In the last 48 hours, the race for the Democratic nomination has turned ugly. A story came out on Sunday alleging that the Sanders campaign was quietly instructing its campaign staffers to go negative on his opponents even though this directly contradicts official policy as well as training instructions at every level. All sources were anonymous, and the leaked phone bank script couldn’t be independently verified as authentic.
Warren responded by saying she was “disappointed” that Sanders was having his volunteers “trash” her.
The next day, yet another story claimed that Sanders had supposedly told Warren in a private conversation that he didn’t think a woman could win the presidency. The Sanders campaign responded by saying this was an outright falsehood. They pointed out that Sanders personally encouraged Warren to run in 2016 and cited his long record of supporting women in politics.
This all reeks of a manufactured controversy designed to give Sanders a black eye with the Iowa caucus right around the corner. It raises the question: What does the Warren campaign hope to achieve?
There’s a good chance that this stunt will backfire and fatally injure her struggling campaign. The odds of her winning are already slim. Right now, the Vegas bookies have Biden and Sanders neck and neck at 32.4 to 31.8 points respectively, with Warren in a distant third at 14 points. When she was polling at her peak, she was the 5-to-1 favorite over Bernie and more than 2-to-1 over Biden. However, she made a critical error by maneuvering back toward the center, and she has been on the decline ever since.
Sanders has the money, the organization and the momentum going into Iowa, where he is now leading. He’s also surged by 10 points in California and picked up steam in many crucial early states. Warren is essentially running for second place. Her only play is to take aim at…