Friday, November 20, 2015

Democrats Are Taking An Unnecessarily Big Risk With Hillary-- And For What?


Hillary has two positive things working in her favor: 1- she's a woman and America is long past do to elect a woman president; and 2- the Republicans are worse than she is. There are no other reasons for a progressive to vote for her and for people who think the lesser-of-two-evils is still evil, the Democrats' strategy will flop badly. I'm old and in my lifetime, we've never had a candidate like Bernie before, an opportunity for the change some Democrats naively thought Obama stood for. Tulchin Research, presumably hired by Bernie's campaign to survey the lay of the land came up with some findings I want to share.
Recent polls for major news organizations contained "very encouraging news" for Sen. Bernie Sanders and warning signs on Hillary Clinton's general election prospects should she win the nomination, according to a memorandum by polling and strategic consulting expert Ben Tulchin. Significantly, Sanders fares better than Clinton in many head-to-head matchups with leading Republicans.

The independent surveys show the senator from Vermont continues to close the gap with the former secretary of state while voters' familiarity with Sanders and his favorability ratings are steadily rising, Sanders' pollster said. Moreover, Sanders' agenda has dominated the debate. His message about a rigged economy propped up by a corrupt campaign finance system "is driving the issue agenda within the Democratic primary," Tulchin wrote.

Looking ahead to next year's general election, Sanders is much more popular than Clinton with independents and he is much better positioned with Republicans, factors Tulchin said raise "real questions as to which of these leading Democratic candidates is in fact the best positioned for the general election."

In several recent surveys Sanders outperformed Clinton in matchups with Republicans. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on Nov. 3, Sanders outpolled Donald Trump by nine points, 50 percent to 41 percent, and the Vermont senator beat Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida by five points, 46 percent to 41 percent. In a McClatchy/Marist poll released Nov. 13, Sanders outpolled Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. Sanders outperformed Clinton against Cruz and Bush. In a new poll in Colorado, Sanders fared better than Clinton when pitted against four leading Republican White House hopefuls. Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said Clinton "would get bruised and beaten by all the top GOP opponents, and absolutely crushed" by Rubio or Carson.

With the first primaries and caucuses less than three months away, the survey findings warn that Clinton "has real vulnerabilities within the Democratic primary electorate," particularly for "being too close to special interests and Wall Street."

The analysis of recent polls for CBS News, NBC News, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal underscored the fact that Sanders has closed the gap with Clinton since he declared his candidacy on April 30. Half a year ago, Sanders barely registered in polls and pundits dismissed his chances. Today, Sanders "has made tremendous progress and is now the leading Democratic challenger to Hillary Clinton and within striking distance of her," according to the memo.

Nationally, Sanders trailed by 30 points in a New York Times/CBS News poll in September (58 percent to 28 percent) but trailed by only 19 points (52 percent to 33 percent) in the latest survey. In fact, Sanders gained a net 5 points on Hillary over the past month, a period one published report declared "the best month ever" for Clinton.

In Iowa and New Hampshire, the states with the first caucuses and primary elections next February, the survey show that the more people know about Sanders the better they like him. "The bottom line is that as Democratic primary voters in key early voting states become more familiar with Sanders, they very much like what they hear and are much more likely to vote for him, thereby putting Sanders on a trajectory to make the Democratic primary horserace even more competitive as he campaigns aggressively and begins to advertise to get his message out more broadly," the pollster wrote.

To put the numbers in historical context, then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2007 trailed Clinton by 27 points at the same stage of that campaign. A Gallup Poll released on Nov. 16, 2007, put her ahead with 48 percent of the vote to Obama's 21 percent.

Hillary is the candidate of the corrupt and hated establishment. This is the wrong cycle to be running an establishment candidate. People are sick of it and she's the wrong standard bearer-- on every conceivable level-- for progressives. She has nothing to offer whatsoever except more of the same... and, when it comes down to it, no one wants more of the same. And while the Republicans who are rejecting their establishment are going for implausible sociopaths like Ben Carson and Trump or an actual fascist (Ted Cruz), the best Hillary can hope for from disaffected Republicans is that they'll stay home. Bernie, on the other hand, has won among Republican voters before and polling shows that Republicans horrified by Trump or Cruz or Dr. Ben on the one hand-- or by Jeb Bush on the other hand-- will see Bernie as a viable, non-corrupt, alternative.

