Bernie Ascendant [with comment by Paul]

The latest round of polling shows Bernie Sanders pulling away from the field with a 12-point lead, causing a rival campaign to worry that on Super Tuesday, “Sanders could build an insurmountable delegate lead.” And 538 now has Sanders as the favorite in the race, with an open convention in second place.

My only regret is that I didn’t buy popcorn futures when prices were still low. I think that any of the Democratic candidates will lose to Trump, but if Sanders gets the nomination it could be especially damaging to the Democratic Party. The socialist wing of the party (which soon may be the only wing left) will be emboldened by its takeover, while at the same time embittered by Bernie’s loss, which the Bros inevitably will blame on inadequate support from Democratic “moderates.” Which will lead them to try to drum the “moderates” out of the party. Thus will the Democratic Party make its appeal more selective.

That is the scenario I am rooting for, anyway.

PAUL ADDS: John’s ability to predict elections and electoral developments has far exceeded mine lately. For what it’s worth, though, I think that a big Sanders defeat by Trump would help the non-socialist Democrats reclaim the party in 2024.

Recall that after Barry Goldwater’s trouncing in 1964, the Republicans nominated an establishment guy, Richard Nixon, four years later. Similarly, after the Democrats were drubbed in 1984 and, to a lesser extent, in 1988, they nominated a “new Democrat,” Bill Clinton, in 1992.

If the Democrats revert to an establishment candidate or a pseudo-moderate in 2024, it might cause the party to splinter. However, I think it’s more likely that the Dems would unify behind that candidate in a desperate attempt to regain power.

Arguably, then, the Democrats would improve their chances of winning the White House in 2024 if they were to nominate Sanders this year. As far as 2020 goes, there may be no Democrat who can defeat Trump if the economy continues to flourish.

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