Oversold: Bernie's Base is Just 15% of Democratic Voters

It's no wonder that The Intercept - a publication whose premier attraction calls Russian invasion of American elections a "red herring" - is all in on Bernie Sanders. They, along with the likes of money laundering groups like the Justice Democrats - are on a mission to establish Bernie as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

But more importantly, their ilk has been acutely invested in the brand identity of progressives as kind of a mirror opposite of Donald Trump: people with ideas on the other extreme, but who are willing to "fight" and break the rules to get their way and move fast just the same. For this brand identity, compromise is a cardinal sin, and those who reach for it, like Barack Obama, are personas non grata.

It turns out that actual Democratic voters are not buying that vision, despite four whole years of yelling and screaming by their patron saint.

A Morning Consult/Politico poll released today shows that Democratic voters prefer a candidate who can heal, bring people together and achieve things through compromise (let's call this group... pragmatists) over someone who will just pick fights, break things, and move in the opposite direction (this group can be aptly called the ideologues). The pragmatists outnumber ideologue among Democratic voters by more than 5:1. Just 15% believe that we need an ideologue who will burn down the village in order to save it, while 78% say they want a pragmatist unifier in the mold of President Obama.

That 15% that want a Democratic Trump - a Democratic president who will be more interested in picking fights than compromising to get things done - is the Bernie Sanders base. That's it. 15%. Sanders may be polling better than that right now, but when it comes down to it, his base is just 15%. Everyone else is movable.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Even as the 2018 elections were billed as a victory for the resurgent Left, the truth is that the vast majority of the Democratic gains came from center-Left moderates winning seats in tough districts. The voters, as opposed to the yellers, have been making their preference for a united country for a rather long period of time.

It's just that it's been hard to get the media to pay attention.