In 2016, his “political revolution” did not convince the Democrats. Four years later, Bernie Sanders is determined to take revenge. The socialist is now a favorite of the primaries, after having gathered the largest number of votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.
His large victory in the latter state on Saturday evening confirms his ability to attract a wide variety of voters. An asset that he lacked against Hillary Clinton. University graduates or not, unionized or not, whites but also Latinos, all preferred Bernie Sanders in Nevada. The septuagenarian, long labeled as “the candidate of young people” also came out on top in almost all age groups. Only the over 65s resist him, perhaps still marked by the Cold War and resistant to the idea of voting for a socialist.
Are the Americans ready, in 2020, to set up a universal public health insurance, the free one of the universities or a sharp increase in the minimum wage? These proposals may seem normal in Europe but they have long been considered impossible in a country where state intervention is viewed with disapproval. Today, they are part of everyday language among Democrats. Evidenced by the emergence of new party stars, such as the young New York MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, shock support for Sanders.
Bloomberg bets on Super Tuesday
The senator from Vermont said he was convinced that this “multigenerational and multiracial coalition” will allow him to access the White House. He must first win the Democratic nomination in July. Facing him, the moderate camp is divided. Joe Biden, long-time national favorite, has done poorly so far. The former vice-president of Barack Obama saved the furniture with a second place in Nevada and hopes to win South Carolina thanks to his support among African-Americans.
Bernie Sanders therefore has a way to continue winning over Democratic delegates, by betting on a vigorous mobilization of his base. But will that be enough to win the nomination from the first round in July? The bet of what Trump calls “Bernie the madman” is to “channel the anger of the electorate against the establishment”, by “opposing a populism of the left to a populism of the right,” analyzes the former French ambassador to Washington, Gérard Araud on Twitter. Some doubt its ability to rally beyond the progressive camp and therefore to beat the outgoing president.
To counter Sanders, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York (he was then Republican) is little mystery of his strategy: to enter the race during Super Tuesday, March 3, when fourteen states rich in delegates will vote. Then bet on a possible second round during the Democratic convention where the moderates would rally behind his candidacy. Objective: block the way to the “red” Sanders.