Democrats now know how millions of Republicans felt in 2016. A populist with devoted plurality support charges through the primary and caucus states, racking up delegates against multiple “establishment” candidates who all want to be the last alternative standing. Before the media knew it, Donald Trump could not be stopped.
With his overwhelming victory in Nevada’s caucuses on Saturday, Bernie Sanders is on the road to pulling off a similar coup against the Democratic Party. The Vermont socialist performed even better than his polling and was leading with 46% of the vote with 60% of the precincts reporting Sunday morning.
He did well with most voter groups, but especially the young and Latinos. Many of his supporters may not know what socialism means in practice, but they like his angry demands for social justice and for government to fix all of America’s inequities.
As important, his competitors continued to divide the vote with no single candidate breaking out as a dominant challenger. Joe Biden was second with 19.6%, giving him a talking point going into next Saturday’s make-or-break primary in South Carolina. Pete Buttigieg was third with 15.3%—close to the 15% state-wide threshold to gain delegates.