Bernie looks unstoppable, unless...
The Democratic Party establishment tried rigging the Iowa caucus, and Bernie still won the popular vote anyway. It appears that they will try some bullsh*t in Nevada as well.
Will the rigging work any better the second time? I'd bet that it mostly fails again.
That would make Bernie 3-for-3 in the popular vote, and never has a candidate failed to get the nomination after starting like that.
Especially when you consider the spectacular collapse of Biden.
Bernie got a few of Biden's supporters, Mayor Pete got more of them, but the bulk of them went to Bloomberg.
So the Dem establishment cannot stop Bernie, unless they escalate the rigging of the primaries.
In 2016 the rigging was about a 3 on a scale of 10.
In 2020 in Iowa, the rigging was about a 5 on a scale of 10.
Any increase in rigging the primaries above the current levels will make deniability almost impossible. They are already at the edge of being fully exposed.
Being caught rigging the primaries has the exact same cost as using super delegates to rob Bernie of the nomination at the convention - permanent minority party status.
Even being caught making a mockery of democracy won't completely collapse the Democratic Party, because all the institutions will continue to prop it up.
The Democratic Party establishment will play down the corruption.
The media will openly deny reality (which they are so good at).
Even the GOP will give the Dems a crutch. Especially since the GOP's message for decades is the Republican voters are being victimized by the all-powerful liberal elites, so they need an enemy above all else.
The Dems will continue to win in strongholds like California and New York, even after being exposed rigging the elections against their own base.
But underneath that the Dems will be annihilated. They'll be completely shut out of power in Washington, and they'll be a non-factor over the vast majority of the country.
There'll be a huge cost for Republican voters as well.
Becoming a de facto one-party political system is never good for representation for the non-elites, even when you are a member of that party.
GOP candidates could effectively ignore the voters. They wouldn't even have to pretend to care, like they do now.
Voter participation, already down to 50%, would immediately drop another 10-15%.
Our "democracy" would become a crises that after another couple elections even the media would begin noticing.
Eventually this would lead to violence, including political assassinations.
That's an extremely high price to pay for keeping Bernie from winning.
Which is why I don't think TPTB will openly rig the election.
I think those who believe that they will openly rig the election are underestimating TPTB or are lacking in imagination.
Instead I think the TPTB will do their best to crush Bernie in the general election (which they just might, since all the political forces of both parties will be aligned against him).
If Bernie still manages to win the GE, then they will go to Plan B - destroying his presidency.
This includes inventing endless baseless smears and scandals out of nothing.
(This may not work because the media has so little credibility)
The two parties will align as one to stop Bernie's policies, like MFA, and then the media will blame Bernie for "not being able to work with Congress".
Also they will intentionally tank the economy.
This way the narrative will be "This is what you get when you elect a leftist, peasants."
Their objective will be to "teach us" never to defy TPTB again.