About a month ago I wrote about different voting strategies for conservatives who are opposed to President Trump’s re-election. With Bernie Sanders’ recent victories and Super Tuesday approaching, the rubber is about to meet the road. For anyone who doesn’t want the possibility of a Bernie Sanders presidency, time is running out.
The moderate candidates are splitting the vote of their wing of the party, allowing Sanders to win without a majority of the vote. If the trend continues to Super Tuesday and beyond, Sanders will eventually be the Democratic nominee.
As I wrote previously, Trump’s domination of the modern Republican Party and the fact that Republican presidential primaries have been canceled in many states mean that the opportunity cost for disaffected conservatives to vote Democrat is very low. The question is who the new conservative Democratic voters should vote for. Really, there is only one option. Those of us who want a viable alternative to Donald Trump should rally around Joe Biden.
Pete Buttigieg won Iowa and finished strong in New Hampshire, but he is woefully inexperienced and has no national organization. Amy Klobuchar looked like a possible moderate alternative after New Hampshire but has since failed to catch on. Bloomberg has plenty of money but obvious problems with skeletons in his closet and personality. Despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars, he isn’t polling well. Tulsi Gabbard is nothing more than a polling blip and Elizabeth Warren is no moderate.
Joe Biden, for all his flaws, is the only real chance to beat Bernie and then Trump. Biden is experienced, has a nationwide network of supporters, and is moderate enough to be a safe nominee.
Notice that I don’t talk policy here. As a conservative, I disagree with the entire field (including Trump) on policy. The best that I can hope for out of this election is an honest president who will be restrained in his (or her) use of executive power and who will abide by the Constitution and the rule of law. A moderate caretaker president who would try to bring the country together instead of dividing it for political gain would be a bonus.
What I am suggesting is different from what Hugh Hewitt and other Republicans have advocated in voting for Bernie to give Trump what they perceive as a weaker candidate. Rather than trying to sabotage the Democratic Party, my plan attempts to save it and help the country in the process by helping Democrats pick a more electable nominee. While Hewitt and the like have no intention of voting for any Democrat in the general election, conservatives critical of Trump may at least consider the possibility.
And to those Republicans working for a Bernie nomination, you may regret it if you get what you wish for. If the election turns into a battle of corruption versus socialism, it isn’t a fait accompli that the corrupt Republican would emerge victorious.
The swing voters who decide elections often don’t vote on the issues, instead basing their choices on which candidate “cares more about people like me” or who they would prefer to have a beer with. A recent USA Today/IPSOS poll found that Bernie scored higher on these likability and character issues than Trump. And it wasn’t even close.
If conservatives decide to vote in the Democratic primary, they should vote for the candidate that would be best (or least worst) for America. Pushing the opposition party towards an extreme and unelectable candidate has backfired twice in the past three elections. That’s how we got both Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
It’s naive to believe that it is impossible for Bernie to win. That is why conservatives who love America should try to ensure that he does not win the nomination.