Friday, February 21, 2020
The Democratic presidential race is in fresh turmoil after former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned in a conspicuously poor performance in his first debate Wednesday evening. Bloomberg took a brutal hammering in Las Vegas at the hands of his opponents, particularly Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The negative impact is reverberating among centrists in the Democratic Party. The party's moderate vote is splintered among several candidates while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a democratic socialist, advances toward the nomination. Bloomberg's misfire means that dynamic won't change anytime soon.
In a TV interview earlier this month, James Carville compared Sanders with Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing British Labour Party leader. Carville said: "The only thing between the United States and the abyss is the Democratic Party. That's it. If we go the way of the British Labour Party, if we nominate Jeremy Corbyn, it's going to be the end of days."
As Bloomberg rose in the polls, some moderates were persuaded that his resources could make him the dominant standard-bearer for their side against the Sanders faction.
That seems a highly dubious proposition in the wake of his disastrous debate performance. And some in the Democratic Party, not aligned with any candidate, wonder what happens now.
"There is no question that Bloomberg has done enormous damage to Biden. There has been cannibalization in the non-Bernie lane," said Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the New Democrat Network. "Our primary is more complicated than two lanes, but in the non-Bernie lane, there is a pile-up."
Among the anti-Sanders factions, there is widespread fear that the Vermont Independent could soon jump out to an insurmountable delegate lead.
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