A Biden fall clearly leaves the party far out on the left, without a strong contender for the center. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper had to drop out. Sen. Michael Bennett, former Rep. John Delaney and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock have yet to qualify for the debate next month (the deadline is Aug. 28). Even Rep. Tim Ryan, a congressman from Youngstown, Ohio who had a great debate in July and has a higher profile than all of them combined, hasn’t met the criteria for the next debate. (Another moderate, Rep. Seth Moulton, has never made it to a debate stage.) Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the only moderate besides Biden who has qualified for the next one, but – sorry, Amy — she isn’t going to be the nominee. And yet dozens of moderate Democrats who gave the party the House majority last year, as well as plenty of Senate candidates, will be running against radical change and an Elizabeth Warren agenda.
Polling, for those Democrats who care to check, shows the country stands strongly against many of the far-out plans Democrats have told us about in the previous two debates. Decriminalizing border crossings, eliminating private insurance, reparations and providing health care coverage for illegal immigrants. Those are no-way issues.
Pile atop all that the many other liabilities the primary has exposed for Democrats. They’re nearly all for tariffs, save for Beto O’Rourke and Biden, yet can’t tell voters how they would restructure trade minus the war. They never approach the all-important subject of China, and offer little reassurance, again save for Biden, that they seek to return the nation to a post-America First leadership role in the world.