Written by Leney Ang

At this point, the Democratic Primaries are set to be a repeat of 2016 for Bernie Sanders (failing to win the nomination).


What Happened? 

The race to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for the 2020 Presidential Election, a.k.a the Democratic Primaries, kicked off fervour with 25 candidates. After countless rallies and debates, which oftentimes devolved into chaos, the pool of candidates was whittled down to just three after Super Tuesday (the day with the most states voting for their Democratic nominee).

Field of candidates early on in the race.

Screen Capture of The New York Times

Among the three are two high-profile Democratic candidates – moderate democrat Joe Biden and socialist democrat Bernie Sanders. The remaining is Tulsi Gabbard – Iraq veteran and first Hindu member of Congress.

Tulsi Gabbard in Democratic debate.

Screen Capture of ABC News


Tussle Between The Prominent Two

Biden and Sanders are on opposing ends of the left wing spectrum. On healthcare, Biden stands with “ObamaCare” with only promises to slightly increase subsidies whilst Sanders calls for an overhaul of the current system with Medicare-for-All“. On climate change, Sanders remains a strong proponent for the Green New Deal (rolled out by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AOC), calling for an ambitious climate change plan. Biden on the other hand calls for reentering of the Paris Agreement and adopting only certain aspects of the progressive Green New Deal. Perhaps, AOC illustrates the Democratic Party best: “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party”.

Joe Biden interacting with electorate.

Screen Capture of NBC News

The tussle between Biden and Sanders is symptomatic of the larger structure of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party might be a single party in name but the divide between the moderates and the progressives are so polarising that they might as well be treated as two different parties. The fact remains that key players in the Democratic Party are rallying behind Biden and his moderate stance. This is because the accompanying revolution of Sanders’ socialist democrat agenda remains terrifying for the Democratic establishment. They fear his proposals may be too radical for voters to stomach and hand Trump four more years. Although initially in the lead, Sanders began to #feelthebern when moderate candidates started dropping out ahead of Super Tuesday to rally the moderate democrats behind Biden (which did pull Biden ahead). 


What Now? 

These are exciting times. The democrats have but two choices, to be safe or to be bold. As the B2B rivalry heats up, we shall see if Sanders can turn the tide around in the upcoming DNC debate or would he be trumped by the establishment once again?

Screen Capture of Mother Jones

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