The ninth Democratic nationally televised debate between presidential candidates on Wednesday, February 19 proved to be a crucial one; Dramatic confrontations and melt-downs during it could be clearly seen to impact on the outcome of the Nevada state caucuses, which took place only three days later.
Nevada confirmed the main trends that had emerged in New Hampshire and Iowa, Senator Bernie Sanders, championing ideas so radical that President Franklin Roosevelt supported them 80 years ago, came first with an impressive 40.5 percent.
Second came former Vice President Joe Biden, with 18.9 percent, still the best bet for a “stop Sanders” coalition and third, losing ground where he had hoped to gain it but still in the race South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 17.3 percent .
Senator Elizabeth Warren, the other candidate along with Buttigieg most beloved by the Deep State and the Mainstream Media (MSM), was down at a miserable 11.5 percent, a crushing 29 points behind Sanders, whose Progressive voters she had tried so hard to woo away from him.
The debate was a triumph for Sanders. Neither his advanced age of 78, his supposedly outrageous left wing radical views and policies nor even a significant heart attack a few weeks ago have dented his momentum and popularity.
As analyst Jeremy Stahl wrote in Vox on February 24, “the reality is that Bernie Sanders is opening up a sizable polling lead nationally and in many key states, and is building a steady delegate lead, which could soon become insurmountable.”
The Nevada results also confirmed that Wednesday’s debate was a death knell for the hopes of former New York Mayor and multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
If he can’t fight and claw back even against Elizabeth Warren, what chance will he have in a debate with Donald Trump? This elementary calculation is now indelibly burned into the minds of 15 million potential Democratic voters who watched the Las Vegas debate.
The Nevada caucuses also confirmed no last minute miracle breakthrough for hapless Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. She remains the Darling of the East Coast ancient, men-hating Femi-Nazis, who were predictably reduced to childish and hilarious claims that American voters were afraid of “a strong woman.” Warren’s problem, however, is that voters – men and women alike – aren’t afraid of her at all. They just don’t like her.
At 11 percent in Nevada, Warren is clearly on the way down. Now she faces the Southern states on Super Tuesday where even Democrats historically don’t like Massachusetts liberals. And she is only four points ahead of Senator Amy Klobuchar, still in single digits at seven percent in Nevada, but the longer she lasts, the more attractive she looks as a veteran and moderate lady senator from the Midwest to balance Sanders on the presidential ticket.
Most of all, the Nevada results cruelly confirmed that Michael Bloomberg has no momentum at all: Nevada caucus goers were completely unimpressed by his endless soulless, passionless television advertisements falling faster than snow in a blizzard. He made zero impact on them in his first and most important nationally televised debate
As I have already elsewhere noted, Bloomberg reigned as a philosopher-king through his 12 years as Mayor of New York City. But the down and dirty, red in tooth and claw, scratch and draw blood, debates of presidential candidates are another game entirely. And at age 78, Bloomberg is just too old to learn it.
Bloomberg has also learned – far too late – that the truly impressive skills needed to make a personal fortune of $65 billion are entirely different from the skills needed to win a major presidential nomination, especially when the rank and file of that party hates billionaires.
Caveats have obviously to be added: Sanders tsunami-wave sweep to the Democratic presidential nomination will not be confirmed until he wins equally big across the 15 states going to the polls on Super-Tuesday, March 3.
However, already, Sanders’ dominance in the race has been confirmed in the vastly different worlds of the prosperous agricultural Midwest (Iowa caucuses), the post-industrial, depressed Northeast (New Hampshire primary) and the high tech economy of the Desert West (Nevada caucuses).
In fact, Bloomberg would never have had a chance against Trump. The master of wit and invective in the White House would have chewed him up and spat him out, day after day in the fall campaign.
Instead, it is Sanders who is now the unstoppable figure. All those mythical moderates and independents supposedly out to stop him at all costs will either stay at home or actually vote for the Vermont radical as still intellectually and socially more respectable than Trump. Sanders, indeed, appears fated to be Trump’s true nemesis: The first political champion in five years who can slay the dragon of Anti-Good Taste in the White House.
If you think US domestic politics have been a wild ride over the past five years, then, in the words of Al Jolson, the most popular (and most tasteless) American entertainer of the first half of the 20th century, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”