As Tulchin puts it, "In an intriguing development, Bernie Sanders is much better received among Republicans than Hillary Clinton. The Vermont Senator’s favorables have increased twofold among Republicans since this summer, rising from 13% in July to 26% in the most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll. His net favorability rating (-30, 26% favorable to 56% unfavorable) is 40 points better than Hillary Clinton’s net favorability ratings as her negatives with GOP voters are extremely high (15% favorable to 85% unfavorable) and have been for a long time. The fact that Sanders is seen in such a different light by Republicans indicates he has more potential to win a larger share of Republican voters in a general election than does Clinton."

If you'd like to help Bernie compete against the establishment, please consider chipping in to his grassroots campaign. Unlike Bush, Cruz, Rubio and Clinton, he's dependent on a campaign financed by actual American voters. All of them are getting millions of dollars from Dark Money sources through their corrupt, vile SuperPACs. Help end that Sword of Damocles over democracy's head. Bernie-- here.

Yesterday Bernie Sanders gave a major address to students at Georgetown University and sat down afterwards and answered questions. They've invited Hillary Clinton as well and we'll see if she responds and what she has to say. But, meanwhile, this 14 minutes worth of Bernie responses will help you understand what he plans to do if he's elected president.

This morning I was surprised to find a rather assertive headline for the Washington Post: Bernie Sanders is right: The top 0.1 percent have as much as the bottom 90 percent. The accompanying article by Max Ehrenfreund was an analysis of Bernie's spectacular Georgetown address which is getting so much attention today. Trump called him a communist but Ehrenfreund reorted that Bernie explained that "being a democratic socialist means believing that government must guarantee its citizens' material well being in order to truly protect their freedom, citing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt."
"Real freedom must include economic security. That was Roosevelt's vision 70 years ago. It is my vision today," the Democratic presidential candidate said. "People are not truly free when they are unable to feed their family. They are not truly free when their are unable to retire with dignity. They are not truly free when they are unemployed, underemployed, or when they are exhausted from working 60 or 70 years a week."

...In his speech, Sanders also cited a remarkable statistic: 0.1 percent of American families enjoy almost as much as wealth 90 percent of the rest of the country put together.

In 2014, just 160,000 families, each with a net worth in excess of $20.6 million, counted themselves among the wealthiest 0.1 percent of households. Together, they owned nearly as much as everyone from the very poor to the upper middle class combined-- 90 percent of the country, some 145 million families in total... [S]ince the middle of the Reagan administration, wealth has gradually become concentrated in the hands of a few... [T]he concentration has increased both because salaries have skyrocketed for a small group of Americans, and because that group has been able to earn more in interest and returns on their investments. The richest 0.1 percent of families today now own nearly as much as that same class did in 1929, on the eve of the Great Depression, when they controlled nearly a quarter of the nation's wealth.

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At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The narrative you have posted here is the narrative of white Americans.

African Americans, Hispanic Americans, & Asian Americans are all overwhelmingly pro-Hillary in every single national AND every single statewide poll to have been taken so far. Sanders' very impressive & very laudable growth has occurred almost entirely among white Americans (yes he has made some inroads among Latinos as of late, but it's very small) & in some polls Sanders even has higher negatives among non-whites than Hillary.

All three groups of non-whites in the Obama-era are increasingly optimistic about America's future. White Americans are pessimistic & dis-illusioned.

Policy-wise of course I'd prefer Sanders to Hillary, but I see zero evidence to think that she's a risky bet. Both Sanders & Hillary have their risks & benefits. Right now all the evidence is Hillary could more likely get non-whites to the polls rather than stay home in 2016 (which is what they did in Virginia in 2009 & everywhere in 2014) & Sanders in 2016 could probably bring lots of white voters to the polls who would otherwise stay home & possibly even win over some white people who might otherwise vote Republican.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Becca Allison said...

The operative word is "so far" in your statement. People of color, as they get to know Bernie, are, as Nina Turner and many others have done, "feeling the Bern". He honestly offers much more hope for the future for all of us, and is uniting the races to work towards common goals. He is going to win. Enough is enough.

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Alan8 said...

When people find out what Bernie stands for, they usually support him. Despite the corporate-media ignoring Bernie, more and more people are finding out about him. The long campaign will work in Bernie's favor, giving Bernie's campaign time to reach more people.

But the ace in the hole is the enthusiasm of Bernie's supporters; I expect a 90% turnout Bernie supporters at the Democratic primaries, while the Hillary supporters will probably get the usual one out of three in a primary.

This suggests Bernie would win by an almost 2:1 margin if the primaries were held today.

At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Hillary wins, it's back in the bag.


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