John Fund of National Review Online contends that Democrats no longer dismiss Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ chances of winning the party’s presidential nomination.

In 2019, Sanders raised an eye-popping $100 million. The grassroots he cultivated in Iowa and New Hampshire four years ago have vaulted him into first place in both states in the RealClearPolitics average of all polls.

Sanders also has the backing of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and is the only candidate offering a full-throated defense of Medicare for All, now that Elizabeth Warren has admitted she wouldn’t push for it during the first two years of her presidency. For a 78-year-old who suffered a heart attack last fall and has always insisted on serving in Congress as an independent, he displays an astounding resilience that rivals that of Trump.

Sanders supporters insist that the only way to beat someone like Trump is with someone who shares with him his authenticity, his disdain for protocol, and, like him, offers a radical break from past policies. Only that will energize a disillusioned, nonvoting army of left-wingers that mirrors the blue-collar voters in the Midwest who turned out for Trump and delivered him the presidency. …

… Nate Silver, the political analyst at FiveThirtyEight, has developed a model of the Democratic race that forecasts that, should Joe Biden win Iowa, he has an 80 percent chance of becoming the nominee. But he might not come out on top of the current nearly four-way tie that polls show in that state. (He is currently running third, behind Pete Buttigieg.) Under a scenario where Biden loses Iowa, Silver gives Biden only a 20 percent chance of a delegate majority, with Sanders’s odds of becoming the nominee going up to 40 percent.

That prospect sends shivers down the spine of establishment Democrats.