Bernie Sanders: Minority candidate in the Democratic primaries
Sanders supporters are bemoaning the planned “superdelegate coup” if Sanders doesn’t win an outright majority of delegates. What would happen is that if no candidate gets over 50% of the delegates in the first vote at the convention, then the superdelegates get to vote in the second round of voting and they would not vote for Sanders. The thinking of the Sandersnistas is that if Bernie gets more votes than any other candidate, he should automatically be the nominee. Is that right?
According to the latest poll, Sanders has 23% support. Combine that with Elizabeth Warren’s 7% and you have 30% for the “left” of the Democratic Party – a clear minority.
Joe Biden – the real front runner. And he hasn’t even officially entered the race yet.
Compare that with the support for some of the mainstream candidates (including Biden, who will soon jump into the race}:
That makes a total of 61% for mainstream Democrats. Even if we simply took the top three, that is nearly 50%. Sanders is merely the most popular of the “left” candidates and, after Biden jumps in, he won’t even be the most popular of all the candidates. So, with or without the superdelegates, why should the Democrats nominate him?
Maybe these numbers will change as the campaign heats up, but as of now, Sanders is a minority candidate and his wing is decisively the minority in the Democratic Party.
This is not advocating for or against Sanders, Biden or any other Democratic Party candidate. But when all the shouting and hoopla is over, unless a minority carries the day or unless something decisive changes, Sanders will not be the nominee. Period. Then what do socialists have to show for supporting him, except for a lot of energy, time and money wasted?
What’s needed more than anything is an increased class consciousness and for at least some sector of the working class to be organized on a class basis. Concretely, that means arguing for a working class political party. History – including the last four years – has proven that it’s impossible to campaign for such a party and support the likes of Sanders at the same time. How, after all, can we explain that the Democrats are one of the two parties of the capitalist class, always will be so, and that the “left” of this party is just the bait for the trap… while at the same time advocating swallowing that same bait?