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Political Editors / September 20, 2019

Democrats Are a Party Divided

But as identity divides voters among the slew of candidates, the party has a bigger strategy.

The Wall Street Journal and NBC News recently released their latest polling on the Democrat presidential candidates. The results are both predictable and yet surprising, with former Vice President Joe Biden continuing to lead the pack at 31%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren closing in at 25%, Sen. Bernie Sanders continuing his slow fade at just 14%, and none of the other 487 candidates in double digits.

That’s the predictable part; the surprises are in the details. For example, while Biden is still solidly in front, his numbers have slipped, especially in terms of voter enthusiasm. This may explain why Warren has begun to surge over the last couple of months. Fauxcahontas is fiery if nothing else, and she can stir up a crowd far better than “Sleepy Joe.”

The poll numbers also show a clear divide among Democrat voters. Biden, who is widely viewed as the most centrist candidate (graded on a hard-left curve), receives his strongest support from older white and black Democrats who appear less favorable to the socialist agendas of Warren and Sanders. Meanwhile, both Warren and Sanders see their strongest support coming from young white Democrats. The two-part question, then, is whether Warren can continue her surge, and whether Biden can close the enthusiasm gap.

The Resurgent’s Steve Berman observes, “More and more, it appears to me that the Democrats don’t know who they want to run, only that they want Trump out. Given the candidates on top right now, it will be Republican voters who determine the general election results, which means what we’ve been saying all along is likely true. This is still, right now, Trump’s race to lose.”

Here in our humble shop, we still believe there’s something of a strategy behind the Democrats’ obsession with identity politics. As Mark Alexander wrote earlier this year: “The current Demo presidential primary strategy to defeat Trump dictates that the Left should field a lot of candidates, with the objective of raising a lot of money to build each candidate’s respective constituency. At the end of the primary, fold all those identity-politic constituencies into one massive amalgamation of general-election voters — a ‘collective constituency of dunces,’ as I fondly refer to it — adolescent dupes of all ages. Then focus that amalgam on defeating Trump.”

The real question, then, is whether the surviving candidate will be able to bring all those factions together by next November.

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