Which brings us to Bernie Sanders, whose impressive standing in the polls suddenly and dramatically collapsed, for no discernible good reason, coincident with the entrance of Joe Biden to the race. Sanders came from obscurity in 2016 to win 40 percent of the vote against Hillary Clinton and the whole corporate Democratic machinery. He is the only candidate with a real mass following. Medicare for All, free public college and a higher minimum wage are so closely identified with Sanders, they're near-signature issues. Except for a less-than-stellar performance at a "She the People" event in Houston, where he was clearly ambushed by black corporate operatives, the campaign was rolling along nicely. It was expected that Joe Biden would move up a few points from his already lead position, after his formal announcement last week. But a fivethirtyeight.com graph of CNN, Harris, Morning Consult and Quinnipiac polls shows Biden with a "bump" of 11, 4, 6 and 9 percent, respectively, while Sanders is down 4, 2, 2 and 8 percent. According to the CNN numbers, Biden is now favored by 39 percent of Democratic voters, with Sanders at 15 percent. (Warren, Buttigieg, O'Rourke and Harris were favored by 8, 7, 6 and 5 percent of the public, respectively, with the rest of the field garnering 2 percent or less.) Sanders was near neck and neck with Biden only two weeks ago. Nothing has occurred that would account for such a drop in his poll numbers.
"According to the CNN numbers, Biden is now favored by 39 percent of Democratic voters, with Sanders at 15 percent."
I think the game is rigged by the same forces that are trying to rig the public conversation about Medicare for All. As FAIR reports, the whole of corporate media - anti- and pro-Trump - is arrayed against single-payer health care. CNN claims "most Americans" do not want Medicare for All, the New York Times advises its readers not to "get too excited about" Medicare for All because it might lose doctors money. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel called Sanders' bill a "preposterous proposal," while the Wall Street Journal called Medicare for All a "false promise" and "too fragile." Yahoo says the idea is "politically impractical," The Atlantic calls it "fool's gold," Fox News sneers that Medicare for All is a "populist bromide."
I don't expect the corporate powers-that-be in media and the Democratic Party to have any more scruples about derailing Bernie Sanders and burying the supermajority-supported issues he represents, than they have shown in their "coverage" of Venezuela over the past 20 years. Class war is never fair, because the ruling class knows that it is tiny, and democracy is a mortal enemy they are obligated to subvert. I think the 2020 Democratic presidential primary is going to be played by the same rules as those that mark U.S. behavior in its Latin American "backyard." The ruling class will try to mount a domestic "color revolution" mimicking a grassroots upwelling, complete with conjured data and a media chorus in support of their trusted candidate -- maybe Biden, maybe not. Anybody but Bernie.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at