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Biden vs Sanders

Having suffered the second major setback in as many weeks, Sanders has conceded that Tuesday was “not a good night” for his candidacy.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

It was fairly clear on Thursday morning that there are two sets of contestants in America’s presidential election 2020. A defiant Bernie Sanders has vowed to stay in the Democratic race, breaking his silence after Joe Biden secured a commanding lead on Tuesday night.

At another remove quite obviously is the incumbent, Donald Trump, flaunting the Republican banner. Sanders, the Senator from Vermont and a leftist by American standards, will have to countenance daunting odds after the former Vice-President, indeed second-in-command to Barack Obama, won a string of victories in Missourie, Mississipi, Idaho and Michigan, a state that four years ago helped revive his challenge to Hillary Clinton. While Sanders has resolved to fight another day, it is open to question whether his movement will be able to drag Biden towards the left between now and November.

Having suffered the second major setback in as many weeks, Sanders has conceded that Tuesday was “not a good night” for his candidacy. He may have stirred a debate on political philosophy with the claim his campaign was “strongly winning” the contest of ideas taking place within the Democratic party. Despite the double whammy, he seems intent on drawing a measure of consolation – “It is not just the ideological debate that our progressive movement is winning,” he said. “We are winning the generational debate.” Regardless of whether he is ploughing a lonely furrow, he has rejected the mounting pressure from within the Democratic party to end his presidential bid. On the contrary, he has signaled that he had more to say in this weekend’s one-on-one debate with Biden.

In a frank assessment of his campaign, he acknowledged that he is “losing the debate over electability” to a candidate many Democrats believe is better suited to defeating Donald Trump in November. However, he is not without leverage, a point he has made clear in the aftermath of his defeat. He intends to confront the former Vice-President on a number of issues ranging from economic inequality to Medicare for All to the climate crisis that are priorities for his supporters.

In a critique of the “Democratic establishment”, Sanders claimed that a number of polls show that his ideas on health care and minimum wage are popular even among Americans who did not vote for him. He implored the party to adopt these proposals and widen its appeal to the young people who have flocked to his campaign. Notably, Biden has used the opportunity to extend an olive branch to his inhouse rival and his supporters. “There’s a place in our campaign for each of you,” was his gracious response. Bernie Sanders cannot be unaware that the time for a generational shift in the psephological swing is not yet in the United States of America.