By Elias Asher and Theodore-Sky Weiss

Elias: Teddy, with a first-place finish in the Nevada Caucus, it seems as if nothing can slow Bernie Sanders: his label as a Democratic Socialist, his “inability to attract non-white voters,” and not even his heart nearly giving out on him. Is this Sanders’ race to lose?

Illustration by Xixi Qin

Teddy: Hey Elias, could you do me a favor? I can’t hear you over all those talking points you’re regurgitating. Would you mind turning it down? Thanks! 

First off, Sanders won the largest share of non-white voters in Nevada, the first predominately non-white voting primary state so far —  yeah, higher than Joe Biden. Sanders won 51% of Latino voters in Nevada and almost matched Biden’s share of 65+ voters with 20%. Sanders is showing he can connect all demographics, even under a democratic socialist label. This isn’t Sanders’ race to lose — it’s our race to win. This is the establishment’s time to surrender. Did you see Elizabeth Warren’s Nevada speech? She realizes it. 

Elias: I can’t tell, are you a Bernie Bro? I agree that Sanders’ coalition in Nevada was impressive and could signal future success in states with similar demographics (California and Texas). Super Tuesday will obviously display whether this holds true. I also agree that the Democratic Socialist label doesn’t hurt Sanders in the primary, but when it comes to the general, do you really believe that the states Democrats NEED to win the White House — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan — would vote for that? Sanders is a formidable primary candidate, and while you have highlighted his coalition building, his ideological views and his unwillingness to bring other types of Democrats together seriously worry me.

Teddy: Worry not, my friend — let’s look at the facts and numbers. Trump convincingly crushes all Democrats in Wisconsin, defeats Sen. Sanders 50% to 43%, beats Biden 49% to 42%, and it gets worse for someone like Warren or Amy Klobuchar. Elias, we can agree Democrats need to rethink the Dairy State (maybe, do this radical thing of, I don’t know, actually campaigning there — *cough cough* Hillary). But anyhow, let’s turn to Pennsylvania — Sanders beats out Trump 48% to 44%. In Michigan, Sanders beats Trump 48% to 43%. Sanders can win in Michigan and in Pennsylvania. Why? The top two priorities for voters in all states is the unfair economy and absurdity of medical costs. Is there a better candidate to combat Trump’s economic promises than Sanders? How about the candidate who has put Medicare-for-all front and center? Absolutely not. Are you still worried? I hope you can sleep tight tonight. 

Elias: As long as I have a nice glass of milk made from Wisconsin cows next to my bed, I can sleep. Polls, polls, polls — after 2016, do you really believe in them? Clinton had a six-to-eight point lead in Wisconsin, four in Michigan, and around two in Pennsylvania — you get the point. Those are facts and numbers. Real Clear Politics backs me up. Polls lied to all of us in 2016, so I’m not sure why we should believe them now. I agree that Democrats should be campaigning there nonstop. Could they make the same mistake two elections in a row? I don’t know, they’re Democrats, so probably.

Looking towards the debate in South Carolina this Saturday and Super Tuesday on March 3, it would seem imperative for the other contenders in this race — Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, and Pete Buttigieg — to attack Sen. Sanders with everything they have. Sorry, Sen. Klobuchar, but a fifth place finish in Iowa and a sixth place finish behind Tom Steyer in Nevada does not qualify you as a serious contender. Tom Steyer is better known for being in the middle of arguments than running for President of the U.S. Apologies, I got sidetracked by Tom Steyer, but seriously though, why the hell is he still in the race? Anyway, even though it is about three months too late, the rest of the candidates need to go after Sanders on numerous issues: electability, the frequent bitterness shown from his supporters, kicking millions of people off of healthcare that works for them, his inability to compromise, and so on. The focus will soon be on Trump, but for now, Democrats need to stop the threat that comes before Trump: Bernie Sanders. Can you tell I’m not a fan of Sanders? 2016 me would be giving 2020 me the finger.

Teddy: Yes! Elias, you are so right! It would be imperative for Democrats to combat Sanders by any means necessary … if they wanted to lose. Are you serious? It is uncanny bringing up 2016 but omitting the part when Democrats went wrong: they didn’t allow the people to fairly decide who should be the nominee. Call me a Commie all you want, but I think the person who gets the most votes should win the primary, nomination, and presidency. Did you see the last debate? Guess who everyone went after? Not Sanders, but Bloomberg. The New York billionaire media mogul who “calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians’” buying an election by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on an election — that’s not democracy and that’s not going to beat Trump. If Democrats can learn anything, it is that they should listen. The people are speaking: Sanders is the one who can take on Trump. 

Elias: YOU STINKIN COMMIE!!!!! Just kidding Teddy, you aren’t stinky at all. 

Teddy: I am strong, but odor isn’t everything.

Elias: Teddy, unfortunately, the Supreme Leaders of The Catalyst do not want our discussion to take up too much of the Opinion section, because you know, it already has too many compelling pieces. Any last thoughts? Predictions for the primary in South Carolina?

Teddy: No predictions — predictions are for talking heads. I just want everyone to know that mail-in ballots have already been sent out and should be in your Worner Boxes. Vote early, often, and try to vote as many times as possible for one election. I’ve voted seven times this year alone! See if you can top that, Elias.  

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