Press: Bernie Sanders has already won

It’s hard to believe Super Tuesday was only a week ago. The results from 14 states and American Samoa totally upended the 2020 Democratic primary. It’s now a two-man race, with six more states — Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington — voting today. But, in a sense, it’s already over. And Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSteyer endorses Biden for president Sanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Sanders 2020 press secretary: Democratic leadership interested in 'corporate status quo' or 'they're planning to replace Joe' MORE (I-Vt.) has won.

Let me explain. No matter how long we’ve been involved in politics, none of us have seen anything like the upheaval of Super Tuesday. Suddenly, who’s up is down, who’s out is in, who’s dead is very much alive.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSteyer endorses Biden for president Sanders 2020 press secretary: Democratic leadership interested in 'corporate status quo' or 'they're planning to replace Joe' Biden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths MORE, whose political obituary had appeared in every media outlet, is now the front-runner. And Sanders, once anointed unstoppable, is now fighting to prevent Biden from arriving in Milwaukee with enough delegates to secure the nomination on the first ballot.

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What happened? It wasn’t because Biden suddenly became the dynamic, charismatic, articulate candidate everyone’s been yearning for. He’s still the same, old stumbling Joe. The story of Super Tuesday is mostly the story of three key Biden endorsements: former South Bend, Ind., Mayor, Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden faces tough task of uniting Democrats Sanders campaign adviser on what went right and what went wrong Former Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report MORE; Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license Senators, bipartisan state officials press Congress for more election funds The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden faces tough task of uniting Democrats MORE (D-Minn.), who single-handedly made Biden the winner in Minnesota; and, especially, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who not only delivered South Carolina for Biden, but catapulted him nationwide as the No. 1 choice of African Americans and working-class Americans.

The result is something nobody expected. From the largest and most diverse field of presidential candidates in history — younger, older, male, female, gay, straight, black, white, Latino, Asian — the Democratic primary today — with all apologies to Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order The Hill's Morning Report — ,000,000,000,000: GOP unveils historic US rescue effort Gillibrand endorses Biden for president MORE (D-Hawaii) — has narrowed down to a face-off between two old white men. Which, no matter how regrettable, also represents a historic decision point for the Democratic Party.

They’ll never not admit it, but Biden and Sanders actually agree on far more than they disagree. Both champion universal health care, raising the minimum wage, raising taxes on the wealthy, wiping out student debt, making college affordable, if not free, and leading the fight against climate change. They differ only on how to get there. For Sanders, it’s revolution, or sudden change. For Biden, it’s evolution, or gradual change. Democrats must decide how far and how fast they want to go.

But here’s what’s more important: Whatever they choose, revolution or evolution, they’re both paths to the same progressive goals. And those goals were first set by Sanders in 2016. That’s why I argue that Sanders has already won the Democratic primary.

As I detailed in my memoir, “From the Left,” Sanders’s primary motive in entering the Democratic primary in 2016 was to champion progressive issues he knew Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden releases plans to expand Medicare, forgive student debt The Memo: Sanders's influence endures as campaign ends The two infectious diseases spreading across America MORE would never raise on her own. And he’s succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. He’s changed the entire direction of the Democratic Party. His agenda is now the Democratic Party’s agenda.

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With only slight variations on a theme, every single Democratic candidate in 2020, left or center, ran on the Sanders platform. Even Klobuchar. As David Leonhardt wrote in the New York Times: “She wants to raise taxes on the rich, break up monopolies, vastly expand Medicare, fight climate change, admit more refugees, allow undocumented immigrants to become citizens, ban assault weapons and require universal background checks.”

So, among Democrats, the battle over ideas has already been won. By Bernie Sanders. Now it’s a battle over electability. The only question facing Democratic primary voters today is the most important question of all: Which candidate, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, has the best chance of beating Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license MORE?

Press is host of “The Bill Press Pod.” He is author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”