The Left’s socialist leader has hit rock bottom…
Sen. Bernie Sanders may turn out to be the biggest loser in last week’s 2020 Democratic primary debates.
A new poll from Suffolk University and USA Today demonstrates that since last week’s events, both Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden have fallen precipitously in polls, but Sanders is now in critical territory, dropping into the single numbers in Iowa’s early main state.
“Biden continues to lead the field, backed by 24% of those who say they are likely to attend the Democratic caucuses in Iowa that open the presidential contests next year,” USA Today reported Tuesday. “But Harris has jumped to second place, at 16%, leapfrogging over Sanders, whose support sagged to single digits. At 9%, he finished fourth, behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 13%.”
That result tracks with other Democratic primary polls focusing on early primary states. Although none are quite as dire for Sanders as the Suffolk poll, Real Clear Politics shows major drops for Bernie across the board. In most cases, Sanders is either tied with or behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and in some more recent polls, Sanders drops to fourth place, behind Sen. Kamala Harris, who was widely considered to be the breakout star of last week’s debates.
USA Today suggests that the standards are “hardly set in stone,” but Bernie Sanders was dropping in popularity even before last week’s first round of debates. Even as Biden struggled to get footing in the 2020 contest, most of the negative energy seemed to surround the Vermont progressive, especially as Warren surged late in June.
With Harris now a contender, support for Sanders has eroded even further, suggesting that progressive voters and other supporters on the far left are abandoning their 2016 mainstay for younger, more electable politicians.
Before Biden entered the race — and even for weeks afterward — Sanders appeared to consider himself a frontrunner for the nomination, perhaps under the assumption that the Democratic National Committee would attempt to right the “wrongs” of 2016 by ushering Sanders into position as the 2020 Democratic nominee. For most of his first month on the trail, Sanders focused heavily on the importance of putting a progressive in place against President Donald Trump — rather than a more moderate, run-of-the-mill option like Biden — to offer Americans a clear choice.
But while Sanders may have blazed the trail for far-left progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and made it easier for the Democratic field to move further to the left as a whole, his ideas are now rather mainstream for Democratic candidates, and both Warren and Harris present a more youthful, diverse face for the party — something the DNC is, no dobut, concerned over.
Sanders still isn’t the only one in trouble, however. While support for Harris has more than doubled in some places, support for Biden has also tanked — in some cases by double digits. And he can thank a lackluster debate performance — his own fault — for his drop in support, and not his opponents’ attacks.
“To win in Iowa, you have to be able to woo the supporters of other candidates who drop out or that don’t reach the 15% threshold at the caucus,” Suffolk University’s Political Research Center director David Paleologos, told USA Today. “The poll tells us that candidates like Harris, Warren, and (Pete) Buttigieg poll better than Biden and Sanders in this regard, and that sets the stage for a new face exceeding expectations in Iowa.”
The next set of debates is due to take place at the end of the month in Detroit, Michigan, and the crowd will likely be much smaller. To enter the first set of debates, candidates needed to demonstrate at least 5% support in the polls or 65,000 individual donations. To enter the second, candidates must demonstrate at least 2% support and cash from more than 100,000 individual donors.