An opinion column recently published in the Times was accompanied by a headline indicating it’s an especially gut-wrenching time to be a Democrat, unless you’re clairvoyant and know who will be the party’s nominee for president.
That’s so spot-on true.
A couple short weeks ago, when there were still all kinds of Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for president, it wasn’t difficult to find national, respected polls that indicated every single Democratic candidate was at least in statistical tie with President Donald Trump in the general election, and that several of them, if the election were today, would defeat the current occupant of the White House.
But don’t blame Democrats for being more than a little uneasy about poll results heading into a presidential election. If polling was more accurate, Hillary Clinton would be running for a second term right now, not Trump, and Republicans would be trying to pick the best candidate to beat her in November.
But this nervousness and angst among Democrats goes way beyond the accuracy or inaccuracy of polls.
With only two candidates left standing (not counting Tulsi Gabbard), Democratic voters are down to the most progressive candidate, self-described Democratic-Socialist Bernie Sanders, and, likely, the most moderate Democrat seeking the party’s nomination, Joe Biden.
Who will the party faithful rally around in the hopes of strapping Trump with the “one-term president” label? And with that inquiry, a cold-sweat of ominous uneasiness sets in.
First off, despite Hillary Clinton’s failings in 2016, this supposed fear of pitting another woman against Trump in 2020 is laughable. Elizabeth Warren against Trump on the debate stage? It wouldn’t have been fair for the incumbent. Amy Klobuchar, too, is at her best in such a setting. It’s unfortunate, a mystery and even a bit embarrassing to the party that neither woman, especially Warren, the most intelligent and prepared and pragmatic candidate in the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, didn’t gain more traction.
More scary questions...
What’s going to transpire at the Democratic convention? Will the candidate with the most delegates going in walk out triumphant as the party’s nominee?
And who can beat Trump? Sanders detractors say Trump will win 40 states in a landslide come November, while others look at the unparalleled passion of Sanders’ supporters for their candidate and say that prediction is simply way off base.
Then there’s Biden, who, theoretically, has the entire moderate plank of the party behind him now, with the moderates who all dropped out endorsing him.
Does the specific Democratic candidate really even matter at this point? It’s almost like we’re not even dealing with Democrats and Republicans anymore; our nation’s two-party system heading to November 2020 is basically “Never Trumps” versus “Forever Trumps.” Hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.