SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Bernie Sanders and his top advisers entered the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary convinced he was a front-runner.
They believed the political insurgency flag he planted in 2016 was still flying and that his strong stances on climate change, canceling student debt and providing universal health care would reignite strong support among young voters.
But most of all they were convinced that the Vermont senator’s small-dollar fundraising model meant he’d consistently have the resources they weren’t sure they could count on when he was a political unknown nationally.
Unlike 2016, this time Sanders’ movement would have a political machine to propel it.
Sanders has become the clear front-runner in the Democrats’ presidential nomination fight. And his Democratic critics are only now beginning to realize they’re running out of time to stop him.
Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, among others, dramatically intensified their attacks against the Vermont senator over the weekend. But the cluster of candidates splitting up the anti-Sanders vote is not shrinking.
Biden is committed as ever ahead of South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary, betting that his first victory could slingshot him to the front of the moderate muddle.
Sanders has joined fellow progressive Elizabeth Warren in proposing that a “wealth tax” can finance government-funded child care from infancy through age 3, then provide universal pre-kindergarten after that.
Fresh off his win in Nevada, the Vermont senator called the nation’s child care and early education “an international embarrassment” while unveiling a plan Monday he said would fix it.
His proposal would provide a minimum of 10 hours of daily child care. Sanders previously proposed an annual wealth tax starting at 1% on households worth $32 million or more and increasing to 8% on fortunes of at least $10 billion.
Warren’s signature wealth tax, which kicks in on fortunes worth $50-plus million and would also fund universal child care.