Bernie Sanders is doing it.
After years in the wilderness, a 2016 election stolen by the DNC, and a rough 2020 campaign punctuated by a heart attack, he’s the frontrunner to win the Democratic nomination. And he’s running away from the field, after his win in Nevada.
This is good news for conservatives who worried about a Biden candidacy taking back the union votes Trump won in 2016, or a photogenic Mayor Pete charming the voters into forgetting the Trump economy.
Sanders is a dyed in the wool socialist with more than a passing attraction to communism, and what’s more, he’s an angry old man who yells at voters instead of communicating with them.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that he can’t win.
Here’s a short list of reasons that conservatives can’t afford to let down their guard.
1) Sanders will have the media on his side – that means the concentrated power of the vast majority of the cable channels, newspapers, fact-checkers, talking heads and local news channels all trying to persuade the uneducated American voter that Sanders really isn’t an extremist, he’s just “passionate.” They’re not on his side yet – they’d rather have Elizabeth Warren or Buttigieg, but they’ll settle for Bernie over Trump, mark my words.
2) Sanders has a passionate base. His supporters are fired up. That counts for a lot in a close election. Just ask Donald Trump.
3) Sanders has a built-in message ready to appeal to a nation in recession. If the economy makes even a minor correction in September, expect the media to blast Sanders message of “CAPITALISM HAS FAILED” across all channels. With the stock market already running in the longest bull market ever, what are the chances that something happens that allows Sanders to exploit it?
4) Sanders has outsider cred. Notice I didn’t say he was an outsider. His millions in book sales and 3 homes from a career in politics is the most insider thing ever. But because he yells a lot and advocates for Revolution, he gets outsider credibility. If voters see reasons to be dissatisfied with politics in Washington DC, they vote for the outsider. That helped Trump in 2016, and should help him again in 2020. Against a candidate like Biden or Warren, Trump would have won the outsider title with no contest, but Bernie will muddy the waters a bit.
I’m not saying he’ll win. I’d take Trump’s chances 8 times out of 10 against Sanders. But I am saying that conservatives can’t afford to laugh off the threat of a Sanders candidacy. If we want the Trump revolution to continue, it’s time to get to work.