One might be forgiven for forgetting that the only news of consequence that is happening right now is coronavirus. But in the US, these current weeks of Covid-19 crisis falls in the middle of the primary contests — a race that will see Democrats choose a contender to oppose President Donald Trump come the general elections there on November 3.
When the primary process began in earnest in Iowa in the third week of January, the Democratic field was indeed crowded, with a dozen or so seeking the party’s nomination to take on President Trump.
Now, barely eight weeks later, the contest is essentially a two-horse race between former Vice-President Joseph Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. A two-horse race in name only, however, as Biden, the former long-serving senator from Delaware, has built a considerable lead.
Biden’s experience and leadership on the national stage surpasses that of Sanders — and those are qualities Americans crave now. In the interim, the focus needs to be on rolling back the effects of Covid-19
As things stand right now, following his impressive showing on Super Tuesday, along with two consecutive rounds of victory in the following weeks, Biden has locked up nearly 1,200 delegates of the 1,900 or so needed to win. Sanders trails by some 300 delegates and has little realistic chance of making up the difference.
What is clear is that Democrats have backed Biden in this primary process. They view him as the best shot of beating President Donald Trump at the ballot box and of being a Democratic candidate around which the party can gain control of the Senate once more.
Across every social grouping, be it based on race, age, education or geographical area, Biden has convinced them he is the best choice and the right message to unite the party and secure victory.
Sanders’ message is primarily one of democratic socialism, bringing free education and free medical health insurance to Americans. It is one that is popular with young voters in particular. But it is not a message that has gained sufficient traction to warrant him staying in this race much longer.
He has been badly beaten in primaries over the past two weeks, and it is now time that he consider his campaign at a time when Americans have another focus — defeating the coronavirus and weathering the economic impact of its fallout. It is a matter of national interest.
Biden’s experience and leadership on the national stage surpasses that of Sanders — and those are qualities Americans crave now. In the interim, the focus needs to be on rolling back the effects of Covid-19.