In 2016, Bernie Sanders was the only real progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton and he stood out as a result.
In 2020, the field of Democrats running for president is massive and there’s a lot more competition for money and media.
As a result, Bernie’s campaign is looking a little smaller, and some of his backers are starting to worry.
Bad news for Bernie has his backers getting antsy
Bernie Sanders keeps getting bad news.
After Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren seized the spotlight in the first primary debate, the Vermont senator dropped to fourth place in two polls in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa.
In some national surveys, Sanders fared just as poorly. And though he raised an impressive $18 million over the last three months, former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg posted bigger hauls in the same period.
Inside the campaign, though, Sanders’ aides are defiant: They believe that Washington journalists are getting the presidential election wrong all over again, underestimating Sanders’ large volunteer base and mistaking temporary changes in surveys as permanent shifts in the race.
They see the up-and-down polling — some of which has shown him gaining ground after the debates — as proof the primary is wide open. And they think that if Biden continues to lose support, as he did after Harris landed a blow on him in the first debate, Sanders is best positioned to win over his voters.
“When he announced in 2016, a lot of people in the elite class said that he stood no chance and couldn’t win. Over the course of his campaign, he proved a lot of people wrong,” said Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager. “Fast forward to 2019, and you have some of the same skeptics saying it’s dead, it’s all over. I think they will be similarly proven wrong.”
Even CNN is piling on Bernie Sanders now.
Take a look at this:
Bernie Sanders 2020 is in big trouble
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is in trouble.
While much of the attention in post-debate polling has focused on the drop of former Vice President Joe Biden, Sanders’ polling looks far worse. Sanders’ Iowa and national polls are quite weak for someone with near universal name recognition.
Sanders was at just 14% in CNN’s latest national poll. That’s down from 18% in our last poll. As important, Sanders is now running behind California Sen. Kamala Harris (17%) and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (15%). These are candidates who have lower name recognition than he does.
It’s not just the CNN poll, either. Sanders doesn’t look much better in Quinnipiac’s latest poll, which puts him at 13%. A poll released Wednesday morning by ABC News and The Washington Post did have somewhat better news for him, putting him at 19%, second behind Biden, among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Still, an average of the three polls out this week puts him at 15%.
What a difference from four years ago.