Gut-check Time for the Democrats

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

It’s gut-check time for the Democrats, especially the moderates. Can Bernie Sanders beat Trump?

If the answer is “yes,” then, by all means, carry on what they’re doing, with no one dropping out, the rest of the vote splitting… and anoint Sanders. If the answer is “no,” then it’s time for the field to consolidate in a big way. The results of last night’s Nevada caucus, with Sanders lapping the field, speak to the urgency of this needing to happen.

Unless the candidates who have no realistic chances of winning the nomination drop out before Super Tuesday, Sanders will be on a clear path to having the majority of delegates. Playing for a chance to be in play in a brokered convention may be what the ego says, but is not the best interests of the party or the country. A brokered convention that works to deny a majority-delegate Sanders will destroy the Democratic Party. The cold calculus is whoever is not in the top two of South Carolina needs to drop out. The colder calculus, but infinitely better for Democratic strategic prospects (beating Trump), is for Warren, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar to bow out now and give the consolidated field the entire week plus of news cycles leading into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Warren had a fantastic debate on Wednesday, and may well have torpedoed Bloomberg, but she didn’t do anything to advance her cause. She has no path to the nomination because Sanders is the clear progressives’ choice.

And does it need to take South Carolina for Klobuchar and Buttigieg to accept the obvious? That they have no chance of winning the nomination? They have no traction in non-white demographics. Excellent tries, but Biden is the best positioned going forward as the non-Bloomberg moderate going into Super Tuesday. (Buttigieg, at least, will have plenty of chances in the future.)

Then after Super Tuesday, the loser of Biden and Bloomberg needs to go. That would leave the moderate choice the opportunity to go head-to-head against Sanders. At the very least, the moderate case would have the chance to be cleanly presented.

If I could speak directly to the candidates, I would say this: shelve the egos, ladies and gentlemen. Just how important is it to beat Trump? Are you staying in the race for yourselves or the American people?

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