Bernie Sanders is an independent senator and self-described socialist speaking of the need for a “political revolution.” This is going to appeal to a certain part of the electorate whom seem not to understand that their feelings are not those of the vast majority of the electorate as we live in a plurality.
The Democratic Establishment
Sanders talks about overthrowing the “Democratic establishment”. The “establishment” is not just Washington, but current and former county party officials and high-profile Democratic activists and organizers. These are the people that organize and run winning campaigns. These people want to win and prefer the well-oiled, mainstream Clinton type machine over Sanders’ ad hoc, socialist message. “Bernie-mentum” is very real, but Hillary Clinton has a lock on the Democratic establishment that seems unlikely to be broken any time soon.
Clinton’s expansive campaign structure is a big factor in her dominance of the establishment. Unlike Sanders’s free-flowing, candidate-focused rallies, Clinton’s events are meticulously choreographed and staffed with on-message activists eager to lock down the politically active.
Many of Hillary Clinton’s supporters have admired her for decades and dutifully fell in line behind Barack Obama when she agreed to be his Secretary of State. They fear Sanders’ views, while important, are just a little too out of the mainstream right now and will not resonate as much as Clinton’s views on the issues. How strong is Bernie Sanders’ record? Afterall, what’s he been able to accomplish in 14 years in the Senate? Even Sanders supporters’ approval is full of caveats. Most Clinton’s supporters haven’t even considered another candidate. Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen.
Brendan Bordelon summarizes the problems Sanders fans, atleast in Iowa, can’t or won’t confront:
Whether it’s Clinton’s ground game, Sanders’s iconoclastic status, or a mixture of both, the Vermont senator seems unable to expand his base beyond disaffected Democrats and excite party leadership in the all-important Hawkeye State. If that doesn’t change by January, “Bernie-mentum” may be snuffed out county-by-county in Iowa, with party chairmen using their heavy influence in the Democratic caucuses to tip the scales in Clinton’s favor.
Don’t think this applies to every state’s “establishment.” For them, winning is what this is about.