The Democratic nomination race started within days after the 2018 Midterms. Since then, a year has passed, two dozen have declared their candidacy, and there have been seven debates—and yet there is no clarity as to who will be the nominee. The reasons why are simple and don’t bode well for the Democrats going forward.
Reason #3. It is so easy to run for President.
In the internet/mass media age, running for president has become rather easy. As a result, a crowded field has become the norm for the out party in presidential years.
In the old days, the year 2000 let’s say, running for president took political name ID, connections, and lots of money. The number of viable candidates, therefore, were generally quite few. When Bush 43 had raised the now quaint number of $100 million by January of 2000, he had nearly cornered the Republican primary market.
In 2016, by contrast, the Republicans had more than 15 candidates run. In this cycle, a bevy of relative unknowns and many undeserving figures declared for the Democrat nomination. Take the candidacy of Beto O’Rourke. He was a 2016 sensation because technology permitted him to fundraise around the country in ways that far outsized his résumé. When he reached the national level, he came back down to earth quickly and dropped out.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is 2020’s Democrat shooting star. He has run a very successful campaign, including raising enormous amounts of money—even though few think he can win the nomination. That is quite the feat for a man whose claims to fame include garnering 8,515 votes to be reelected Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. That is not a typo—he received just 8,515 votes—and now is running for President and raising nearly $25 million a quarter.
It turns out, however, that crowded fields—two dozen candidates—without a consensus candidate (See reason 2 below), lend themselves to drawn out primary seasons the likes of which the Democrats are now experiencing.
Reason #2. There is no consensus Democrat candidate.
In 2016, the Democrats did not have a crowded field of contenders. The open presidential seat attracted over 15 fairly prominent Republicans to the race. The Democrat race, on the other hand, quickly narrowed down to two candidates: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
For most Democrats, especially the Democrat Establishment, Hillary Clinton was the consensus candidate. Bernie Sanders, only identifies as a Democrat when he runs for President. Otherwise, he is a socialist masquerading as an Independent. With that profile, Sanders is never going to be a favorite of Establishment Democrats.
By many means, and many times unfair means, the Democrats and the Democrat National Committee made sure that their consensus candidate got the nomination over the socialist interloper Bernie Sanders in 2016.
All of which leads to Reason #1 and Reason #1 is also why the Democrats currently do not have a consensus candidate.
Reason #1. The Democrat party is deeply divided.
Who speaks for today’s Democrat Party? What are its core principles? Is there a single such spokesperson or set of principles?
There answer, of course, is no. The Democrats are far more divided than the Republicans.
Consider this: the huge government/socialist wing of the Democrat Party, comprised of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, has over 35 percent of the support of the Democrat Party. Currently, Sanders leads Warren. If Warren would drop out, Sanders would be not only the clear leader in the Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and California polls—he would also be the clear leader of the national Democrat polls.
The crowded field (See Reason #3 above), however, splits the vote of that wing of the party. Even so, it is more than likely that by the end of March, that wing of the party will have the most delegates.
The Left’s Media, the Democrat Establishment, and the big Democrat donors, however, want nothing to do with either Sanders or Warren let alone Sanders’ backers in the form of the Squad (AOC et al.). Some have gone so far to say they will sit out the race if either Sanders or Warren is the nominee.
Importantly, rather than seriously dim their prospects, the supporters of especially Sanders, view the lack of affection from the Establishment as a badge of honor. That spurs them on.
Of course, the Establishment’s default candidate is Joe Biden. He is, according to them, “electable.” However, he has raised half as much money as Sanders, and Biden rallies remain rather small. Amidst that division, a niche candidate like Mayor Pete Buttigieg also has done well.
The sum total of it all is that there are various camps with the Democrat party and they are not playing well together. The far Left/socialist group wants nothing to do with Biden. The Establishment and moderates want nothing to do with Warren and Sanders.
So divided are the Democrat voters that significant enough numbers of voters, in either Democrat camp, could sit out the election against Trump. That, of course, spells big trouble for the Democrat nominee and the Democrats Congressional and Senate candidates.
Don’t despair however! There are three more Democrat debates to go and maybe even a brokered convention. In other words, stay tuned because, for the Democrats in 2020, primary voting may not decide anything at all.
Thomas Del Beccaro is an acclaimed author, speaker, Fox News, Fox Business, and Epoch Times opinion writer and the former chairman of the California Republican Party. He is the author of the historical perspectives “The Divided Era” and “The New Conservative Paradigm.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.