Instead, Democratic voters indicated over and over again that they were most interested in the popular former vice president and the iconoclastic but well-respected runner-up from the 2016 Democratic race. Before the actual primaries, Biden consistently led in polls and Sanders performed well—and then the eventual voting followed this pattern, with early wins for Sanders and a comeback surge from Biden. The idea that any other candidate had a particularly likely shot at the nomination was always pundit-driven misdirection from a class of commentators demanding more interesting, intersectional characters, because the commentators themselves are more interested in identity-based diversity than the rest of the country.
Indeed, the media stumped for Warren so hard that Vox’s Matt Yglesias recently had to write a post explaining to people why she was losing “even if all your friends love her.” By your friends, he meant friends of people like you, a reader of Vox. Yglesias famously described Vox’s audience as “a graduate of or student at a selective college (which also describes the staff and our social peers)” and lamented that “if you assigned me the job of serving a less-educated audience [I’d] probably need to think about how to change things up.” He’s right; outside the Vox bubble, there was little interest in the kind of cultural progressivism represented by Warren.