How will W.Va. go in the primary?

What’s scariest about Bernie Sanders is how many voters support him, not whether he’ll win the presidency. He won’t. But how close he comes will give us an idea of how far along the path to full socialism — and thus, repression of our liberties — many people are eager to go.

How many of our fellow West Virginians support Sanders is worrisome. We’ll find out in the May 12 primary election.

That may not tell us how many West Virginians would like to see Sanders become president, because much of the race for the Democratic Party nomination may be over by then. Some Sanders supporters may have decided theirs is a lost cause and they should go ahead and vote for Joe Biden.

It’s not a done deal, even after Biden’s comeback on Super Tuesday. Thus far, 19 states and one territory (American Samoa) have held primary elections or party caucuses. Biden has won 566 convention delegate votes, to Sanders’ 501. It takes 1,991 to win.

What’s disturbing about the numbers is how many votes Sanders has received — 3,925,455, or about 28.8% of the total in Democrat primaries. Voters have had plenty of personalities and policies to pick from thus far, and nearly three in 10 went for Sanders.

Consider that higher percentages of older, more thoughtful and more conservative people tend to vote –meaning a higher percentage of the under-50 crowd is burning for Bernie. What does that tell you about the younger generation?

How will Sanders do in West Virginia? Not that it matters much, in the great scheme of things — we’ll only be sending 28 pledged delegates and six “superdelegates” (party leaders) to the Democrat convention in Milwaukee, July 13-16.

The knee-jerk reaction would be that Biden will carry West Virginia handily, for several reasons:

• Biden is seen by many as the most moderate candidate remaining in the Democrat field. That will appeal to many of the party’s voters here, who usually are well to the right of national Democrat leaders.

• Of course, Biden is viewed as the Democrat most likely to prevail over President Donald Trump nationally (not going to happen here). That’s the key consideration for many Democrats.

• Though Biden wants harsh steps to address climate change, he’s nowhere near as radical as Sanders. Biden — stating the obvious — has said the “New Green Deal” just wouldn’t work. That’s a major gold star in coal country.

• Biden has expressed doubts, too, about “Medicare for all” — while maintaining allegiance to Obamacare — a big seller in West Virginia, where Medicaid is the chief insurer.

• Some Democrats here may stay at home on election day, because neither Biden nor Sanders are acceptable regarding the Second Amendment. Others, concluding Trump has it in the bag, may decide it’s not worth voting in a losing battle. That, of course, will hurt down-ballot Democrats.

If you want a preview of how things may go in West Virginia, check East Ohio results from the March 17 primary there. General election returns there in 2016 mirrored the Trump landslide in West Virgina. The Ohio primary there may indicate how the political winds blow across the Ohio River.

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.


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