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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Most Sanders Supporters Will End Up Voting for Clinton

Some polls have shown that a number of Sanders supporters would not vote for Clinton in the fall.

But if 2008 is any indication, nearly all of them will.

On May 6, 2008, Alexander Mooney reported at CNN:
According to the exit polls, half of Clinton's supporters in Indiana would not vote for Obama in a general election match up with John McCain. A third of Clinton voters said they would pick McCain over Obama, while 17 percent said they would not vote at all. Just 48 percent of Clinton supporters said they would back Obama in November.
Obama gets even less support from Clinton backers in North Carolina. There, only 45 percent of Clinton supporters said they would vote for Obama over McCain. Thirty-eight percent said they would vote for McCain while 12 percent said they would not vote.
Obama voters appear to be more willing to support Clinton in November. In Indiana, 59 percent of Obama backers said they'd vote for Clinton, and 70 percent of Obama backers in North Carolina said they'd support the New York Democrat.
In Indiana, 88 percent of Democrats voted for Obama. 

In North Carolina, 90 percent of Democrats voted for Obama.

Both figures were close to the national figure of 89 percent.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Outsiders Are Not Party Guys

Many posts have noted similarities between Sanders and Trump.

At The Washington Post, David Weigel writes:
Little about the 2016 primaries has been predictable, but one exception is Sanders’s antiseptic approach to the party whose nomination he is still trying to win. The longest-serving independent member of Congress has declined to officially become a Democrat while insisting the party must change.

He has also built an army of supporters who feel much as he does — that the primary process has been rigged against him and that Democrats care too much about the 1 percent. And even as front-runner Hillary Clinton expects to clinch the nomination on June 7, the squeamishness of these voters threatens her ability to unify the left. It may be her top challenge as she turns toward her ­general-election battle against Donald Trump.

Asked Monday why he wasn’t telling voters to become active Democrats, Sanders pronounced the question “esoteric.”
...
At the grass-roots level in California, Sanders supporters operate with the knowledge that “Become a Democrat” is a flawed pitch. In a pre-deadline registration video, the loofah-haired comedian Reggie Watts told voters they could register as Democrats or “no party” on “whatever glowing rectangle you’re obsessed with.” Patti Davis, 66, ran a weekend phone bank to nudge non-Democrats to switch parties and found many willing to back Sanders if it didn’t mean a long-term commitment. (Those registered as “no party” can still vote in the primary with a special ballot.)
Also at The Post, Dan Balz writes:
What has been apparent during Trump’s march through the primaries is how little he thinks or acts with the partisan — or party-building — instincts of typical politicians. The constituency he has attracted is certainly more conservative than liberal and far more Republican than Democratic. But the core issues that have brought him to this position — immigration, national identity, trade and jobs — which he projects with the posture of a strongman (or to his critics, a bully) speak to a candidate who looks at the electorate far differently than the typical Republican or Democrat.
...
He suffers from structural problems with the electorate, including a huge gender gap — strong numbers among men and lousy numbers among women — and apparent weakness among Hispanics. But when confronted with evidence that he’s potentially tanking among women and Hispanics, he’s dismissive. He predicts he will do better with those groups of voters than polling suggests, but he’s doing nothing to suggest he has a strategy for doing so. Quite the opposite.

If more evidence were needed that he is either oblivious or willfully disdainful of that approach to winning elections, Trump provided it this week when he attacked New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the leader of the Republican Governors Association and one of the most important Hispanic women in the GOP. Trump claimed she hasn’t done enough to help her state’s economy. Her true sin is not treating Trump with the respect he expects.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Productivity, Politics, and Populism

Sam Fleming and Chris Giles report at The Financial Times:
Productivity is set to fall in the US for the first time in more than three decades, raising the prospect of persistent wage stagnation and the risk of a further populist backlash.
Research by the Conference Board, a US think-tank, also shows the rate of productivity growth sliding behind the feeble rates in other advanced economies, with gross domestic product per hour projected to drop by 0.2 per cent this year.

The data highlight both the fragility of global economic prospects and pressures on blue-collar workers, who have rallied in large numbers to the anti-establishment message of Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Dems Split on Foreign Policy

Pew reports:
Democrats who back Hillary Clinton differ from those who support Bernie Sanders in their views of many foreign policy issues, with some of the starkest divisions on fundamental questions relating to the U.S.’s role in the world, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in March and April.
Two-thirds (66%) of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters who support Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination say that world problems would be even worse without U.S. involvement; just 28% say U.S. efforts usually make things worse. By contrast, Sanders supporters are divided: 49% say global problems would be even worse without the U.S. being involved, while nearly as many (45%) say U.S. efforts usually make matters worse.
...
A slim majority of Clinton supporters (53%) favor policies to try to keep the U.S. the only military superpower in the world, with 41% saying it would be acceptable if another country became as militarily powerful. Among Sanders supporters, 49% say it would be acceptable if another country became as militarily powerful as the U.S., while 42% support policies maintaining the U.S.’s role as sole superpower.
...
By a wide margin (47% to 27%), Clinton supporters say they sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians in their dispute. By contrast, Sanders backers are divided, with fairly similar shares saying they sympathize with the Palestinians (39%) and Israel (33%).

