As Democrats head into the primary season with a stacked field of presidential contenders, a conservative columnist is warning them not to make the same mistakes Republicans did in 2016 that resulted in Donald Trump becoming president.
Concerned that Democrats are not going to pick the right candidate to oust Trump from office, Sarah Longwell seemed particularly concerned about Democrats not dropping out of the race early enough for a stronger candidate to consolidate support, and really seemed worried that Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) will be the nominee.
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“Remember 2015?” she asked. “It was an exciting year for Republicans. There were 16 candidates running for president and a slight majority of them looked (at the time) like pretty good options.”
She then ran through the list of names that are nothing like the powerhouse names of candidates running in the Democratic primary this time around. They’re certainly a more qualified field than what Republicans had in 2015 when the likes of Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump ran.
“You know how this story ends,” Longwell continued. “But in retrospect, you can see where everything went wrong. And therein lies the cautionary tale for you, my Democratic friends.”
In late September, despite having been at the top of the pack only a couple months earlier, Scott Walker dropped out of the race. He’d had a couple lousy debate performances and some other missteps. Here’s what he said when he dropped out:
“Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field,” Walker said when he dropped out. “I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, more importantly, to the future of our country.”
“They were so concerned with winning the ‘moderate’ lane, or the ‘evangelical’ lane that they didn’t bother to look at who was winning the actual race,” Longwell wrote. “They ignored Trump, who was consistently polling in first place, all alone in his ‘burn it all down’ lane.”
Except most of the Democrats are running similar campaigns and many of the heavy hitters, including Bernie Sanders, are running on universal healthcare and the Green New Deal, policies that a majority of Americans back.
And even a Fox News poll shows that Sanders leads Trump in a hypothetical 2020 match-up.
Longwell also underestimates how determined Democrats are to beat Trump in 2020. She is making predictions based on a crazy Republican field in 2020. Again, Republicans picked Trump, someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing, as their candidate. Sanders knows what he’s doing, as do most of the other candidates, especially since they have governing experience.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg recently reached third place in an Iowa poll and his increasing name recognition, youth, and policy positions could propel him to the nomination.
If Longwell’s real motive is to just prevent Bernie from becoming president, she’s the very conservative voter who helped Trump win in 2020. The fact is that while Trump may relish running against a democratic socialist, many Americans are poised to vote for a socialist if it means getting the universal healthcare and climate change policies they want.
In the end, Trump’s “Burn it all down” lane is no match for Bernie’s “Build it all up” lane. And it’s a lane that most of the Democratic field has embraced. So, regardless of who ends up winning the Democratic nomination, Americans will have a clear choice in 2020 and Trump will have an uphill battle to fight.
Democrats may have a crowded field, but they are nowhere near as crazy as the lineup of lunatics Republicans offered in 2016.
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