The message Joe Biden didn't want to hear

“Biden wants to go back to the way it was before [Donald] Trump, but things weren’t working all that well then, either,” Lonnie Herbert, a 50-year-old forklift driver, told me when I asked why he and his neighbors hadn’t supported the former vice president. Sure, Sanders is a bit radical, he added, but America needs “a hard shift.”

I’d heard an almost identical message from the other Sanders supporters at this school in Burlington’s South Hill, a predominantly working-class part of town. And I’d heard similar criticism from Buttigieg fans, who’d argued that Biden is not the candidate to deliver the party unity they want. This sample size is small. But Biden’s campaign faced similar problems all across Iowa on Monday. Vote totals from the state’s 1,700 precincts, which have trickled in over the past three days, show him in fourth. Places just like this help illustrate why…

People are “so tired of the way things are,” said Sara Mason, a 51-year-old full-time caretaker for her mother. Sanders is very far left, she added, but instead of scaring off voters in the general election, a Sanders nomination and his ambitious progressive proposals “might work the other way and get people fired up more.”