American voters will probably never be certain whether the Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders did indeed know his left rival Elizabeth Warren, a woman had basically no chance of an election victory. But Warren could take revenge for putting the sexism charge at the center of the debate shortly before the first primaries.
Countless supporters of the Democrats would immediately sign Sanders’ alleged verdict from 2018. Not because they wouldn’t trust a woman to run the country. Rather, because after Hillary Clinton’s defeat against the widely convicted racist Donald Trump, they no longer trust their fellow citizens to see it that way. In the analysis of her disgrace in November 2016, Clinton himself had pointed out in detail how much harder she had been because of her gender.
Identity politics is still very popular at the democratic base. It can be assumed that majority of those committed supporters who will determine the Trump challenger of their party in the coming months in the primaries, basically like their hearts for the first time a woman or again a “person of color”, i.e. not one -White politicians see in the White House. But many are determined this time to subordinate their progressive desires to (perceived) reality, being able to choose is the top priority. For many voters, the logic is: If only an old, white man can become president, then it should at least be an old, white democrat.
African-American voters rely on Biden
This primacy of tactical thinking is currently most evident among African-American voters. The preference of this important group of voters for Joe Biden, which has been clear for months, has contributed significantly to the fact that only white people were on stage in the television debate on Tuesday evening.
The African-American Senator Kamala Harris, who was also very popular among blacks and who had meanwhile been one of the favorites, had run out of money in December. Hispanic hopeful Julian Castro gave up at the beginning of the year. The two African-American candidates Cory Booker and Deval Patrick, both also highly valued in the “black community”, were unable to show the survey values and donor numbers to be able to take part in the debate; Booker therefore also withdrew.
Demoscopic surveys suggest that African-Americans were particularly hurt by Trump’s victory. They perceived it as an attempt by the white majority to label Barack Obama’s presidency as a historical error. Many of the leading pastors and civil rights activists have sharpened their sense of pragmatism over the decades. They don’t see the best chance of beating Trump and rehabilitating Obama in defiantly proposing one or your own for the nomination. Instead, they are betting on Joe Biden, the vice president of the first black President of the United States.
For the second time in a row, this casts a shadow over the preselection process. How much is left of the inherently democratic process in which the supporters of a party determine their course? Four years ago, the process had resulted in both parties drawing up the least popular candidates by far. In the case of the Republicans, the party’s tail wagged the dog – a kind of hostile takeover. Those who were young democrats and had ambitions usually did not dare to get in the way of Clinton. Bernie Sanders actually just wanted attention to his socialist thesis and realized too late that he had a real chance.
This time it looks as if the professional political interpreters – demos, editorialists, commentators – have an excessive influence on the result. Because if the question of all questions is not what politics the democrats should pursue, but who has the best chance of defeating Trump, then the polls do not reflect the mood among the voters, but the voters the polls.
But what if the analysis of tactical voters is wrong? If Trump won not primarily because so many Americans wiped out the memory of a black man in the White House and sometimes didn’t want to vote for a woman, but because they wanted change and Clinton stood for continuity? The fact that there were such voters, in key states, is shown by the considerable number of Americans who had twice crossed the bar at Barack Hussein Obama, but then voted for Donald J. Trump. This can hardly be explained with identity-political motives.
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This time, instead of a 69-year-old former First Lady and secretary of state, a 77-year-old former vice president is offering the Americans a continuation of the Obama era. The question is whether the hunger for it among the key voters in 2020 will be greater than four years ago.