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Democrats Have the Head-to-Head Race We've All Been Waiting For

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    Everything looks a lot different than it did one week ago, but, perhaps ironically, the Democratic field is exactly where so many predicted it would be when this whole thing started back in the early part of 2019.

    As six states head to the polls to cast their primary votes one week after Super Tuesday, the Democratic field has winnowed down to two (realistic) candidates - Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. The progressive versus the establishment. Sound familiar? As Yogi Berra famously said, "“It's deja vu all over again.”

    It's almost impossible to not draw comparisons to 2016 and the ongoing debate among the party's two predominant wings. Both sides are certain they are "right" and look at the other not just with skepticism, but oftentimes outright disdain. And if there's another long and drawn out nomination, which is all but certain, and one side feels the system was "rigged" against them in the end then it can have disastrous consequences for the party in November.

    However, to state the obvious, this is 2020 and not 2016. Former Vice President Biden is not Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are not trying to retain the Presidency, but rather reclaim it. Many people in the Democratic Party and self-identified Independents, for reasons valid and not, did not like the former Secretary of State. Thirty years of relentless negative coverage in right-wing media will dampen anyone's credibility. That's not to say that the former Vice President has no faults, we all know he does, but the level of vitriol against him by the far-left is tame in comparison to what Secretary Clinton received.

    If I were Senator Sanders I'd be concerned how rapidly the establishment has lined up behind Vice President Biden. Two weeks ago he was written off by the media and much of the Democratic Party and now he has the most delegates of any candidate. Not just that, but now other moderate candidates won't be siphoning votes away from him. That, and the primary map is starting to look very favorable to him.

    The progressives are the loudest voice in the room, that is for certain, but it's beginning to appear they aren't the largest. How Sanders supporters handle that *if* he is not the nominee will determine whether President Trump is reelected or is a one-term President.

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    Surprise! The race has come down to pretty much exactly who most people expected it would come down to.

    I agree that it's hard to not draw comparisons to 2016, but Biden is a very different person than Secretary Clinton. He also, should he be the eventual nominee, has undoubtedly learned the lessons from Clinton's mistakes in 2016 and certainly won't repeat them this time around.

    I'm really interested to see how this next major round of primaries pans out and where everything stands when they are done. My prediction, which I encourage everyone to take with a giant grain of salt, is that Biden will do pretty well tonight, but won't have any blowout victories that will convince Sanders to bow out. If Sanders has shown Democrats anything, it's that he is willing to fight to the very end.

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    There's no sugarcoating it - Bernie Sanders had about as bad a night as humanly possible last night. He got clobbered in a state he won in 2016 (Michigan), essentially tied a state he dominated in 2016 (Washington), and was obliterated in a state he basically tied in 2016 (Missouri). It's not a good day to be a Sanders supporter, that is for sure.

    Honestly, I just don't see how Bernie can come back from this. He has insisted he is the most electable candidate to take on Donald Trump and pointed to the states he won in 2016 as proof. Last night basically light that argument on fire.

    The only question, at least in my opinion, is whether Bernie stays in till the bitter end like he did in 2016 or if he bows out gracefully and gets behind Biden as he focuses on the general. His decisions now may have a profound impact on what happens in November.

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    I'm really interested to see how the debate will unfold tonight. Instead of each candidate getting a minute or two (at most) to answer a question, they will (hopefully) be given far more opportunity to articulate their message and contrast it with the other candidate.

    Personally, I think the writing is on the wall for Senator Sanders. The map is looking less and less favorable to him and his only real hope is that Biden commits some crazy gaffe that he won't be able to recover from. I don't think that's a very likely scenario and have a feeling that Sanders will be dropping out in the next week or so.