The road to 270 proved to be a daunting task for Democrats in 2016 and while Hillary Clinton secured the popular vote during that election, she was unable to defeat Donald Trump for the presidency. Fast forward to four years later and the country is about to undergo the same process again and the left is seemingly about to make the same mistake.
Before we get to that, let’s talk about the idea of a super candidate. It’s that one man or woman so polarizing and influential that they can turn the world of politics on its head. A perfect example of this was former President Barack Obama, who in 2008 struck lightning with the youth vote, the minority vote, and the women vote on hope and change.
An overwhelmingly positive message of a better tomorrow surely helped Obama defeat John McCain and win the Office in 2008. Furthermore, it was his appeal to a wide array of voters that allowed The Democratic Party to overcome the hordes of older voters that wanted to steer the country away from progressive ideas.
Another example of a so-called super candidate was Donald Trump, who triumphantly rode down an escalator in Trump Tower and cemented himself in the public consciousness. Sure, he was bold, brash, and very vulgar, but he spoke to middle-class Americans that felt like they had been left behind during The Obama Years. He also courted enough of the youth and women vote to leave Clinton without a road to 270 in 2016.
Now that we have defined what a super candidate is and some examples of what one would look like, Joe Biden is not that candidate. It’s evident that Biden, on his own at least, would undoubtedly hand The Democrats another loss and give The Trump administration four more years at the helm.
Think about it! Between the way that Biden and Sanders have a Democratic voting base split, to Biden’s constant gaffes during interviews, there’s just no way he can stand up to Trump’s base. Keep in mind, that this doesn’t even take into account the multitude of smear campaigns going around right now, which is only skewing public opinion away from the former Vice President.
Biden needs help in his journey to 270, maybe the left needs to refocus their strategy a bit. In fact, instead of trying to make Biden into the super candidate that he isn’t, why not turn his campaign into an irresistible super ticket that will take away key voting blocks from Trump?
For example, what if the left were to throw caution to the wind in 2020 and made Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, his running mate? Not only would the controversial move help heal the split being experienced in The Democratic Party, but it would also be a great way to galvanize the independent vote that was lost after Sanders was forced out of The Democratic primary.
According to The Hill,” Three major red flags that have been thrown up recently should concern Democrats and the Biden Campaign about the youth vote and have the potential to cede key swing states to Donald Trump: One, Biden trailed Obama and Clinton with support from young voters during the Democratic primary; Two, young voters are already supporting a third-party candidate that does not exist; Three, Trump is currently gaining momentum with young voters.
If nothing else, these three reasons are more than enough to bring in Sanders as a VP pick and try to sway as many youths or independent voters as possible. While it certainly won’t win over every person in these key voting blocs, especially with some younger voters favoring Trump, the left needs to be courting these valuable votes.
Pulling these otherwise third-party voters and those that would have voted Sanders if he won The Democratic Primary could be the difference in this upcoming election. For example, Trump won Michigan in 2016 by a razor-thin margin of 0.23%. Now, that one state wouldn’t have been enough to win Clinton the election on its own, but the fact that over 5% of the population voted third party shows you just how valuable these people are.
Another example was Wisconsin, which again was won by a thin margin of 0.77 percent by eventual President Donald Trump. Yeah, still not enough to give Clinton the election, but the 3.6 percent that reportedly voted for Gary Johnson could have flipped the state blue if they voted for Clinton.
Then, there’s Pennsylvania. Trump ended up winning the state by a margin of 0.72% and again, a lot of that had to do with the over 3% that voted for a third-party candidate. The point here is this. Although one swing state on its own wouldn’t be enough to net Biden The Presidency in 2020, putting Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in the blue category is enough to put him at 270 and hand Trump defeat.
If nothing else, these aren’t voters that the left can afford to lose this time around. These are people that feel so disenfranchised in their current political climate that they are voting for third parties in protest or hopes of change. That’s why the left needs to give these voters that shock to the system that they are so desperate for and unify the party behind Sanders and Biden.
Between that, the hordes of voters that are likely seeing through the corruption of The Trump administration and the effects of the ongoing pandemic, these voters could very well be the difference. All the left must do is join their fractured party together, give voters a once in a lifetime super ticket, and prepare to undo the atrocities committed by the Trump Administration.
For this proposed super ticket, they’ll have to find a way to combat Conservative’s narrative about the evils of Socialism, but that’s not an impossible feat to accomplish. In fact, with policies like free college, Medicare for all, and a wealth tax becoming increasingly popular policies, one would think voters would be able to see past the right’s talking point.
The progressive left must make sacrifices too and can pretty much kiss things like The Green new deal, free housing, and a Universal basic income goodbye. Now that’s not to say these things can’t come into play later, it’s just not going to be a good look for the Democratic Party if they go too far to the left.
What is being suggested here is nothing more than a marriage of convenience between the two sides of the party and would require a lot of navigating. This is going to mean that both sides will have to make concessions to keep the base happy and that’s not always going to be easy.
The task of getting along should be much easier than four more years of Republican rule. Whether it works out that way or not remains to be seen and will mostly depend on where the public is emotionally when they cast their vote in November. That’s why the left needs to give them a super ticket to vote for!