The Vermont socialist could soon become the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.
Bernie Sanders significantly outraised his Democratic presidential rivals in the final three months of 2019. He is very much in the hunt for the first three contests of the primary season. He has run second, behind Joe Biden, in national polls for most of the past year and matches up better head-to-head against President Trump than either Elizabeth Warren or Pete Buttigieg. When Sanders supporters complain that the political press isn’t giving their guy the attention he deserves, they have a point.
Odds are that the Vermont senator won’t be the next president, but it isn’t out of the question. The RealClearPolitics polling average has him leading in Iowa and New Hampshire and less than a point out of second place in Nevada, the third contest. If he were to win a couple of these early races, he could lose the fourth in South Carolina, where he trails badly, and still have some momentum going into Super Tuesday on March 3.
Mr. Sanders’s $34.5 million fundraising haul in the fourth quarter was so impressive because the Democratic field remains so crowded. Mr. Trump raised $46 million for his campaign over the same period, but Republican donors don’t have 14 candidates to choose from. Moreover, the average donation to Mr. Sanders’s campaign was less than $20, and many of his donors are repeat low-dollar contributors. That suggests an intensity among his core supporters that can help him in caucus states, like Iowa and Nevada, which tend to reward the candidates who have the most engaged and motivated voters.
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