The country is “trending in a more liberal direction, and a growing proportion of Democrats are hardcore liberals.” And, “Clinton and Obama are, to borrow a favorite phrase of the president, on the wrong side of history.” The Washington Post,
There are various causes, but the change is likely in part a reaction to the tea party and to the Republican Party’s swing to the right. Democrats so far have shown less inclination to eat their own, but there is a real possibility that intraparty fratricide will break out if Clinton and the rest of the Democratic establishment don’t co-opt the rising populist movement. In New York, for example, there is already talk of a liberal primary challenge to Cuomo if he chooses to run again in 2018.
That the Sanders campaign has caught fire is a surprise to just about everybody, not least the candidate himself, who had his doubts. The Brooklyn-born Vermonter with a didactic style lacks the fire and charisma of Elizabeth Warren, who chose not to run. But his call for huge infrastructure spending and taxing the rich has caught the moment just right, even if Sanders himself is an imperfect vessel.
In May, Clinton had a 31-point lead in New Hampshire over her nearest potential Democratic competitor in the WMUR-CNN poll; now she leads Sanders by only eight points, which because of the poll’s methodology is a statistical tie. In Iowa, likewise, Clinton had a 45-point lead over Sanders in May, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. Now her lead has shrunk to 19 points.