Centrist Democrats shouldn’t breathe easy. The illusion of unity behind Joe Biden may not survive a strong performance by Pete Buttigieg among Iowa and New Hampshire voters. Faced with a frontrunner unable to win early primary states, the centrist coalition currently backing Biden could easily transition into Buttigieg boosters. Then the moderate wing of the Democratic Party would find itself with the same dilemma as their progressive colleagues.
The Iowa caucus offers Democrats their first major opportunity to reshape a party traumatized by the nihilism and instability of President Donald Trump. For the resurgent left, 2020 offers the best opportunity in decades to shift Democratic Party values in a more progressive direction.
But first they have to win.