One of the considerations voters must evaluate when selecting the candidate best able to be the Democratic Presidential Nominee is the ability to build a governing coalition.
In other words, does the candidate have coattails that can solidify and expand Democratic control in the House of Representatives and enable them to take control of the Senate?
This is not only important in hoping to pass a progressive agenda (no matter who the nominee is) through the Senate reconciliation process (unless they get rid of the filibuster) but also, as AZ Blue Meanie pointed out in his February 24 piece on the courts, select lifetime members to the federal courts (including the Supreme) when vacancies occur.
Questions Voters in Arizona should ask of Bernie Sanders and the other candidates are:
- Does Bernie Sanders or one of the other candidates help Mark Kelly beat Martha Coverup McSally for the United States Senate seat she was appointed to? Laurie Roberts had an interesting commentary on this subject in today’s AZ Central.
- Does Bernie Sanders or one of the other candidates help Democratic Congressional Candidates fare well against Debbie Lesko, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and David Schweikert?
- Does Bernie Sanders or one of the other candidates help Democrats in swing-state legislative districts flip the State Legislature to Democratic control?
- Does Bernie Sanders or one of the other candidates excite Arizona voters in the progressive base as well as comforting those in the moderate center to turn the Grand Canyon State Blue?
Turnout will be key. If Sanders or one of the other candidates is able to bring in new legions of voters like Barack Obama did in 2008 and 2012, then the odds are Arizona will become blue.
If Sanders is the national version of 2018 Gubernatorial Candidate David Garcia who earned the support of the progressive and Democratic faithful and no one else, then the prospects for winning the down-ballot races may become more difficult.
It is not impossible as the victories of Katie Hobbs, Kathy Hoffman, Kyrsten Sinema in statewide races along with Democratic pickups in the State Legislature while Garcia was getting crushed in 2018 can attest.
However, it might affect some local and state races on the margins and could make the difference if there is a Democratic Senate in Washington and a Democratically controlled State Legislature in Arizona.
The people need to consider which Democratic Presidential Candidate bests take Arizona and the country forward before choosing in the Presidential Preference Election on March 17.
It may be Bernie Sanders. It could very well be one of the six others (Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer.)
Just remember asking, which of these candidates has the best chance of turning Arizona blue at all levels of government?