Despite Bernie Sanders’ victory in New Hampshire and triumph in the popular vote in Iowa, the overall combined performance of the leftist versus the more moderate candidates in both states indicates significantly more strength in the center and less on the left than had been thought.
In New Hampshire, the same trend was evident. The two left candidates got 34.9 percent while the moderates won 55.4.
The similarity of these margins, even as the names of the candidates changed, indicates far more power in the center than had seemed to be the case a few months ago.
Why the Left Lost
The overexposure of the left’s agenda in the debates — and the doubts about its planks sowed by Democratic rivals — likely account for this development.
Suddenly, Medicare for All, free college, elimination of all student debt and legal pot seem to many Democratic primary voters to be recipe for defeats in November.
As they learned the fiscal price of the Sanders/Warren agenda, voters began to think twice. What once felt good they now have come to eye with suspicion.
Good News for Bloomberg?
I have previously embraced the idea that the left will always prevail in a Democratic primary but now I am not so sure. Super Tuesday is a tall mountain to climb and all the candidates will be very short of cash. Except for Michael Bloomberg.
Look for Mayor Mike to exploit the vulnerability of Sanders and doubts about his chances to win by scaring the hell out of Democratic primary voters who care far more about beating Trump than about who will take his place.
While Bloomberg is unlikely to crack the ideologically driven Sanders legions, he will not have a hard time picking up voters now disposed to Buttigieg or Klobuchar to say nothing of those still hanging around Biden.
None of the moderate candidates are likely to hold their support in the face of a determined Bloomberg surge. Their vote is very fluid.
Just look at how easily Buttigieg vaulted into filling Biden’s shoes and at how Klobuchar was able to move up easily and quickly after Iowa.
All this may auger for a Bloomberg win on Super Tuesday and, perhaps, his eventual nomination.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
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