Ballots continue to be counted from Washington’s Democratic primary, and it is still uncertain whether Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders will squeak through to win. What is quite clear, though, is that Sanders is falling short of his performance four years ago when he and Hillary Clinton fought over the presidential nomination right to the last primary in June.
This time, the competition is almost certainly over. Unlike in 2016 when Sanders dominated the Washington caucus, the 2020 result in this state is essentially a tie. In Tuesday’s five other primaries, Sanders lost Michigan and Idaho, was blown away in Missouri and Mississippi, and carried only North Dakota. This followed Biden’s victories in South Carolina and in the majority of states that voted on Super Tuesday. Sanders is facing more dismal results next week in Florida, the following week in Georgia and in most of the remaining states.
A majority of Democrats are clearly not ready for Sanders’ revolution, even though most of them look favorably on the progressive policies he has championed. Instead, Democrats have a single compelling priority this year that has driven them to the polls in record numbers in the last several primaries and driven them away from Sanders. That priority is to make President Donald Trump a one-term president.
There may not be a lot of passion for Biden, but there is growing confidence that he, not Sanders, offers the Democrats their safest shot at restoring competence, character and compassion to the presidency.
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