Bernie Sanders Has One Giant Problem

'People get more pragmatic the closer they get to an actual vote'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2015 1:50 PM CDT
Bernie Sanders Has One Giant Problem
Supporters cheer during a rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Aug. 10 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

He's drawing far more people to his rallies than any candidate in either party, but Bernie Sanders still has a big political problem that can be summed up in one sentence, writes Ezra Klein at Vox. "People get more pragmatic the closer they get to an actual vote." The line isn't Klein's. It comes from Joe Trippi, manager of Howard Dean's 2004 campaign, in an interview with Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. Trippi lays out a number of hurdles for Sanders, notably that Dean faced three opponents who split the establishment vote (John Kerry, Dick Gephardt, and John Edwards) while Sanders faces only Hillary Clinton. Even if he gets to say, 30%, that's nowhere near good enough.

But for Klein, the line about pragmatic voters is Sanders' real problem, a factor that early polls miss. "He needs to convince Democrats that the country that elected George W. Bush will elect a Vermont socialist," writes Klein. Right now, few Democrats think he's got a genuine shot at the nomination, let alone the general election. They may not be thrilled with Clinton, "but they tend to trust that she can win a street fight with Republicans." If he hopes to win, Sanders will have to convince voters of the same. Click for Klein's full column, or for the interview in the Post. (More Bernie Sanders 2016 stories.)

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