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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, June 6, 2016

How Bernie Blew It

At The Washington Post, John Wagner, Philip Rucker and Robert Costa explain why Sanders fell short:
Perhaps the campaign’s biggest mistake was not realizing early on that Sanders could win. That led to a slow start, both in building the infrastructure needed to run a national campaign and in Sanders’s own presence among voters who knew little about him.

“I don’t think anybody had figured out how to win when we got in,” said senior strategist Tad Devine. “It was ‘How do we become credible?’ ”

As it became clear that Sanders was gaining credibility, though, he struggled to connect with black and Latino voters, as well as with older Democrats, groups that carried Clinton’s candidacy. Sanders repeatedly clashed with another vital constituency — the party leaders whose votes as superdelegates he would ultimately need to pry the nomination away from Clinton.

Sanders also overestimated the power of his economic message and, adamant that he run the kind of positive campaign that had been his trademark in Vermont, initially underestimated the imperative to draw sharp contrasts with Clinton.