By Larry Levine –
OK. Now it’s OK to ask why Sen. Bernie Sanders is still in the Democratic Presidential Primary race.
FACT: Vice President Joe Biden has a delegate lead that is insurmountable by any logical measure.
FACT: Sanders message has been made. In the most recent debate he did not introduce any position on any issue that is different than what he has been saying for five years. The only thing different was the stridency of his attacks on Biden, after which Biden swept three more primary elections.
FACT: Sanders has under-performed in every election so far this year compared to his vote totals in the 2016 primaries. Yes, there were more candidates in the race in some of those early states. But his totals dropped as much as 60 percent in some places, meaning many people who voted for him against Hillary Clinton voted for someone else this year.
FACT: The surge of new, young voters Sanders predicted would turn out to support him and would be needed to win in November has not happened. In some places the percentage of turnout among young voters has been lower than it was four years ago. Where there have been surges in turnout, Vice President Biden has won some of his most decisive victories.
FACT: Some of Sanders’ supporters believe he should stay in the race to influence the party and Biden on issues. But in one county in Florida, where Biden got 60 percent of the votes, exit polls found 57 percent support for Sanders’ signature healthcare-for-all issue.
FACT: Sanders can enhance his stature by stepping aside now, congratulating and endorsing Biden, and urging his supporters to join the important movement to remove Donald Trump from the White House. There are Sanders’ zealots who will accuse him of selling out, just as they did when he endorsed Clinton four years ago. They are beyond anyone’s reach.