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The center holds as Bernie falls apart

  • Published at 08:54 pm March 11th, 2020
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during a campaign rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit, Michigan on March 9, 2020 AFP

Biden swept mini Tuesday in almost every demographic over the age of 45, with Sanders mirroring those numbers for the under 45 age group

On “mini Tuesday” six states went to the polls in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and barring what at this point seems like a statistical tie in Washington, and the delegate light state of North Dakota, Joe Biden swept them all. The former vice-president didn’t just win the states, he dominated Bernie Sanders in a way that has left the senator from Vermont with no real viable path to the nomination. 

Will Sanders suspend his campaign now? Probably not. Much like 4 years ago he is expected to go the distance and take his progressive message all the way to the convention. Every single day from now till the end of the primaries he will be harangued for not dropping out and “unifying” the party. These requests will probably ring hollow to Sanders and his campaign after they have very publicly stated that the party has put every possible roadblock in front of them. Maybe it’s time the Democratic party tries to do the unifying rather than asking him.

With Sanders in the electoral rear-view mirror the Biden campaign should now be able to take a breath and reorganize after what has been an incredible three weeks. Less than a month ago it looked like Biden would meekly bow out after super Tuesday and Bernie would take control of the primary. His landslide in South Carolina turned his assumed weakest trait into this strongest. Moderate Joe, don’t rock the boat Biden, why can’t we all just get along Joe, lets reset the clock Joe, these long-pilloried visions of what a Biden campaign stood for were no longer punchlines. They represented a vision that most resonated with voters. 

They wanted a warm, safe choice and no one fits that bill better than Joe Biden. He has been in the public eye for 50 years as the gaffe prone vice-president, the well-liked senator and the Democrat you can trust. And for those old enough remember his time in service it eventually proved to be an easy choice to make. The only problem is that while Biden continues to earn the votes of everyone over 45 years-old in the fall he could viewed as just that; your dad’s candidate, your aunt’s president of choice and your grandmothers secret crush. 

Biden swept mini Tuesday in almost every demographic over the age of 45, with Sanders mirroring those numbers for the under 45 age group. History and decades of polling have shown that older voters show up and that’s what they’ve done in 2020, they showed up. 

Sanders might have millions of followers on Twitter and be the candidate of choice for everyone under 45, but they have just not come out to vote for him and therein lies an even bigger problem. If the most exciting and revolutionary candidate (and yes, I’m including Barack Obama in this) in decades who has raised millions from a grassroots campaign that has galvanized young people around the country cannot get out the vote, what’ll happen in November when they are faced with having to vote for Uncle Joe? Sure one could say older voters show up, but will they be enough to win a national election by themselves? The answer is probably not. 

This election cycle is not the right time for a revolution and apparently neither was the last. At least that’s what the Democratic party has repeated ad nauseam. 

This time the party needs to appeal to moderates, the political, ideological and demographic center will deliver the win. 

Joe Biden is the most electable candidate. At least that’s what the democratic party has repeated ad nauseam.   

Which leaves us with three questions. Will there ever be a right time for a political revolution? Can the center alone deliver a national presidential win? Is Joe Biden really the most electable candidate against Donald Trump? 

The way these primaries are going the Democratic party might find itself in a situation where in November only the center holds and everything else falls apart.

Nader Rahman is a freelance journalist based in New York