Joe Biden might be on his way to winning in his Democratic nomination fight with Sen. Bernie Sanders, but he’s a long, long way from winning over Sanders supporters he’s going to need come November.
A Twitter post published by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez before Sunday’s Biden-Sanders debate was even over shows just how hard that’s going to be.
Ocasio-Cortez, the slender leftist with the megaphone voice in the modern Democratic Party, all but called the former vice president a flat-out liar as she listed a series of causes that are dear to the liberal heart – banning fracking, going easy on debt deadbeats, and, of course, federal funding for abortions.
Ocasio-Cortez is far from alone. Only 40 percent of Sanders backers who voted in Michigan’s primary last week told pollsters they would be willing to vote for the party’s nominee regardless of who it is, Politico reported Friday.
Four in five — 80 percent of Sanders backers – would be dissatisfied with Biden at the top of the ticket, according to Politico
And as Newsweek noted, the hashtag #LyinBiden “was fifth in the U.S. Twitter trending charts on Monday morning as users reacted to clips of Biden at last night’s CNN debate.” (“#LyinBiden” must be Democrat-speak. President Donald Trump’s fans would be more likely to call Biden “Sleepy Joe.”)
The Democratic Party isn’t just not united. As Ocasio-Cortez’s words to the man who’s almost certain to become the Democratic nominee, the party is in a civil war.
It’s worth pointing out here that the criticism from Sanders supporters like Ocasio-Cortez that Biden lacks sufficient purity from a leftist point of view doesn’t make the former vice president a “moderate” — as the mainstream media misleadingly suggests.
He’s dangerously liberal in his own right, and even more dangerously vulnerable to pressures from his party’s left wing to get even more so if the calamity of a Biden presidency were ever actually to occur.
And Biden doesn’t just have suspect mental faculties, as many already maintain. As AOC’s tweet pointed out, he’s suspect when it comes to some top leftist priorities.
Don’t say you support a fracking ban when you don’t. Don’t say you didn’t write the bankruptcy bill when you were one of it’s biggest champions. Don’t say you supported ending Hyde a long time ago when you were just pressured into it last year.
This is basic. The truth matters.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 16, 2020
Some of the responses show how difficult it might be for Biden to rally the party to its full strength if he wins the nomination.
Rambling Joe Biden is a liar.
You just need to have the courage to say it out loud.#DebateWithBernie
— Sema (@_SemaHernandez_) March 16, 2020
Biden proved tonight he is a pathological liar.
— Bernie Baby Yoda (@berniebabyyoda) March 16, 2020
Some Sanders supporters even compared Biden to Trump – which is about as deep an insult as you can get among our leftist brethren.
Joe Biden has lied countless times during this election. Republicans might not care if Trump lies, but the left does care if Biden lies. Biden will absolutely lose to Trump because the youth & left voter base will not turn out for him.
— Joshua 4 Congress (@Joshua4Congress) March 16, 2020
I think that Joe Biden has a fast and loose relationship with the truth. We already have a president like that now.
— Alexandra Halaby (@iskandrah) March 16, 2020
In 2012, when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the GOP nominee to challenge then-President Barack Obama, the kind of socialized health care system Romney backed in the Bay State was uncomfortably close enough to Obamacare to cost him the support of a good part of the Republican electorate.
Obama was re-elected easily, 332 Electoral College votes to Romney’s 206.
(As Romney’s career has borne out recently, the Republicans who opposed him in 2012 can say they were onto something.)
Eight years later, the party’s roles are reversed, and it’s the presumptive Democratic nominee who’s being accused of being too close to Republicans for his party’s base.
In uncertain times, it would take a fool to make a prediction about how November’s voting will shake out – eight months is a long time in politics under any circumstances, but in a country currently being wracked by a coronavirus pandemic and a battery of steps to keep it under control, it’s an eternity.
But there’s one bet that’s rock-solid: Biden might win the nomination, but he’s not going to get a significant portion of Sanders’ supporters.
Assume that the primary day poll in Michigan that found only 40 percent of Sanders voters were ready to support the Democratic nominee regardless of who it was actually low-balled liberal loathing for Trump.
Assume another 20 percent are willing to hold their nose and vote for the Democratic candidate just to get rid of Trump.
That would still leave 40 percent of Sanders supporters not rallying to the Democratic cause.
Regardless of how the Democratic fight finishes up, Trump is going to need every last Republican and conservative vote he can get – and there’s not one good reason he shouldn’t get them all.
For progressive Democrats, though, supporting Biden is a different story. Even if Biden wins the nomination, he has a long way to go before he wins over his own party.
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