Opinion Can Bernie Sanders tackle the question of electability?

21:10  04 february  2020
21:10  04 february  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

President Bernie Sanders would use executive orders to kick-start a revolution

  President Bernie Sanders would use executive orders to kick-start a revolution Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders now has an answer for how he’ll deal with a Republican-controlled Senate if he’s elected president: unilateral executive action. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Sanders’s campaign is reportedly drafting dozens of executive orders that would allow a hypothetical President Sanders to overturn President Trump’s immigration policy and bypass Congress on a wide range of other domestic policy issues, such as healthcare and the environment.

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  Can Bernie Sanders tackle the question of electability? © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.

With the Iowa caucus just four days away, the Democratic presidential candidates are making a last-ditch appeal to “future former Republican voters,” as Pete Buttigieg described them. These are the voters still on the fence, the centrists that could be swayed by the right candidate.

As November approaches, these voters will become even more important, and so will electability. Yet the one Democratic candidate seemingly unconcerned with the issue of electability is the same candidate currently surging in the polls: Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders raised massive $25 million in the month of January

  Bernie Sanders raised massive $25 million in the month of January Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont raised $25 million in January, his campaign said Thursday, a staggering sum that marks his highest monthly total since entering the race a year ago. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The haul surpassed his totals from the first and second quarters of 2019 combined, and nearly matched his third quarter total of $25.3 million. He led the Democratic primary field with $34.5 million in contributions over the final three months of the year.

Sanders's recent rise has created a panic among Democratic strategists, just as it did in 2016 when he began to close in on Hillary Clinton. Convinced that Sanders’s radical proposals would isolate general election voters, establishment Democrats are scrambling to put distance between Sanders and the Democratic nomination. The question is, are they right?

The other candidates are trying to make that case. Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden have touted their moderate appeal from the get-go. But now even Elizabeth Warren, one of the 2020 race’s more liberal candidates, is trying to convince Democratic voters that she can win their Republican neighbors if given the chance.

“I'm going to start with something that not only our whole party can run on but start with something that is really appealing to a lot of Republicans around the country,” she told supporters this week. “I get it, we’re not going to get every Republican, but we are going to treat people with respect. We’re going to treat them with dignity, and we’re going to treat their arguments as serious around these economic issues.”

Sanders claims 'strong victory' in Iowa

  Sanders claims 'strong victory' in Iowa Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) thanked his supporters for giving his campaign a "strong victory" in the Iowa caucuses on Thursday, days after the state's chaotic contest and as the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) chairman has called for a recanvass. © Getty Images Sanders claims 'strong victory' in Iowa The Iowa Democratic Party on Thursday released its latest batch of results, after technical mishaps delayed the results following the caucuses on Monday.With 97 percent of precincts now reporting, the results showed South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 26.

Sanders isn't making such pitches right now to the middle, but if Sanders wins Iowa next week — he’s leading three of the last four polls in the state — and if he performs well in New Hampshire the week after, he may very well be the Democratic nominee. And what then of electability? Will he fare as poorly among general election voters as the establishment types fear?

Sanders’s unabashed extremism would likely hurt him in the general election, if only because it would give President Trump the enemy he needs. Trump is at his best when he’s up against an unpopular figure or idea. In 2016, it was "Crooked Hillary." Throughout impeachment, it’s been "Shifty Schiff." And, in 2020, it could be "Crazy Bernie."

Trump also has the advantage of a strong economy and stable market, and if voters believe a Sanders presidency threatens that stability, they could choose the known commodity and stick with Trump. Sanders’s proposed tax increase and his vow to wipe out private health insurance could scare away centrists, too.

Buttigieg Pulls Ahead in Iowa’s National Delegate Count, AP Says

  Buttigieg Pulls Ahead in Iowa’s National Delegate Count, AP Says Pete Buttigieg has pulled ahead of Bernie Sanders in delegates to the Democratic National Convention after the Associated Press updated its tally Friday. © Brian Snyder Campaign signs for Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders stand in the snow in Manchester, New Hampshire, on February 7, 2020. Buttigieg now has 13 delegates to Sanders’ 12. Other candidates receiving delegates: Elizabeth Warren, 8; Joe Biden, 6, and Amy Klobuchar, 1.Buttigieg and Sanders had been tied at 11 delegates each in the AP count.

But don’t count out Sanders just yet. Sanders’s campaign, like Trump’s, is rooted in the populist sentiment that’s been simmering below the surface for decades. Sanders also rejects the traditional party apparatus that stands in the way of real progress, and that “outsider” rhetoric is, in part, what attracted disillusioned voters to Trump in 2016.

Clinton failed to win over those voters in 2016, but, if Sanders wins the nomination and wins over the blue-collar workers in the swing states, he could absolutely win the general election. Right now, for instance, Sanders is beating Trump in every recent poll of Michigan. All Sanders has to do is win Detroit by a large enough margin, and he’ll win the state.

A Sanders presidency is possible, but it’s still a long shot. He has to beat Biden first, and that will be no simple task. Biden has consistently led the Democratic field nationally since he announced his candidacy, and the former vice president tends to perform much better among African American and blue-collar voters than Sanders.

Electability will still be a problem for Sanders. He’s extreme and he knows it. But perhaps his inability to woo the voters in the middle isn’t the crisis the Democrats have made it out to be.

Bernie Sanders calls James Carville 'political hack' after criticism .
Sen. Bernie Sanders called former President Clinton adviser James Carville a “political hack” two days after Carville said it would be the “end of days” for Democrats if Sanders became the nominee. © Provided by FOX News Chairman of The American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp weighs in on House Democrats and the Trump impeachment on ‘Outnumbered.’ "Look, James, in all due respect, is a political hack who said very terrible things when he was working for Clinton against Barack Obama," Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. "We are taking on the establishment. This is no secret to anybody.

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