Three ways the next 28 days could reset the Democratic primary

Three ways the next 28 days could reset the Democratic primary Remember 2019? That year of presidential campaigning that began on the last day of 2018 when Elizabeth Warren became the first major Democrat to announce?

That continued with 27 other Democrats joining her on the trail? That included six rounds of debates, four quarters of fundraising reports and innumerable early-state town halls?

That attracted feverish 24/7 coverage from the media? We know it was a long time ago — six whole days. Your memory might be hazy. But what if none of it mattered?

Sure, candidates have honed their skills. Campaigns have organized. Fourteen Democrats have dropped out. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the events of 2019.

But among top staffers for the top candidates, there’s a growing sense that the last 28 days before Iowa may matter more than the last 12 months combined — that the entire contest is about to hit reset.

Consider the current standings. Exactly one year ago, Joe Biden led the field with 27.7 percent support, according to the RealClear Politics national polling average; Bernie Sanders was second with 17.3 percent.

Today, Biden leads with 29.3 percent; at 19.9 percent, Sanders is still in second by about 10 points. Nothing that happened in 2019 — not Biden’s gaffes, not Sanders’s heart attack, not the shifting fortunes of other contenders — has changed this simple fact:

The Democratic primary’s two most recognizable figures remain its likeliest winners. The question now is whether we’re due for an upheaval of some sort.

Biden’s team would prefer not; their argument has always been that the former vice president’s steady lead reflects a primary electorate that’s far more moderate than the progressive Twitterverse and that he can survive a couple of early setbacks to sweep to victory  ,

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