For the first time, three weeks ahead of Caucus Day in Iowa, Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the 2020 Democratic presidential field.
That’s according to a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll, even as many expected Sanders to slowly fade away. CNN commentator Joe Lockhart warned that the media isn’t taking seriously the possibility that Sanders, a self-avowed socialist, could be the Democratic nominee.
Appearing on SE Cupp Unfiltered, the former Clinton White House press secretary supported his argument by citing how President Donald Trump was first received by the media.
“There’s real shades of 2016,” Lockhart said on Saturday. “I’m gonna get flamed on Twitter tonight for the next thing I’m going to say, but the media early on did not take Donald Trump seriously. So they didn’t vet him and say, does your plan add up? And you know what about your plan on Iran and getting out?”
“Up until now, the media has not taken Bernie Sanders that seriously,” he continued.
“He would say the same thing,” Cupp interjected.
“And he’s been right,” Lockhart countered.
He pointed to the fact that Sen. Elizabeth Warren backs the Medicare for All plan that Sanders pushes, stressing that Warren has been “excoriated” over the cost of the plan while Sanders largely escapes scrutiny,
“Someone told me yesterday, just like Trump, Sanders has a hard floor of supporters,” Lockhart said. ” It does not matter what he does or says. But he has a limited ceiling of supporters also.”
At the same time, he noted that “even the latest poll yesterday on African-Americans showed [Sanders] was at 20%. Which is way higher than last time.”
Brendan Buck, a communications aide to Republicans John Boehner and Paul Ryan, said the other candidates “are afraid” to take on Sanders.
“All of the other Democrats are afraid to go after Bernie Sanders, largely because they know his voters are so important,” Buck said. “We saw it in 2016, they did not transfer to Hillary Clinton very well. So, I think everyone wants it to be somebody else’s problem to take out Bernie Sanders but nobody is really willing to throw the punch.”
As for the aforementioned poll, after an early surge, now-former Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped 9 points, falling behind Sanders, who was at 20%, Warren (17%) and former Vice President Joe Biden (15%).
Amid reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will soon send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, some are arguing the California Democrat is taking Sanders seriously.
With voting in Iowa three weeks away, Pelosi’s cave will quickly result in a Senate trial that will take Sanders (and Sen. Elizabeth Warren) off the campaign trail in the critical days leading up to voting.
All of which benefits Joe Biden, of course.
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