News and Commentary

Panic On The Left As Democrats Realize Bernie Could Actually Win Nomination
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JULY 30: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gestures during the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre July 30, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. 20 Democratic presidential candidates were split into two groups of 10 to take part in the debate sponsored by CNN held over two nights at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. (Photo by
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Bernie’s coming.

The Democratic socialist from Vermont, who has been running for president for more than five years, is suddenly rising fast in the polls as voters in Iowa and New Hampshire prepare to cast their ballots in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. And that’s making plenty of Democrats nervous.

“Bernie Sanders could be the nominee of our party,” fellow candidate Pete Buttigieg’s campaign said in a recent email to supporters. “Bernie’s campaign is out-raising and out-spending us. If this continues, there’s a good chance he wins the Iowa caucuses.”

As he rises to the top, Sanders is enjoying the chance to needle the establishment that controls the Democratic Party. “They’re looking at recent polls in New Hampshire and in Iowa, and they’re saying, ‘Oh my God, Sanders can win!'” the senator told a packed auditorium in Ames, Iowa.

“Suddenly, we have the Democratic establishment very nervous about this campaign. We got Wall Street nervous,” Sanders told a crowd of roughly 1,100 Sunday night in Sioux City. “They’re starting to think, could this really happen?”

A slew of new polls for Iowa and New Hampshire — the first two states to cast ballots in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — show Sanders is surging. Iowa’s caucuses are next Monday, while the N.H. primary is a week from today.

The very latest poll for Iowa by Emerson put Sanders at 30%, former vice president Joe Biden at 21% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 11%. Sanders is leading in Iowa in the latest New York Times/Siena poll, too, at 25% to former South Bend, Indiana Buttigieg’s 18% and Biden’s 17%. That was a six-point gain for Sanders.

In New Hampshire, a poll released Thursday by WBUR-TV gave Sanders a commanding 12-point lead over his rivals, with Buttigieg in second and Biden in third. Biden is dropping in all the latest polls, but not as much as Warren, who is plunging late.

And another N.H. poll, this one by CNN/University of New Hampshire released on Sunday, showed Sanders has pulled out to a nine-point lead over Biden (at 16%) and Buttigieg (15%). An NBC/Marist poll published over the weekend also gave Sanders a 5-point lead over his rivals. keeps a running average of all polls. In Iowa, Sanders has gone from 18% on December 1, 2019, to 25% this week, giving him a 3-point lead. Meanwhile, Warren has gone from 22.5% on November 1 to 13.5% this week.

But Sanders’ far-left proposals — massive new taxes, free health care for all, free college, more open borders — have some in the center worried.

“We issued a warning a year ago that Sanders could win the nomination and would likely lose to Trump. And we’ve been the only ones really taking the fight to him,” Matt Bennett, the vice president of the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way, told NBC News.

“It’s past time for other Democrats to come off the sidelines and for the media to start doing its job to vet a serious contender for the nomination,” he added. “We simply can’t stand by while there’s a threat that Democrats could nominate a guy who would hand such nuclear-level ammunition to the Trump campaign.”