynamic change toward a system of “fairness” and out pops your socialist.
Biden has once again taken the lead, having won Super Tuesday, but you can see the divide in the age of voters when it comes to their support of Sanders.
CNN poll: Biden 52%, Sanders 36%
This nugget tells it all:
<45 👉 Sanders 57%, Biden 31%
45+ 👉 Biden 72%, Sanders 17%
Sanders is losing every available demographic except younger voters, independents and liberals. pic.twitter.com/XqDZGnhCVD
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) March 9, 2020
The youth vote is a coveted prize for any political party. It’s an energizing force that makes their campaign look attractive and forward-looking. In truth, it’s a demographic that amounts to a lot of fashion and not a whole lot of function. The younger the voter, the less likely they are to turn out to vote. While, on paper, the Sanders youth boom looks impressive, in reality, judging by previous elections, when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, many voters stay home for various reasons.
Biden’s makeup of those in their more senior years may seem less dynamic but at least it can be relied on to get to the polls when it counts.
While I’m not going to say that trying to win the youth is a useless venture, I will say that it’s not a winning strategy. Sanders spent an inordinate amount of time trying to woo college-aged voters with promises of debt forgiveness and concerts featuring The Strokes, but at what point did he really ever give the regular American voter a reason to vote for him? As far as he told them, he was going to tax them into oblivion in order to afford the costs of all the free stuff he was going to hand out which, by the way, he didn’t have a price tag for.
So Biden’s won. He can go off and face Trump in a 1 v 1 matchup with the Democrats behind him.
Yes and no.
As I covered in a video on the DNC’s treatment of Bernie Sanders, things might get a little dicey with Sanders’ inevitable loss.
To re-up what I mentioned in the video, once the Sanders loss in 2016 was official, many of his voters didn’t just up and glue themselves to then-candidate Hillary Clinton. One in ten actually went to Trump, with others scattering themselves to the winds, winding up in places like the Green or Libertarian parties.
I don’t expect many Sanders voters to take yet another loss well. When Sanders inevitably loses again, I imagine another rift will form filled with Sanders voters who feel they and their candidate were cheated once again. While there is no definitive proof that the DNC actively worked against the Sanders campaign to help Biden, I doubt that will convince Sanders voters from not having 2016 flashbacks. The salt will flow.
No matter how you slice it, Biden may have won thanks to a voting base that is far more reliable than Sanders’, but the Democrat party is going to have a massive tear in it once Sanders departs. It’ll be the DNC’s sprained ankle in the general race, but perhaps it was already running on a broken leg anyway thanks to Trump’s success during his time in office.