Election 2020

Think Things Are Bad on the Right? Look to Your Left

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She’s sinking in the polls, and she’s probably going to get skunked in Kentucky tomorrow, but believe it or not, Hillary Clinton and her pals in the Democrat establishment have even bigger problems than that. While the navel-gazing on the Right is garnering most of the media attention (spoiler alert: it’s over, Trump won, he will be the candidate no matter how much you stamp your tiny feet), the Left’s greatest fear is: Bernie Sanders, spoiler:

Bernie Sanders, for all his talk of revolution, never wanted to be Ralph Nader. He has a long history of keeping the Democratic Party at arm’s length, but he also has a long history of rejecting spoiler bids. Since 1992, he has always endorsed the Democratic presidential nominee, snubbing Nader’s four left-wing third-party campaigns. He became a Democrat to run for president instead of keeping his “(I)” and following in Nader’s footsteps. He has pledged to support Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic nomination and has ripped Donald Trump at every opportunity.

But even if Sanders isn’t deliberately trying to replicate the electoral trauma inflicted by Nader in 2000—when he probably cost Al Gore the presidency—Bernie’s lingering presence in the Democratic primary threatens to produce a similar result in November: delegitimizing the eventual Democratic nominee in the eyes of the left and sending many critics, if not to Trump, then to the Green Party’s Jill Stein or the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson.

Now, that would be a downright deep tragedy, especially for Mrs. Clinton, who views her second “inevitable” nomination as the Democrat presidential candidate to be her just due, after getting whupped by a nobody back-bencher from her home town of Chicago last time out. But, as conservatives are discovering to their petulant distress, there’s a reason they play the games on the field in November instead of on paper in January.

In the first poll to assess the impact of third-party candidates, Public Policy Polling found last week that the inclusion of Stein and Johnson shaves 2 percentage points off Clinton’s lead over Trump. Conversely, the minor party duo loses a combined 2 points when Sanders is tested as the Democratic nominee, indicating that Sanders’ voters account for Clinton’s reduced standing. A couple points, a couple million voters, is no big deal to Clinton if she’s trouncing Trump. But if he makes it a race, Democrats may find their political post-traumatic stress disorder from 2000 flaring up.

It’s deja vu all over again! The fact is, Hillary is a terrible candidate, whose numbers take a dive the more the public sees of her. Shrewish, screechy, secretive — she almost makes you sympathize with Bubba — she is the human voter repellent. A renegade Sanders’ third-party run, like Nader’s in the past, would guarantee a Trump victory. And she knows it.

Read the whole Politico piece, which includes an extra bonus reference to 1968, the touchstone year for this election. And take any commentary written by someone not even born then with a grain of salt; if you weren’t there, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.