Published March 26, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is hurting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. But there’s one person who could indirectly benefit: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Sanders’s campaign for the Democratic nomination looked dead in the water just a few days ago. He unexpectedly lost Super Tuesday to former vice president Joe Biden and then was largely routed in primaries held on March 10 and 17. He is now hundreds of delegates behind Biden and was expecting more crushing defeats in Georgia and Louisiana. It was an open secret that many Democrats wanted Sanders to drop out quickly to give Biden time to focus on President Trump.
The pandemic, however, may give Sanders new hope. State after state has postponed their primaries, ending the run of bad news that could have given Biden unstoppable momentum. Three of the next four states to vote — Alaska, Hawaii and Wyoming — are all either party-run primaries or caucuses. Sanders won caucuses in all three states in 2016, and he won the North Dakota party-run primary on March 10. There’s no reason to think he can’t win all three on April 4.
Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.