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

American Crossroads: Backhanded Endorsement of DWS

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is facing criticism from Sanders supporters and a primary challenge for her House seat.  American Crossroads is stirring the pot:
Today American Crossroads announced that it is endorsing Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District Democratic primary. Crossroads’ President and CEO Steven Law had this to say about the organization’s rare decision to endorse in a contested primary:
“Congresswoman and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has played a critical role over the past several years in the massive Republican gains we have achieved at the state level, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in the U.S. Senate.
Wasserman Schultz’s leadership has also been a catalyst for the emerging civil war in the Democratic Party this year, ensuring that their nominating process will drag on far longer than that of Republicans.
“Voters of the 23rd District of Florida should know – American Crossroads stands with Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in her primary against ultra-liberal outsider Tim Canova, and they should too.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Senators Running for Sheriff

At Medium, NSRC executive director Ward Baker pretty explicitly declares that it's an all-politics-is-local campaign for his candidates.
There’s no question that the dynamics of a presidential election can create a great deal of uncertainty for downballot candidates — and in both parties, this cycle has created more uncertainty than most. While nearly every observer and talking head spent 2015 writing off Donald Trump’s chances at securing the Republican nomination, we were already working with our Senate campaigns last summer to prepare for every possible outcome to the presidential primary. As the Washington Post discovered, the NRSC began mapping out a strategy for our candidates to run concurrently with any potential presidential candidate last summer.
...
The results of our preparation are already apparent. In a cycle where many reporters like to pontificate about the “Trump effect,” our Senators have successfully navigated tricky waters in their primary contests. Across the board, Republican Senators have outperformed the top of the ticket in raw votes, and Senators like Richard Shelby, John Boozman, Richard Burr, and Mark Kirk scored decisive primary wins that were hardly guaranteed given the mood of Republican voters. In fact, every Republican Senate incumbent has won with over 60%.
In addition to mastering the intricate mechanics of running a modern campaign, we have a very clear messaging strategy. Republican Senators are talking to voters like they’re running for sheriff. Every message is highly targeted and purposefully local. Our Senators are making sure their voters know they’re focused on issues that matter in their states — Rob Portman and Kelly Ayotte are leading the fight against opioid abuse; Roy Blunt is a forceful advocate for mental health funding; John McCain and Ron Johnson are going above and beyond for reform and accountability at Veterans Affairs and VA hospitals. We want to make sure voters are casting votes for Senate candidates based solely on issues related to that Senate race — not up, down, or adjacent on the ticket. We’ve embraced data analytics, new digital platforms and non-traditional message delivery in order to talk to voters in targeted segments amounting to 7–8% of the electorate at a time. The results are self-evident: Portman is running the best field and data program in America and Pat Toomey has been a leader on the digital front with the use of Snapchat to expand his message universe.

Messy

After Bernie Sanders told The Associated Press that the Democratic National Convention would be "messy," the Vermont senator and his campaign have since insisted that the reference was merely to the democratic process and not a subliminal message to his supporters to create chaos in Philadelphia.
"The media often takes words out of context. The context of that was that democracy is messy. That people will have vigorous debate on the issues," Sanders told NBC News' Kristen Welker in an interview aired Tuesday on "Today." Asked whether the convention itself will be messy, Sanders replied, "Well of course it will be. But everything — that's what democracy is about."
Amber Phillips reports at The Washington Post:
In an election cycle in which the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is arguably louder and more powerful than ever, it's perhaps not a surprise that the party's top official has a primary challenger for the first time.
Nor is it surprising that Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's primary -- and to a lesser extent the Florida congresswoman's main challenger, law professor Tim Canova -- has the potential to become a battleground for the establishment/grass-roots divide that's playing out at the presidential level.
Case in point: Increasingly defiant presidential candidate Bernie Sanders endorsed Canova in an interview with CNN on Sunday. Sanders, a senator from Vermont, said his views align more with the liberal law professor and added that if he were president, he probably wouldn't have Wasserman Schultz heading the Democratic National Committee. Sanders even sent a fundraising email for Canova ahead of Florida's Aug. 30 prima