The Democrats’ Worst Nightmare — Bernie Sanders is Surging
Author: Greg Valliere
January 28, 2020
BERNIE SANDERS, MAKING HIS MOVE: Flush with plenty of money, boosted by a passionate base, and contemptuous toward the political establishment — sounds like Donald Trump in 2016, doesn’t it? But it describes the remarkable surge by Sen. Bernie Sanders, now the favorite to win the first two elections of the year.
ESTABLISHMENT DEMOCRATS ARE HORRIFIED: They think the 78-year-old socialist would be the clear underdog to Donald Trump this fall, and they worry about huge down-ballot losses in moderate states if Sanders heads the ticket.
A MAJOR SHIFT IN THE POLLS: Sanders appears to have moved into the lead in Iowa’s Feb. 3 caucuses, and he’s now the clear frontrunner in the Feb.11 New Hampshire primary. He has a chance to finish first or second in the Feb. 22 Nevada primary, but he’s trailing Joe Biden in the Feb. 29 South Carolina primary.
SANDERS COULD HAVE MOMENTUM heading into the pivotal Super Tuesday contests on March 3, which will feature over a dozen races including the mother lode in California. By that time, Sen. Elizabeth Warren could be staggering and Sanders could lock up the left — as moderate Democrats fight among themselves. Biden, Mike Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg could refuse to drop out until later in the spring, or until the July 13-16 convention in Milwaukee.
WHY IS SANDERS SO POPULAR? Like Trump, he has a passionate following. Biden and the other Democrats have loyal supporters but only Sanders (and Andrew Yang) have true believers. Sanders preaches a fierce anti-corporate populism — which polls very well with young Democrats.
SHOW ME THE MONEY: Moreover, Sanders is a fundraising machine; he has at least $50 million on hand, largely from small donors — not Bloomberg money, but enough to stay in the race. The average contribution to Sanders in the fourth quarter was about $18, which will allow him to tap those donors again.
BUT SANDERS HAS LEGIONS OF DETRACTORS in the Democrats’ establishment, not just Hillary Clinton. Barack and Michelle Obama will fiercely oppose Sanders if his nomination begins to look likely.
FOR A PARTY USED TO SUPPORTING THE PRESS, many Democrats have blasted the media for giving Sanders a free ride, not taking a careful look at the price-tag of his enormously expensive agenda, which quite clearly cannot be paid for. And the establishment has long accused the Sanders team of being dismissive toward women (although he emerged unscathed after his recent dust-up with Warren).
THE PUSH-BACK WILL BEGIN SOON: The establishment will allege that Trump wants Sanders to win the nomination, which is probably true. Trump could win 40 states against Sanders, the establishment says, while Biden or Bloomberg could come close to 270 electoral votes. And there will be a focus on Sanders’ health and the medications he takes (although he seems more vigorous than Biden on the campaign trail).
COULD SANDERS WIN THE NOMINATION? Impossible, scoff the skeptics — but that’s what they said when Melania and Donald Trump took the escalator down to their first rally. Could Sanders win the presidency? Unlikely, but Trump may emerge badly bruised from his impeachment dust-up with John Bolton. So hang on for the Bernie surge, anything can happen (see: 2016).
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
©2023 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.