If Sanders sweeps Iowa and New Hampshire and surges in South Carolina and Nevada, he could become well nigh unstoppable. The Democratic establishment, such as it is, will move heaven and earth to stop Sanders, and given the wealth of material in Sanders’s history, you can expect the mainstream media will start running stories on “Just Who Is Bernie Sanders Anyway?” Sanders is an opposition researcher’s dream. A steady drip-feed of his community access TV shows from the 1980s alone will be enough to sink him, though maybe not in time. If nothing else, the media adjuncts of the Democratic Party will want to get all the damaging stories about Sanders out first, before the Trump campaign does in the fall.

The problem for Democrats is that taking down Bernie might well ensure they lose the election because lots of Bernie bros won’t vote for Joe Biden or the other powdered milk substitutes. We know a significant portion of Bernie voters in 2016 ended up voting for Trump in November. What might happen this year? A recent Emerson College poll found that only 53 percent of current Bernie voters said they would definitely support another Democratic nominee.