While on a radio show about a year and a half ago, I mentioned that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was no Hillary Clinton. Warren is actually an effective demagogue, I opined, someone who, though a bit shrill, can give a moving, passionate speech. Now, after some early year stumbles, a new poll shows that the senator has opened up a big lead over her Democrat presidential primary opponents.
Oh, the poll doesn’t represent an accurate cross-section of the Democrat electorate, but instead is of far-left advocacy group MoveOn.org’s members. Yet it perhaps indicates around whom — out of a 20-plus candidate field that looks like the bar scene in Star Wars (line credit: Pat Buchanan) — the left-wing of the party is coalescing.
MoveOn reports on its poll, which was released today, writing, “Sen. Elizabeth Warren leads a new MoveOn straw poll with the support of 38% of members nationwide, followed by Bernie Sanders with 17%. Warren is also in first place among MoveOn members statewide in the early voting states of Iowa (37%), New Hampshire (38%), Nevada (36%), South Carolina (32%), and California (39%).”
Nationwide, ex-vice president Joe Biden, who currently enjoys a comfortable lead among all Democrat voters, came in a distant third among MoveOn members, with 14.9 percent. Pete Buttigieg, the openly homosexual mayor of South Bend, Indiana, came in fourth with 11.7 percent; Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was fifth with 6.8 percent. No other candidate polled at two percent or higher.
These results represent a profound change from six months ago. “MoveOn’s first straw poll of the 2020 contest [in December] found a mostly wide-open field, with almost 3 in 10 respondents unsure of whom they would support,” writes NBC News. “At the time, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke edged out Biden for the top spot with 15.6 percent, and Sanders came in third with 13.1 percent. Warren netted only 6.4 percent of the respondents.”
As for Sanders, the Vermont independent, that he “would do well in the progressive group’s poll is no surprise: MoveOn backed him over then-rival Hillary Clinton in 2016’s Democratic primary, and a majority of MoveOn members at the time said they preferred him to the former secretary of state,” NBC also informs.
“But that progressives are gravitating toward like-minded policy wonk Warren could be another sign of trouble for Sanders, who has been overtaken by the Massachusetts senator in some recent polls.”
It certainly is, and Sanders and his campaign have taken notice — and action. As the Stamford Advocate tells us, “Among some Sanders allies, there is private frustration that Warren is getting credit for ideas that they believe originated with him.”
Thus have they just illustrated two examples. After Warren recently released a plan to eliminate private prisons and announced her endorsement of Tiffany Cabán in the race for district attorney in Queens, Sanders’ campaign took pains to point out that their man had preceded the senator on both counts.
Nonetheless, the two candidates are currently restrained because, “since they’re appealing to many of the same voters, any critiques must be handled delicately to avoid alienating possible backers,” the Advocate further informs.
Yet Warren has an advantage here. As the Advocate also writes, at “a moment when many Democrats are demanding greater diversity and fresher faces, Warren may have an edge as a woman and a first-time presidential candidate.”
Actually, you can forget “may.” The Left has long been preaching “white privilege” and impugning “dead white males” (such as the Founders), and it isn’t fond of almost-dead white ones, either. Polls have evidenced this anti-white antipathy, too, as related in recent headlines.
“Democrats Don’t Want to Nominate a Candidate Who Looks Like Bernie or Joe,” wrote Politico May 24.
A day earlier, the Washington Post warned, “If 2020 comes down to turnout, a white male Democratic nominee might be a problem for his party.”
Then there was “Should a White Man Be the Face of the Democratic Party in 2020?” the month before from the New York Times.
Yet this overt bigotry isn’t Sanders’ only problem. For this is an old old while man: The senator lacks what in 2011 yours truly called “That presidential look.”
That is, the question I rhetorically asked back then about the late Senator John McCain, “When was the last time an old-looking, white-haired, half-bald man won the presidency?” also applies to Sanders (who sports a pair of glasses to boot).
Oh, I know, this is a shallow basis on which to vote. But appearance does influence many people, often subconsciously. Read my article on the subject if you doubt this; you’ll be convinced.
Speaking of old white men brings us to Biden. He still has that overall Democrat electorate lead likely owing to his name recognition, nostalgia for the Obama presidency, and that he — seeming more “moderate” — may appear to some like the adult in the room.
Thus do the other candidates have him in their crosshairs. In fact, they’re now calling Biden “racially insensitive” for saying that he missed the days of civility when he, while in the Senate, could work with even segregationists on common causes.
This attack is silly, of course. “Politics is the art of the possible,” as German leader Otto von Bismarck put it, and Barack Obama himself worked with — and praised — Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), once an “exalted cyclops” in the Democrat group the Ku Klux Klan.
But while these racial charges likely won’t stick, Biden has other problems. Not only does he give a wizened and waning impression, but he’s a gaffe machine, as illustrated by his now infamous flip-flop-flip on the Hyde Amendment. Then there was his “What, me worry?” answer on the threat posed by our greatest geopolitical rival and today’s evil empire, China (video below).
The bottom line? “Joe Biden is too stupid to win the nomination,” wrote American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson earlier this month. This echoes others, including the New York Post’s John Podhoretz, who called the then vice president a “moron” in 2015.
No doubt, it is hard to win nominations when your foot goes in your mouth every time you open it, but will Warren be the beneficiary of Biden’s likely demise? Perhaps, but for sure it won’t be Sanders. The whitest guy from the whitest state can be whited out.
Interestingly, Sanders’ plight is somewhat reminiscent of that of the late Senator Barry Goldwater (D-Ariz.), who was routed by President Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential race. Later in life, Goldwater lamented how Ronald Reagan was echoing all his ideas 16 years later — successfully.
As with Sanders, Goldwater lacked the presidential look and charm Reagan possessed, and perhaps he was just a bit ahead of his time. Likewise, Sanders has laid the foundation upon which another, less withered and more winsome, candidate may capitalize.
The difference is what Sanders has demonstrated the current appeal of: open socialism. In other words, his ilk’s rise must make many wonder if our nation still has that American look.
Photo: AP Images