The primary field isn’t polarized between left and center as clearly as it was in 2016. But Sanders is still the only candidate who tells us, over and over, that we need more than a good president.
Elizabeth Warren’s sincere reformism has narrowed the political territory Bernie can claim as his own, as have the far less sincere promises of other candidates who have leaned into the leftward movement of the party’s base. Sanders also struggles with the desire of some voters to nominate someone who isn’t a white man—a desire that’s especially understandable in the face of a sitting president with violent misogynist and racist instincts. Biden, meanwhile, leads the cause of restoration, but is also contending with a handful of conservative Democrats in his corner.