Editor's Brief

Forget Biden, Warren v Sanders is the Real Story Right Now

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 06: Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to a crowd at a Democratic National Committee event at Flourish in Atlanta on June 6, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The DNC held a gala to raise money for the DNC’s IWillVote program, which is aimed at registering voters. (Photo by Dustin Chambers/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joe Biden; Joe Biden
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 06: Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to a crowd at a Democratic National Committee event at Flourish in Atlanta on June 6, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.... ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 06: Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to a crowd at a Democratic National Committee event at Flourish in Atlanta on June 6, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The DNC held a gala to raise money for the DNCs IWillVote program, which is aimed at registering voters. (Photo by Dustin Chambers/Getty Images) MORE LESS
|
June 19, 2019 12:53 p.m.

A lot of perceptions about the 2020 race have shifted over the last couple weeks, whether the underlying reality has changed is another matter. To me though the biggest story isn’t Biden v Trump or Biden v Bernie or Biden v Warren. All the traction and energy and significance at the moment is the battle between Sanders and Warren, which among its other oddities is only implicitly being joined, at least from the Warren side.

Sanders’ campaign and especially his supporters have taken to attacking Warren over her ties to the Democratic establishment, alleged failures to adequately address health care policy issues and more. The key thing here is that Sanders’ campaign recognizes, accurately, that their real fight is with Warren. Hopefully for Democrats the great majority of every candidates’ supporters will eventually consolidate behind the nominee. But especially reduced to his more ideological supporters (around 15% support as opposed to near 25% support earlier in the spring) Sanders isn’t going to lose those people to Biden. The two are just running totally different kinds of campaigns ideologically, strategically and tonally. But he could lose a large chunk of them to Warren, who is running a distinct but still similar kind of campaign. There’s good evidence he already is. He will also need to reclaim a significant amount of support from Warren’s supporters to get back to something approximating a two person battle between him and Biden.

Prime Only Members-Only Article
To access exclusive analysis and reporting from TPM’s award-winning staff along with:
The Hive Member Forum
Members-Only Newsletter
Exclusive RSS Feeds
Commenting
View All Options
Are you a student or experiencing financial hardship? We offer FREE memberships to those in need. Apply Here
Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporter:
Senior Newswriters:
Newswriters:
Editor at Large:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: