Tuesday, November 15, 2016

It Didn’t Have to Be This Way


Was the 2016 Democratic Primary the pivot on which the next half-century turned?

by Gaius Publius

I won't do this too often, but I will do it from time to time, because the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party continues to this day. I want to remind us all of what might have been, and why it's not. I believe if we forget the past, we risk losing the future.

Let's start here, with Touré:

And move to this:
This Would Have Been The Electoral Map If Bernie Sanders Had Run Against Trump
That Sanders–Trump map? It's quite a surprise:

Projected Electoral College vote counts in a Sanders–Trump race

Note at the top the Electoral College count — 303 Sanders, 235 Trump. For comparison, here's what actually happened:

Actual Electoral College vote counts (source)

The Electoral College vote, if all state votes stand, is Trump 306, Clinton 232.

States of interest are these (west to east):
  • Iowa
  • Wisconsin
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
Note first that these are all northern states, and either three or four (depending on how you count Wisconsin) are Rust Belt states. From the article linked above, the methodology is as follows:
[H]ow did this happen? And, perhaps even more intriguingly, what might have happened if Trump had faced Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton? ...

A closer look at the primary voting of white males — Trump’s strongest demographic base — in these states reveals that, had Sanders run, Trump likely would have lost.

In Michigan, for example, primary exit poll data shows that 56 percent of white males voted for Sanders. If we then consider how many white males vote in Michigan, we can extrapolate the data to conclude that Sanders would have won the overall vote in Michigan with about 48 percent of the vote compared to Trump’s 46.9 (as opposed to the 47.9 that Trump actually gained versus the 46.9 for Clinton).
I think the Michigan vote would have been much less close in a Sanders–Trump race than stated above. Sanders beat Clinton in Michigan by nearly 1.5%, and all of Clinton's vote in Michigan, a state hit hard by job loss, would have gone to Sanders — a Democratic Party change candidate in a change election in a Democratic state.

Note also that this methodology considers swings toward Sanders among white male voters only. It's easy to imagine swings toward Sanders of other demographic groups as well, such as those millennials and independents who this time chose not to vote. For example, here are the millennial turnout figures for the last two "change" elections, 2016 and 2008:
  • Millennial turnout, 2008 — 51%
  • Millennial turnout, 2016 — 19%
It goes without saying what a staggering drop-off this is. Millennials alone, had they voted in 2008 numbers, could have swung this election. That addresses millennial turnout, but there could (or should) have been greater turnout in general:
Hillary’s 59,814,018 votes (which won her the popular vote, but not the Electoral College vote) is considerably less than the 69,498,516 Obama got in 2008, and the 65,915,795 he received in 2012. She was particularly hurt by low turnout in crucial swing states.
Comparing the two "change elections" only, note those numbers. Clinton-2016 underperformed Obama-2008 by almost 9 million votes. It's easy to imagine the size of the Sanders crowds translating into increased turnout among all age groups.

White Male Vote in Other Rust Belt States

Using just the projected white male vote for Sanders and keeping all other voting patterns the same, the writer notes the following about other Rust Belt states.

For example, Wisconsin:
Primary voting for Sanders among white males: 60 percent

Sanders’ hypothetical statewide performance against Trump: 49.7 percent Sanders, 47 percent Trump
And Pennsylvania:
Primary voting for Sanders among white males: 50 percent

Sanders’ hypothetical statewide performance against Trump: 50.5 percent Sanders, 46.2 percent Trump
Similar results are predicted for other states in our list. Again, this is just the adjusted white male vote. I don't imagine that Sanders would have lost any of the Clinton female vote, nor any of the black or Hispanic vote, and millennials would very likely have turned out for him in droves, making the margins projected in the article even wider.

Look again at that top map. Even without Ohio, Sanders wins.

"But, Republicans!"

That's the alternative universe in which Democrats went with their strongest candidate. In the real world we have President-Elect Trump. But it didn't have to be this way. Remember that through the next two painful years. Think of that also during the 2018 mid-term election, when we can finally make a change — to both parties.

And think about that also every time a Democratic Establishment office-holder betrays again the attempt to free the soul of the Democratic Party from the grip of corruption and money. The Democrats are now completely in the minority. They have no further to fall, except to extinction. There's nothing left to protect them from when the bought ones sing the old old blackmail songs — "Who else you going to vote for?" and "But, the Republicans are coming!"

Too late. The Republicans are here.


