‘You feel like looking Hillary square in the eye and asking, “What the hell are you doing?”‘
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) As support for President Donald Trump increases in Iowa, Democrats in the state are feeling mounting pressure to throw their support behind the candidate best able to beat Trump in the general election.
The Iowa caucuses take place on Monday, and the final results will push the Democratic Party one step closer to deciding who its nominee will be in November.
That has forced traditional establishment liberals—including former Vice President Joe Biden, and former mayors Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Michael Bloomberg of New York City—to support extremist positions that would appease primary voters, while toeing the line uneasily for a pivot back to the middle in the general election.
The momentum from a big win in Monday’s caucus could carry over for the rest of the race, and some Democratic strategists are nervous that the results could set them up for failure in November.
“The palpable feel of fear in the air—that we have to select the right person to defeat Donald Trump, and if we don’t, it’s going to, like, echo through the entire country,” Kimberly Davis, one of the Democratic Party’s county chairs in Iowa, told Politico. “That’s a pretty intense thing to put on, you know, three million people’s backs.”
The divide among Democrats became obvious last week when Hillary Clinton, the party’s former presidential nominee, ripped Bernie Sanders, who is currently leading in Iowa and New Hampshire, as an unlikeable candidate who can’t get anything done.
Leftists immediately slammed Clinton as out-of-touch, but some establishment types agreed that the question of electability is one Sanders must face if he’s going to be the nominee.
“You feel like looking Hillary square in the eye and asking, ‘What the hell are you doing?’” one Democratic official said. “Donald Trump is president. Bernie on a bad day would be better than Trump on his best day. We need to win.”
A good number of Iowa caucus-goers are “uncommitted,” which has left some Democrats nervous.
“This is so important to everybody that I think they’re having trouble making a decision,” said Penny Rosfjord, an Iowa Democratic Party district chair. “The problem is, you’ve got the internet, you’ve got TV, you’ve got radio, you’ve got podcasts. Everybody is weighing in.”
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign plans to use the Iowa caucus as an opportunity to “make a show of force,” a senior Trump campaign aide told the Washington Examiner.
“Monday’s Iowa Republican caucuses will be the first time anyone in America will be able to express their preference for Donald Trump as president,” the aide said. “This is a flexing of organizational muscles. The GOP caucuses are going to take place, so why not take the opportunity to make a show of force?”