The DNC’s nightmares are playing out in real life and I am here for it.

Once again, headed into the thick of election season, Bernie Sanders’ campaign is picking up serious momentum, which is exactly what dyed-in-the-wool Democrats and their donors do not want.

Headed into Iowa, Sanders has etched out the top spot in the polls and just hopped to the front of the line in New Hampshire, too.

From the Boston Herald:

Bernie Sanders continues to lead his Democratic rivals in New Hampshire just hours before the Iowa caucuses, which could hand him a crucial victory in the first contest of the race, a new Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald-NBC10Boston poll reveals.

Sanders has boosted his support in the Granite State to 31% of likely Democratic voters, a seven point lead over former Vice President Joe Biden and 14 points ahead of Elizabeth Warren, who has stalled at 17%, according to the poll.

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is in fourth place at 8%, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is at just 4% support, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is at 3%.

Just 7% of New Hampshire Democratic voters say they are now undecided.

The Franklin Pierce-Herald-NBC10 Boston poll of 454 likely New Hampshire Democratic voters, conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 1, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6%.

If Sanders pulls off a win Monday night in Iowa — where he is ahead in the polls — he would have a surge of momentum heading into New Hampshire as he looks to pull off a double-barreled victory in the first two states.

“If he should win in both states, he would be the first Democrat that was not an incumbent president to do so since John Kerry in 2004,” said Christina Cliff, assistant professor of political science at Franklin Pierce University.

Last week, Mike blogged about the freakout Bernie’s rise has caused among Democrats:

This Daily Beast report by Sam Stein, Hanna Trudo, and Lachlan Markay suggests that Democratic insiders never thought Sanders would get this far:

Worried Democratic Operatives Scramble to Fund a Network to Take Down Bernie Sanders

A group of loosely affiliated Democratic operatives have been in discussions about putting together an effort to attack Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) should he end up winning next week’s Iowa caucus and, potentially, the New Hampshire primary a week later.

The talks, which two sources described to The Daily Beast, are in their nascent stages, and have already hit a snag. Big money Democrats have shown reluctance at funding such an effort, which could consist of ads attacking Sanders, and institutions associated with Democratic politics have largely shied away from being part of any campaign that goes after the senator, either out of fear over the backlash or growing acceptance at the prospect of him becoming the party’s nominee…

The conversations have been driven by fear that Sanders could all but wrap up the nomination early in the campaign without having faced much pushback. Whereas in 2016, Sanders came under a barrage of attacks from Hillary Clinton over his voting record on guns and—more opaquely—the lack of diversity in his political coalition, the senator, who has significantly broadened that coalition since his last bid, has been relatively unchallenged this go around.

Democrats have valid reasons to be concerned. Bernie Sanders may play well to the Ocasio-Cortez wing of their party. Still, it’s hard to picture voters abandoning the booming Trump economy for the radical changes Bernie is proposing in a general election.

The DNC seems to be working to thwart a Bernie surge, seeing as they just changed the debate entry rules to make space for Bloomberg, their best “not Bernie” option at present.

 

 
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