Friday on CNBC, former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said while Democratic presidential primaries were traditionally motivated by progressive ideology, the “anti-Trump” feeling among Democrats was so strong that it is pushing the party to a more electable center.
Frank said, “I do think the most interesting statistic there is take the two candidates who have been talking about being more aimed at beating Trump and more cognizant of the political constraints that exist on very far-reaching measures that’s the Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. They together have many, many more votes than Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. That’s the way it’s focused. Then if you throw in the others like Amy Klobuchar and even Bloomberg, I think the interesting point now is that the view that says it’s important for us to beat Trump and to do that we have to avoid things that are likely to alienate people, like Medicare for all which I agree is a problem. I think that’s a sign maybe after Obama’s speech that a consensus is emerging or at least a strong majority on the Democratic side for electability, still with a very liberal program.”
He continued, “The point is not what the die-hards think, but how many there are? Look at the numbers, look at Biden and Buttigieg and throw in Klobuchar and Bloomberg.”
He added, “Elizabeth Warren is a very intelligent, very smart candidate. She tried to move off of Medicare for all. I don’t think she did it as successfully politically as she was hoping, but she understood that. There are differences between her and Sanders on this. So, yeah, I do think that a majority of those who will vote on the Democratic side — here’s the issue, usually the most ideologically motivated are more likely to vote in primaries. The anti-trump feeling is so strong among Democrats I think for very good reason that it becomes an equal turnout driver with the usual positive ‘Oh, we must make enormous changes.’”
He concluded, “Bloomberg is not pulling the party to the center. He is hoping to catch on to what was already happening. You already have a centrist majority.”
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