Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Alienating Voters... A Rigged System


The big headline over the weekend is how all these polls came out showing that the electorate is pretty surly and taking it out on Trump and Clinton, both of whom they dislike. More and more Americans are becoming familiar with the term "lesser of two evils." The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, for example, shows them as the "two most unpopular presidential nominees in history."
Thirty four percent of registered voters have a positive opinion of Clinton, versus 54 percent who have a negative opinion (-20)-- a slight uptick from her minus-24 score last month.

Trump's rating is even worse than Clinton's: Twenty nine percent have a positive opinion of him, while 58 percent have a negative opinion (-29)-- an improvement from his minus-41 score in April.
Democrats may be cheering because voters seem to shudder at the thought of voting for her slightly less than they shudder at the thought of voting for Trump-- TRUMP!-- but why take the chance when there's a far better candidate, who would make a much better president and who the November electorate actually likes? Look at these two head-to-head match-ups:

On Meet the Press Sunday, Hillary made the false claim that Bernie isn't really better liked than she (and her pal Trump) are; he just hasn't had negative campaign ads directed at him. That isn't just self-serving on her part, it is-- like so much of what she says-- which is why she's so hated by the voters, twisted and false. PolitiFact looked at the latest Clinton lie about Bernie:
When Chuck Todd pointed out that Sanders fares better than Clinton in head-to-head matchups against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, Clinton suggested Sanders hasn’t been vetted as thoroughly as she’s been.

"Let me say that I don't think he's had a single negative ad ever run against him. And that's fine. But we know what we're going into, and we understand what it's going to take to win in the fall," she said. "And finally, I would say that, you know, polls this far out mean nothing."

Clinton has a point that compared with her, Sanders hasn’t really felt the burn of negative ad blitzes from Republican groups. But her claim that he hasn’t had "a single ad ever run against him" is an exaggeration.

Many of the attacks we found on Sanders in the Political TV Ad Archive actually come from other Democrats, including by Clinton supporters.

Generation Forward, a pro-Martin O’Malley super PAC, went after Sanders while O’Malley was still in the race. In an attack ad, the group highlighted Sanders’ and Clinton’s Saturday Night Live portrayals and less-than-serious moments on the campaign trail (i.e. dancing). It ended with O’Malley saying a presidency shouldn’t be about entertainment.

Another ad attacked Sanders for his record on guns: "Bernie Sanders voted against the Brady Bill-- background checks and waiting periods... Bernie Sanders is no progressive when it comes to guns."

...Though Sanders hasn’t been hit nearly as hard as Clinton, he has been attacked by the right a few times. Future 45, a conservative Super PAC funded by backers of Marco Rubio, ran a 30-second spot sounding the alarms on higher taxes to come under Sanders.

Sanders is also featured in Republican-on-Republican attack ads as an unfavorable comparison.

For example, the anti-Trump Club for Growth has highlighted similarities between Trump’s positions and Sanders’ (as well as Clinton’s and Obama’s). Similarly, American Future Fund, a conservative 501(c)(4) or "dark money" group, ran an attack ad against Ted Cruz by lumping him in with Sanders and other Democrats on national security issues.

Mike Huckabee’s campaign, meanwhile, warned voters about "a crazy old man named Bernie" in a rhyming Christmas-themed ad and crooned "Hello from the caucus night. If Bernie wins, I’m going to die" in an Adele-inspired attack.

We should also note 2016 is not the 74-year-old’s first time around the block. He has, after all, competed in political races since the 1970s.

Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs pointed to "blistering negative ads in his first Senate campaign." In 2006, Sanders’ Republican opponent Richard Tarrant spent millions on ads accusing Sanders of wanting to protect child molesters and voting against single-working mothers. They didn’t end up doing much for Tarrant, who lost to Sanders by 33 percentage points.

Our ruling

Clinton said, "Let me say that I don't think (Sanders has) had a single negative ad ever run against him."

The number of attack ads against Sanders pales in comparison to the number against Clinton, but she’s wrong that he’s been completely spared.

Democratic groups, including one supporting Clinton, and Republican outfits alike have gone after Sanders.

We rate her claim False.

Voting for Hillary Clinton in the primary is like buying a ticket on the Titanic, while already knowing it's outcome! Now, have you figured out why I started this post with that wonderful John Oliver video? Help save America from Trumpism here. Please.

Hillary Clinton: "Let me say that I don't think (Bernie Sanders has) had a single negative ad ever run against him."
Meet the Press – Sunday, May 22, 2016

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