Are Democrats setting themselves up to lose many “down ballot” races in 2020, so many that they are likely to lose control of the House?
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy thinks that will be the case, particularly if Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee.
McCarthy said last week that Democrats will lose the majority in the House of Representatives this cycle if Bernie Sanders is at the top of their ticket, saying the party has “surrendered to the socialists.”
However, McCarthy made that prediction, before the Super Tuesday primaries in which former VP Joe Biden made an amazing comeback, winning 14 out of the 19 contests.
In an interview with Fox News on the sidelines of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington, McCarthy weighed in on the warnings from within the Democratic Party that a Sanders nomination could endanger their hold on the House under Nancy Pelosi. McCarthy would be in line for the speakership should the chamber flip — and he eagerly played up those internal party tensions.
“The Democrats have surrendered to the socialists,” McCarthy told Fox News. “There is a reason why Bernie Sanders is going to become their nominee and that’s because this is no longer the Democratic Party — this is a socialist Democratic Party.”
“With AOC, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilan Omar — they don’t call themselves Democrats,” he continued. “They call themselves socialist Democrats.”
McCarthy was underscoring the narrative of the conservative conference itself, where numerous President Trump allies hammered the message that his administration and campaign are fighting for America against socialism, represented by Democratic figures like Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“This is where the party has gone. … That’s why they’re going to lose the majority,” the California Republican told Fox News.
McCarthy then praised the accomplishments of the Trump administration, saying that with “four more years” of President Trump “the next century would be ours.”
When asked whether he believed Sanders would be the Democratic nominee, McCarthy said he is a figure that best represents the current state of the party. “The Democrats are going to nominate who they think best represents them,” he said. “And I think, as today’s socialist Democratic Party, Bernie is their person who represents them best.”
However, it is no longer a given that Sanders is the presumptive nominee. With Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar suspending their campaigns and both endorsing former VP, Joe Biden, the moderates of the party are coalescing around Biden.
Biden had a formidable showing on Super Tuesday, with early wins racked up in Virginia and North Carolina and earning over 650 delegates overall.
It now looks like it is going to be a head-to-head battle of Biden vs Bernie as the primary process slogs on until the Democratic convention on July 13.