WASHINGTON – Senator Bernie Sanders gave a speech at George Washington University on Wednesday about what "democratic socialism means to him.
A Familiar Speech
Sen. Sanders made a similar speech about democratic socialism back in November 2015. He repeated his ideas that he is in favor of. He said that democratic socialism is the completed version of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
"Today, in the second decade of the 21st century, we must take up the unfinished business of the New Deal and carry it to completion," said Sanders.
He continued his speech by giving his usual talking points. A large part of the speech focused on economic freedom. This is Sen. Sanders’ usual talking point that he gives in his normal speeches. The difference between this speech and his others is that he is embracing his Democratic Socialism title.
Differentiating Himself From The Crowd
“Part of their strategy right now is 'don’t settle for anything less than the genuine article,” said Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign.
It was easier for Sen. Sanders to differentiate himself during the 2016 Presidential elections. He did not have as much competition for the nomination. Now there are over 20 candidates running for the Democratic nomination. A large majority shares most of Sanders’ values.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been gaining popularity as of recent polls. Ever since she unveiled her student loan forgiveness plan, Warren has shot up in the polls. The Monmouth University poll showed that Warren is actually ahead of Sanders.
Warren’s plan for colleges actually goes further than what Sanders’ has laid out. This means that Sanders is losing in some areas of progressivism.
The difference between the two candidates is that Sen. Warren identifies herself as a capitalist. It seems the point of the speech given by Sanders is to say that only a democratic socialist is a true progressive.
This works with younger voters, but Sanders loses popularity with those over 30. There are many who identify as a liberal who does not like the socialism tag. There are also those who see Warren as an opportunity to have a woman as president.
“The field for too long has been dominated by white men,” said Laura Beggs who attended a Warren speech.
The Worsening Odds
The odds for Bernie Sanders to become the Democratic nominee are not looking good. This speech may empower his core base, but it might scare off new voters. This is especially true since President Trump is labeling Socialists as extremists.
According to Bovada, Sanders is losing momentum to becoming the Democratic nominee. Former Vice President Joe Biden is still ahead of everyone with +200 odds to win the nomination. But the next position behind him has changed.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg has overtaken Sanders on the election odds boards. Buttigieg currently has +400 odds to win the Democratic nomination. Sanders now has +450 odds. Elizabeth Warren is trailing with +700 on the odds boards but is right behind Sanders in the polls. There is a chance that this speech had a negative effect on Sanders’ odds to win the nomination.