As unified as Democrats have been to sow discord in President Donald Trump through impeachment, they have failed to consolidate in a muddled presidential primary to defeat him at the ballot box, according analysis in The Washington Post.
"Confusion rather than clarity continues to be the story of their contest for the 2020 nomination," the Post's Dan Balz wrote Sunday.
"More than in some past campaigns, Democratic voters appear torn between heart and head," he concluded. "Many are looking for a candidate who will inspire them while also being somewhat risk-averse. Those conflicting impulses could be one reason the race seems to shift and shift again and why the answer to the question of what and whom it will take to beat Trump still lies at the center of it all."
The progressive left had appeared to start hot before Vice President Joe Biden entered the race and took the lead in the polls. Since Biden's connections to the Ukraine controversy swirled amid the impeachment inquiry, more moderate candidates have risen, Balz noted.
Even former President Barack Obama chimed in with a warning against the Democratic Party moving "too far left."
Biden's slip and Obama's warning gave way for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to enter the race, while South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Peter Buttigieg has surged to top in early primary state polls, according to RealClearPolitics.com.
"The possibility that the four early states could be won by three or even four different candidates is one big reason that Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, sees an opening for a campaign that skips those four and starts in the states that comprise Super Tuesday in early March," Balz wrote.
"What continues to define the Democratic race is the absence of a candidate who has truly captured the imagination of voters," he added. "Buttigieg may have come closest, at least among the voters in predominantly white Iowa and New Hampshire. His talent and intellect have certainly generated enthusiasm, marked by sizable crowds as he has campaigned in those states. But he still faces big questions about whether he can expand his appeal, particularly in the African American community."
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