Long Hard Slog Ahead For Bernie After Iowa And New Hampshire
This morning, Morning Consult, published the results of some head-to-head match-ups that included Bloomberg. Bernie comes out on top in every scenario. And he does better against the two billionaires than Hillary does.
• Bernie- 35%Bernie does even better if the GOP throws the Texas extremist Ted Cruz the nomination instead of Herr:
• Herr Trumpf- 34%
• Bloomberg- 12%
• undecided- 19%
• Bernie- 36%Ditto for the other right-wing junior senator, Marco Rubio:
• Cruz- 28%
• Bloomberg- 11%
• undecided- 25%
• Bernie- 36%And when they polled Clinton in the mix, Trumpf lead with 37% to her 36% and Bloomberg's 13%. It's too risky for Democrats to nominate her. The general public just doesn't trust her or like her and won't even back her against a monstrosity like Trumpf. Please consider contributing to Bernie's campaign here.
• Rubio- 29%
• Bloomberg- 10%
• undecided- 25%
Earlier today we looked at the latest polling in Republicanville, which shows Trumpf consolidating his lead to the point where he is basically unstoppable. He will be the GOP nominee. Across the aisle, its an entirely different kind of race. Hillary's inevitability has evaporated, although she is still the frontrunner and Bernie has to win both Iowa and New Hampshire to be able to make a case in the other states.
Iowa is unpredictable and confusing; caucuses are tough to accurately poll to begin with. Some polls show Bernie pulling way ahead, others show Hillary maintaining her lead, but the most reasonable assessment is "too close to call." The brand new CBS/YouGov poll of Iowa Dems has Bernie leading 47-46%. Iowa Dems like both candidates' health care and jobs policies about equally, massively prefer Bernie on Wall Street reform and taxes, massively prefer Hillary on terrorism and gun policy. When asked if the two candidates understands the voter and people like him or her, 85% said Bernie does, while only 65% think Hillary does. Iowa Dems also say Hillary will do what big donors want as opposed to what regular people want by a 57-43% margin. They've been close enough attention to say that Bernie would do what regular people want as opposed to big donors by a 91% to 9% margin.
The CBS/YouGov poll finds Bernie prohibitively ahead in New Hampshire, beating Hillary 57-38%. 95% of the Dems there feel Bernie understands then, while only 60% think the same of Hillary. And 61% of them understand that she will cater to her big donors while 97% of New Hampshire Dems say Bernie will do what regular people want. (Also worth noting that 96% of New Hampshire voters say that Iowa's results do not matter at all to New Hampshire voters.)
Coming out of New Hampshire with a win, perhaps a big one-- and with a respectable showing or a win in Iowa-- can Bernie make the kind of headway he needs in South Carolina? On Face The Nation yesterday he said he can. "Let me just say that the poll in South Carolina was 60 to 38. If that's the case, it is showing us making huge, huge gains. And I feel confident that if we can win here in Iowa, if we can win in New Hampshire and those are going to be tough races, I think we stand an excellent chance to win in South Carolina and in Nevada. But if you look at the polling recently, and I can tell you because I have been to South Carolina, we have a lot of momentum on the ground. I think we're picking up more and more African-American support. Frankly, I think we can win there."
So let's look at the new numbers from South Carolina. Since November Hillary has sunk from 72% to 60%, while Bernie has climbed from 25% to 38%. White Democrats have been deserting Hillary faster and Bernie now leads among that group with 60%. His growth among black voters is slower but has risen from 7% in November to 22% today. But even in South Carolina, more Democratic voters (77%) feel that Bernie understands them than feel the same way about Hillary (69%) and Democratic voters there see her as more of a shill to her campaign donors (49%) while understanding that Bernie will do what regular people want (78%). A plurality of South Carolina voters (33%) say that electability is important enough to them to change their support. In other words, if Bernie wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina is going to get a lot closer real fast.
Another crack in the firewall: South Carolina state Rep Justin Bamberg, the attorney for the family of Walter Scott, who was fatally shot by a police officer in North Charleston in April, withdrew his support from Hillary today and endorsed Bernie. Rep. Bamberg: "Hillary Clinton is more a representation of the status quo when I think about politics or about what it means to be a Democrat. Bernie Sanders on the other hand is bold. He doesn’t think like everyone else. He is not afraid to call things as they are."
Gabe Debenedetti, explained the Sanders playbook for Politico readers over the weekend-- a protracted insurgent delegate fight concentrating on caucus states (15% of the delegates) and similar to how Obama playbook beat her in 2008.
The idea is to take advantage of the caucus format, which tends to reward campaigns with the most dedicated partisans. The caucuses play to Sanders’ strength in another important way-- they are largely held in states that are heavily white, which helps Sanders neutralize Clinton’s edge with minority voters.March 22 is also a primary in Arizona. Bernie should do well in the April 5th Wisconsin primary, which allows independents to vote (as does the North Dakota primary April 1). Closed primaries are not good news for Bernie since he needs independent voters and most of the late states and the machine states have closed primaries-- New York, Maryland, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania (about 520 delegates at stake. The real end of the line is June 7th when California and New Jersey have closed primaries to decide 515 delegates. Here are 37 Bernie songs to help us stay strong for the whole trip and keep the blood-sucking conservatives at bay:
With a dozen such contests coming before the end of March-- and Clinton expected to perform well on March 1, the first big multi-state primary day-- the caucuses are emerging as an integral part of Sanders’ long-shot plan.
“Caucuses are very good for Bernie Sanders,” explained chief Sanders strategist Tad Devine, likening the 2016 strategy to the one he deployed as Mike Dukakis’ field director in 1988. “Caucuses tend to be in the much-lower turnout universe, and having people who intensely support you in events like that makes a huge difference. You saw that with President Obama in 2008, and you’re going to see it with Bernie Sanders."
...The caucus wins are intended to sustain Sanders’ bid, rather than expected to propel him to the nomination on their own accord.
To defeat Clinton for the nomination, Sanders would likely need to outperform his current numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to the Cook analysis, while making considerable inroads with minority voters who will be casting ballots on March 1 and March 15, two dates filled with big-state primaries.
As Sanders’ team has mapped it out, his path starts with strong showings in Iowa-- a caucus state where recent polling shows Clinton and Sanders running neck-and-neck-- and New Hampshire-- a primary state where he’s led in every major public poll over the past month.
Eyeing Super Tuesday on March 1, Sanders aides concede Clinton is poised for wins in what they consider her six-state Southern stronghold: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. But they see opportunities for gains in Minnesota and Colorado, Sanders’ home state of Vermont, and two other primary states where the senator is well-known: Massachusetts and Virginia-- despite the deep ties between Virginia’s Democratic establishment and the Clinton camp.
The hope is for something resembling a split-decision, allowing the Sanders campaign to gain some momentum in the three caucuses that come into focus the following weekend: Kansas and Nebraska (March 5) and Maine (March 6).
But it doesn’t get any easier for Sanders from there. A best-case scenario has Sanders pulling out a labor-fueled surprise in Michigan on March 8-- he’ll be up against Clinton’s advantage with minorities and the state’s Democratic establishment, her campaign's active presence there during the Flint water crisis, and its broad array of national union endorsements. If Sanders manages to remain competitive there, it might sustain him through the gauntlet of large swing states and a barrage of delegates on March 15 (Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio).
A stretch of six smaller states, five of which-- Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington-- hold caucuses.