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At 11:03 AM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

The neoliberals still don't get it. For them it's still only sexism and racism. Try this thread over at Balloon Juice: https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/11/14/late-night-open-thread-the-revanchists-temporary-revenge/

You see, it's how those racist sexist (former) auto workers betrayed dear Hillary. It's all about identity issues for them. That way they can hold onto their wealth, ignore the economic collapse of the middle class, and build their walls of unreality a little higher.

Fascism, and Trump is a fascist, works by blaming the poor, the racial and ethnic and sexual minorities. And you're more likely to see the poor, the person of color or someone dressed or speaking or acting differently down at the Safeway rather than one of the Rockefellers lording it over the deli section. H. Clinton and the neoliberals are essentially fascists too. But they thought that they could make the falling middle class get on board with a new red scare. It didn't work.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger jvb2718 said...

Excellent. Even during the primaries and even when drumpf was the presumptive nom, polling showd $hillbillary would LOSE to him while Sanders would mop the electoral map with that pos.

All the DNC strip and flip fraud notwithstanding, and not mentioning that Sanders has shown himself to have been a mere $hillbillary sheepdog, wuzzat say about all those D voters who STILL insisted on picking the corrupt neocon neoliberal warmongering lying sack of shit?

In a world from the '70s, the lying and corruption, were they known (and they were) would nullify a candidate; the neoliberalism would nullify a candidate as, until 1980, voters seemed to understand that corporate rule and an obscene wealth gap were anathema to a democratic government.

But since 1980, neoliberalism has become a religion which voters seem to regularly affirm. And the lying and NAKED corruption are non-factors. And, as always, spoiling for war is a virtue.

One sobering fact, however. drumpf and his team are anti-Semitic. And Bernie is Jewish. He's no Hassidic nutbag, but never underestimate the capacity of American voters to hate ANY demographic that isn't white Christian males.

At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I think Sanders was no where near as strong as he could have been. HIs fatal flaw was in his disastrously war courting foreign policy. Had it not been for that, he might have actually won the primary.

At 10:07 PM, Blogger Avedon said...

It seems odd to be critical of Sanders on warmongering when he was still less of a warmonger than Hillary and she was in fact more bellicose in her warmongering even than the Republican primary candidates. All of them.

At 5:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

STOP bashing Bernie, damn it! I would like to know of the commenter above, did you vote for Hillary or Stein? Bernie swung to Hillary because HE SAW THE LIGHT OF THE HORRORS OF TRUMP and wanted to stop him above all else. Are you Hillary haters sleeping better now because you don't have to worry about her any more? Hillary and Trump were nowhere near equivalent in awfulness and she is not a fascist. I really did not like her either and totally supported Bernie, but fuck, Americans did not see that she was all that stood between Trump and the White House and now look at what we are facing. If she had won, things would be SO much better. People would not be scared out of their minds. One thing she surely is not is a racist, and now we have Bannon! Are you Jewish, Mr. Commentator? I am and I am worried. Bernie put this country above himself - he is no egomaniac. He is a hero for being a realist and swinging over to Hillary. What did you expect him to do? Whine? Too bad so many progressives were so wrapped up in their hatred of her and their high moral ground - now look at what we got. She did win the popular vote, after all. A little shifting in the votes here and there and she could have won.

At 6:49 AM, Blogger jvb2718 said...

There was no high moral ground on the left. Hasn't been since Carter.

Bernie CLEARLY pulled his punches in the primaries. And after he "lost" (or was cheated), instead of standing his claimed moral ground, he turtled, endorsed and campaigned for someone who has a 52-year record totally anathema to everything Bernie said he stood for.

Bernie held back in the primaries because he anticipated or knew the result was pre-ordained... and he didn't want to poison the lefty electorate with all those facts about $hillbillary's unsuitability as an advocate for anyone but the rich and the military. Bernie was the DNC's loyal sheepdog.

Conjecture, but there are mountains of circumstantial evidence to support, including some of Sanders' own words.

The DNC got both the candidate they and their donors wanted and the result that was inevitable.
Even they should know that you can't sell a turd even if you call it a hot dog.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, you Must Know Bern was jest a DEM ringer for Billary, of the Poppy Bush (finally self-outed) CIA Company extended crime family! The only question IS* whether Trump is teh Company GOP ringer from the right. Remember his feinting with DEM praise? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtv81K6t21Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPK7uStv6zA ( * https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4XT-l-_3y0 )


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