US primaries: Sanders facing serious competition

Until now former Vice President Joe Biden was not considered a promising Democratic candidate in the US primaries: Bernie Sanders had a clear lead. But then came Super Tuesday and Biden secured a surprising victory by winning 10 out of 14 states. Other candidates including Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg have dropped out. Europe's press sees Biden's surprise victory as a chance for the Democrats.

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Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

Finally a clear centrist position

The Democrats have finally found their centre again, columnist Gerardo Morina is pleased to report in Corriere del Ticino:

“The real winner of these primaries is without doubt the Democratic Party itself. It has rescued itself and managed to completely shake off the image of a fragmented and divided party, regaining its cohesion. This has happened because the Democrats have made a clear choice: at least a partial rejection of Sanders, whose 'radical' positions make him the candidate least likely to defeat the Republican Donald Trump. This goes hand in hand with a reorientation which, with Biden, shows that the party now wants to position itself as a united force in the centre.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Donald Trump's nightmare

Biden is the worst case scenario for Donald Trump, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung believes:

“The President is clinging to the belief formed five years ago that Joe Biden would be his nightmare opponent. ... That's why he did all he could - even risking impeachment - to pin a Ukrainian corruption scandal on the Democrat. And that's why he'll now try even harder to divide the Democrats by perpetuating the legend of a conspiracy against Bernie Sanders. ... If Sanders believes his own statement that Trump is 'the most dangerous president in the history of the United States', he must not badmouth the Democratic primary process. It wasn't 'the establishment' that gave Joe Biden a huge comeback on Tuesday but many millions of Americans who long for an end to the Trump era.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Biden would be the least damaging loser

Joe Biden won't be able to beat Donald Trump but he's still the better choice for the Democrats, says The Daily Telegraph:

“It would be simply horrendous for the party to lose the presidency (and possibly a number of legislative seats as well) after committing itself to the Sanders democratic socialist programme. Like post-Corbyn Labour here, it would find itself trapped in an ideological hole from which escape would be extremely messy - and which would damage its electoral credibility for a generation. So there it is: unexciting as the prospect may be, Joe Biden would be the most likely Democratic winner - and the least damaging loser.”

Echo of Moscow (RU) /

Sanders lacks the trust of grassroots voters

Sanders has carelessly gambled away his lead, economics professor Konstantin Sonin writes in his blog on Echo of Moscow:

“The resurrection from the ashes of Biden, an old Washington insider who mixes up names, dates and even words, is based on the fact that a significant proportion of Democratic voters don't care who becomes their candidate. All they care about is one thing: victory this autumn. Sanders doesn't inspire confidence that he can win against Trump in these voters. During the month he led the race he never explained how he intended to unite the party after his victory. As a result, supporters of Buttigieg and Klobuchar backed Biden. I'm a little surprised about that, because Biden looks like the easiest opponent for Trump. The race may not be over yet, but Sanders has clearly lost his solid lead.”