Young people: The knife’s edge upon which Bernie sits

by Kyle Evers | Opinion Editor

Finally, we have a race.

For the first time in the democratic primaries, things have become a little clearer. It is a two man race between former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump in November. After several debates in which Sanders looked like the man to beat with the middle fighting among themselves, things have begun to coalesce.

But the interesting question now, is who is going to win? The problems that Sanders faces goes deeper than just the unifying of the party behind Biden. It’s within his own voting block. Tuesday March 3 was Super Tuesday, the day in which 14 states hold their primaries for the democratic nomination with 1,344 total delegates up for grabs. This is the day in which the field of candidates narrows significantly. The biggest winner of Super Tuesday? Joe Biden. After struggling in the first few states, Biden won big in South Carolina before winning even bigger on Super Tuesday, winning 10 of the 14 states to Sanders’ four. According to the New York Times, Biden holds 610 delegates to Sanders’ 541 as of the end of Super Tuesday.

And this points to a larger issue. Sanders’ voting block is his own worst enemy. Sanders relies on a grassroots movement of young voters to create the majority of his base. According to USA Today, young voter turnout was low in multiple Super Tuesday states. But Sanders also won less of the total electorate in states that he also won back in 2016 such as his home state. In Vermont, Sanders’ home state, only 11% of the electorate was under 30 compared to 2016 when it was 15%. 

The fact is, Sanders appeals to the younger generation. The issue is, the younger generation doesn’t like to vote. And this is why Biden, with the now solidified party behind him as the moderate candidate is on track to win the democratic nomination. He simply has more people who are excited about them that actually go out and vote.

According to NBC News, the California primary is still too close to call, although Sanders is in the lead. So while he will make up some ground on Biden in terms of delegates, there is a long road ahead. Similar to 2016, we are in for a 15 round heavyweight boxing match that could last until the Democratic Convention in July. But as much as Sanders fights, he simply doesn’t have the voter base, or should I say voter age to beat Biden.