To dislodge Donald Trump, the Democrats seem torn between the “revolution” proposed by Bernie Sanders and the power of money embodied by Michael Bloomberg.
On the eve of Nevada caucuses, the candidates who monopolize attention in the Democratic race are two Jewish seventy-year-olds whose links with this party are rather tenuous.
Other than that, they don’t have much in common. Each brings obvious advantages to this race, but also represents a significant risk for the Democrats.
For his re-election, Trump relies on the enthusiasm of his activists and on a fully inflated election fund. If Sanders can count on the first of these assets, Bloomberg is ready to spend one or more billion dollars of his own fortune to defeat Trump.
Initially, it was far from certain that Sanders could regain its 2016 level of support, due to the split of votes on the left. Today, it is rather the centrists who are divided. If a centrist leader does not emerge soon, Sanders will almost be assured of a plurality of delegates to the July convention.
This leader could well be Michael Bloomberg. His unlimited resources have already got the best of several good candidates and if he hits a big blow on March 3, he could become the alternative to Sanders.
Opt for the “revolution” …
According to recent polls, Sanders and Bloomberg are ahead of Donald Trump in voting intentions, but those numbers could be misleading.
In fact, Republican strategists revel in the idea of facing Sanders, since his “socialist” label will allow Donald Trump to fill up on centrist votes. If the economy is going well, will we argue to those who disapprove of the President’s escapades, but appreciate his economic record, why risk losing everything by opting for the “revolution” of Bernie Sanders?
In addition, despite Sanders’ ability to leverage funds from a large pool of small donors, the disaffection of many of the big donors in the event of winning the primaries would weaken the Democratic campaign at all levels. Even if Bloomberg has already committed to financially support the person who will be designated to face Trump, it is far from clear that he will fully commit if the Democratic ticket is led by a “socialist” who talks about revolution .
… or for the power of money?
An acrimonious defeat for Sanders would also cause trouble for the Democrats. Indeed, several supporters of the Vermont senator could turn their backs on the Democratic winner if they are convinced that their favorite candidate has been cheated by the party “elites” or, even more, if Bloomberg wins by the overwhelming power of its financial means.
If Sanders has restrained himself from criticizing his opponents in the race so far, he is less shy about attacking Bloomberg and especially the power of the money he represents.
He is not entirely wrong. If Bloomberg manages to bury his opponents under an avalanche of dollars, and even if he then succeeds in relieving American democracy from the threat posed by Donald Trump, his victory would still be symptomatic of a deep evil of this democracy, where the forces of money remain incontestably dominant.