Democrats Shocked to Find They’re in an Actual Primary

Photo: Win McNamee (Getty)

The 2020 Democratic primary is well underway, and to the great dismay of some political commentators, it does appear to be an actual primary. Who would have thought!

The Washington Post made the rounds with some of the best and brightest minds of the Democratic Party for their thoughts. The results? We got a live on on our hands here, folks!

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Exhibit A: in the primary, it remains uncertain who the party’s candidate will be. From the Post:

The top fundraiser in the Democratic presidential field was hospitalized for a heart attack, the longtime polling leader and his son sit at the center of an impeachment inquiry, and the one candidate with clear momentum faces persistent doubts among some party leaders that she is too liberal to win the general election.

[...]

Concerns have risen in recent days that the potential Democratic slate has been weakened by events largely out of the candidates’ control. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) promised a speedy return to the campaign trail after leaving the hospital Friday, but it was unclear whether the 78-year-old would be able to replicate his previously frenetic travel schedule. Former vice president Joe Biden, who has spent most of the race as the leader in the polls, has faced daily attacks from Trump over largely unfounded allegations about his son Hunter’s foreign business dealings, highlighting a potential vulnerability for the candidate many saw as the best hope for beating Trump.

All right, so first of all, one of these things is not like the others. Biden is a bumbling mess whose failson might drag him into Trump’s impeachment scandal, and Bernie literally just had a heart attack. Elizabeth Warren’s big crisis is... electability? Damn. Really a crisis for her, seeing as she’s currently leading in some polls.

“This is crazier than most. It’s the normal twists and turns — on steroids,” said former senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). “Anything can happen. Anything can happen.”

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Damn. DAMN! We got a primary on our hands! It’s almost like... we didn’t basically pick our candidate three years ago this time around.

Let’s check in on the establishment’s preferred candidate is faring:

But there are signs that Trump’s attacks are having an effect, even among prospective Biden supporters. One Biden volunteer, Marcie Lammers of Las Vegas, who showed up to his Las Vegas event last month wearing a Biden T-shirt, said the backlash to the impeachment news was clear in the phone calls she has been making for her candidate.

“I know it’s getting in the way,” she said of the impeachment talk and Trump’s accusations about the Bidens’ actions involving Ukraine. “When I do the phone banking, at first people said ‘Well, I’m thinking about Joe or I’m leaning toward Joe.’ Now, the people that do pick up the phone, they say, ‘Well if he wants to collect money, why doesn’t he just get it from Ukraine?’ ”

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Oh no. How will ol’ Joe wriggle out of this (the primary election)?

“Biden’s best positioning is when it is him versus Trump in the primary,” said David Plouffe, a top adviser to Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns who now hosts the Campaign HQ podcast. “It’s an opportunity to show people: ‘Trump is afraid of me. I can stand up to him.’ I would seize that.”

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David... thank’s. Biden must simply... run in the general election, and not the primary. It’s elementary when you think about it. The finest minds in the party, hard at work.

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About the author

Jack Crosbie

Contributing Writer, Splinter