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What we've learned so far from the Democratic race

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Elections are a form of communication. Voters send messages to politicians and the press about what they will tolerate and what they won’t.

The Democrats haven’t voted yet, but they’ve been campaigning for more than a year. They have just held their last debate before the Iowa caucuses two weeks from Monday. That’s time enough to learn some useful things, from the majority of the two-dozen-plus declared candidates who have already dropped out and from those still in the race.

The first thing we’ve learned is that voters, Democratic voters, have a limited appetite for free stuff. Many candidates have been promising free college, free healthcare, and free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Sounds good at first, as when Elizabeth Warren backed Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for All proposal. But the refusal of the "I have a plan for that" candidate to say how she’d pay for it didn’t fly. And, when she did answer the question, that flopped, too, and she fell back on saying it would be delayed until her second two years or second term.

The second thing we’ve learned is related: As blogger Glenn Reynolds puts it, “Go woke, go broke.” Kirsten Gillibrand, Beto........

© Washington Examiner