Not everyone believes the message will penetrate. “There is zero electoral evidence that voters support hard socialism or care about the fights the left relitigates every day on Twitter,” one frustrated former 2016 Sanders aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely criticize the current campaign, told me.
“Candidates during campaigns have to introduce their philosophies and what they believe to voters every time they run, and it’s important for Bernie Sanders to run an issue-based campaign on what he’s believed for a very long time,” Ari Rabin-Havt, Sanders’s campaign chief of staff, told me yesterday morning. “The way to win is to make our case directly to voters, and to lay this out directly to voters.”
His opponents’ critiques line up: Sanders is promising pipe dreams that most people don’t even really want, and certainly won’t get, and along the way he’s playing right into Trump’s “Democrats are socialists” scare tactics, in addition to his subtler attack on Democrats—that they always promise big but rarely deliver.