Politics 101 teaches that you should listen to the people who give small amounts. Bernie Sanders continues to haul in the cash, increasing its fourth quarter fundraising to $34.5 million from $25.3 million in the third quarter. This is happening while Bernie’s poll numbers have not faded in the least, moving him to a firm second place behind Joe Biden.
Meanwhile Elizabeth Warren has dropped like a stone, Pete Buttigieg is trying to recover from gaffes (and his image as a square working secretly for The Man), and the mega-cash-drops from Bloomberg and Steyer have only enriched their media buyers.
Bernie is the real thing: a Soviet-style revolutionary standing amidst mere pretenders and dilettantes. Sanders is a genuine knight in the army dedicated to ushering in the grand socialist worker’s paradise. The five million donors who kicked in (that averages out to $6.90 per donor) have identified themselves with a man who they believe will save them.
- The most often listed profession is “teacher.”
- The five most listed employers are: Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, the USPS and Target.
Surprised? I’m not. The glorious worker’s revolution will be led by blocs of self-interested and over-educated government employees, and the downtrodden proletariat masses–with fresh college degrees in subjects like dance history, and $75,000 student loan balances–working for bourgeois retailers who cater to the likes of Warren and Buttigieg. Sanders hits the mark with his crowd because they believe he will really free them from their yoke of despondency and debt.
But not everyone is buying these days. In New Hampshire, the state’s largest labor unions, who enthusiastically campaigned for Bernie in 2016 against the brazen Hillary, are sitting out this time.
He offered them socialist salvation and they didn’t bite. He offered them free steak dinners, and they spurned him. They’re just too busy.
Likewise, the state chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — which endorsed Sanders as early as fall of 2015 and then vigorously campaigned for him for more than four months — is sitting it out this year.
“Last time, it was a real strong push from the membership to go out and endorse Bernie,” said Denis R. Beaudoin, the union’s business manager, adding there is no big push to endorse anyone this election: “Everybody is working, we’re all busy.”
I remember spending 2016 in the midst of a blizzard in New Hampshire for their primary. I heard from many, many registered Democrats angry that they could not vote in a cross-over Republican primary (N.H. is not an open primary state) to cast their ballot for Donald Trump. Perhaps in 2016, the workers weren’t so keen on Bernie as much as they were rejecting Hillary?
Either way, it’s going to take whoever wins the Democratic nomination amassing an enormous pile of cash (while Steyer and Bloomberg treat theirs like the urinal line at Octoberfest) to take on the president, who has raised $46 million in the last quarter of 2019. And Trump did that while being impeached.
Democrats and pundits should not count Bernie out. This is almost certainly his last hurrah–he’s going to be 79 this year and is recovering from a heart attack. But this one is strong in the socialist force, and they say the dark side leads to abilities some would call–unnatural.
I would not be surprised if Bernie, on the shoulders of teachers and Millennials, isn’t a strong contender this summer, and if Biden blurts something horrific, I would not be surprised if Bernie is the nominee. It’s just politics 101.