Let me begin with an old proverb that I just made up: The one time people shouldn’t put their heads together is when their hair is on fire.
Whether watching cable news or reading social media, there are two political messages that are spreading as fast as the Coronavirus with regards to the Democratic primary. In order to best illustrate this complex scenario, instructional graphics are provided below.
- How some people feel who are not supporting Bernie Sanders:
2. How some people feel who are supporting Bernie Sanders:
Well, not exactly subtle but you get the point. Here we are today with only around 3% of delegates decided (yes logicians, that does mean there are 97% of delegates yet to be awarded), and the candidates that are really winning this primary are Chicken Little and The Hulk.
I say this with all due respect to media pundits and emotional Democratic voters…calm the fuck down.
There are two very basic concepts that the fearful and the angry need to fully think about before proceeding with giving themselves a stroke and harming the prospects of the eventual Democratic nominee:
- The only way for Bernie Sanders to win the nomination is to appeal to a MAJORITY of Democratic voters and/or core party members at the convention. If he succeeds at this, he deserves the nomination. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t.
- There will soon be a narrowing of the field to two main candidates as there always is, Bernie Sanders will likely be one of them. Whether fading candidates drop out or are abandoned by voters who see them as not being viable anymore, their voters will consolidate around one of the two remaining contenders and the majority will decide who the nominee will be.
A CBS News/YouGov poll came out today, showing where this race may be heading. As I proposed in my last post, it looks like that the race is on its way to shrinking down to four people after South Carolina or Super Tuesday. Those four being Sanders, Warren, Biden and Bloomberg.
Looking at this poll and considering that Amy Klobuchar has no substantial African American support, losing big in South Carolina this week as it appears she will, should mark the end of her campaign whether she drops out or not.
The shine has come off of Pete Buttigieg as he too has little connection to voters of color and is polling very poorly in SC and many big upcoming states that have more diverse populations.
Tom Steyer has spent hugely in SC and in some Super Tuesday states but while he should do well in the SC primary (you get what you pay for in a Citizens United America), as polling reflects, he isn’t even polling nationally above Klobuchar at 5% so his campaign is likely to be done after Super Tuesday.
Michael Bloomberg, who was competing for 1st or 2nd place in polls before his $450 million Wizard of Oz curtain was pulled back in the last debate, has dropped hugely and while he too may stay in the race despite losing viability, voters will likely continue to migrate away from him as an inevitable loser.
Lastly, if Joe Biden does not win South Carolina by double digits, as he has been leading there for most of the primary and wins with a 5% or less margin as polls are now indicating, he may limp along after that but his “electable” argument, that he is far more electable than the others, will have been devastated and his core argument for being the nominee will be gone.
You don’t need Andrew Yang to do the math (or much else now…sorry, it was too easy a setup not to go for), if just Klobuchar and Buttigieg drop out or are seen as no longer viable, that’s up to 15% of voters who will move to other candidates. In the poll above, Sanders is only 9% above Warren and 11% above Biden so if more of those voters go to them than Sanders, that lead could be slashed or depending, even eliminated. And that’s not even adding in a chunk of Bloomberg’s 13% of voters that will migrate as his viability keeps declining or Steyer’s few percentage points of voters that will move away from him (or Tulsi Gabbard’s supporter…he’s not a bad guy).
To those fearful of Bernie Sanders winning the nomination, if he is as toxic as you think, he is unlikely to win the nomination and a majority of delegates if he can’t appeal to 45% – 50% of Dem voters as the number of candidates narrow.
By the same token, if you aren’t out there advocating for the candidate(s) you think should win the nomination instead of Bernie, if you aren’t contributing to their campaigns or volunteering, you’re not really doing anything to change the course of the race so it’s not fair to resent or fear Bernie because his supporters are active in promoting him.
To those Bernie supporters who are angry at how Bernie is being attacked now that he is seen as the front runner in the primary, that is how elections work. When Biden was the front runner, Trump cooked up the Ukraine fraud to drag him down. When Warren was the front runner, most of the other candidates attacked her on Medicare for All. When Bloomberg looked like he would take over the race, the candidates went after him. Now that Bernie is the front runner, candidates are going after him. How is this surprising to anyone who has ever seen an election before?
Bernie supporters, what do you think Trump and the GOP are going to do with the $1 billion they’ve already raised for their campaign, send the Dem nominee a fruit bouquet? If Bernie is the Dem nominee, he will be savaged like none of us can even imagine right now, the current “outrage” about him being attacked will seem like a light breeze compared to what’s in store. Thin skin won’t protect any candidate.
Here’s a very simple bottom line for the anti-Bernie fearful and the pro-Bernie angry…you are not helping yourselves. Those who are fearful will only become more fearful. Those who are angry will only become angrier. And those who are neither, the undecided or not-so-committed voters, won’t be won over by either group throwing a fit.
At a time of heightened emotions and panic, the approach that will more likely attract others to one’s position is confidence, positivity and reason. This approach is a salve for those exhausted in the Trump Era of emotionality driving so much. Negative emotions are irrational and the use of them to convince people to support an opinion comes off pushy and desperate.
As the Dem primary narrows, a candidate who recognizes this and appeals to the hopes and aspirations of voters could transcend this emotional muck that is bogging down the race now and has been oppressive throughout the Trump term.
It will also help highlight the upcoming race for the presidency on the horribleness and hatefulness of Trump, framing the election as a referendum on him and his destruction of America and its institutions against a Democrat offering a positive and uplifting vision for how things will be better for all Americans if he/she is elected.
The atmosphere of panic, fanned hard by the corporate media (to promote Bloomberg as the needed savior or Trump as the lesser of two evils if Socialist Bernie is the nominee…because from their greedy perspective, it will benefit them most financially) is not something we have to adopt. The only reason for most panics is the willingness of people to join in.
So…just say no to panic and anger. Don’t freak out about Democrats being in conflict in a primary, that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be and always has been. Don’t panic because the front runner is being labeled “unelectable” or doesn’t represent your views…when 97% of delegates are still waiting to be won. And don’t think that spreading fear of a candidate or anger towards those who attack your chosen candidate is convincing anyone to join your side. As studies have shown, it just strengthens people’s existing positions or alienates those who don’t feel either way.
As mentioned very diplomatically at the beginning of this thoughtful proposition to those engaged in the Democratic primary, everyone should just calm the fuck down. The process is built to produce a candidate who is supported by a majority and there is a longer road to go than where things are today (remember not long ago when Biden was leading in national polls by 20%?). This is a snapshot, today there are about 7 candidates competing and Bernie is leading because his percentage is higher than theirs…but not a majority. In just weeks, there will be less candidates and the dynamics will change. Maybe Bernie will win over a majority in the end, maybe another candidate will.
Whatever results are desired, fear and anger will not bring them about (at least not in the Democratic Party, in the GOP, that’s all they’ve got). The future isn’t written yet and instead of freaking out because pundits are shouting that we should, seeing the big picture and acting out of purpose instead of panic or hostility, will help bring the political victories we’re all seeking in 2020.
I see McGovern, I see Dukakis.
Yes it is still early, but momentum is important and Americans have a monkey see, monkey do mentality. If Bernie wins Super Tuesday he COULD go to Milwaukee with the majority of delegates. I don’t know how a brokered convention will turn out.
A candidate will need at least 50% of elected delegates in order for super delegates to vote on the first ballot. I can’t see Bernie getting 50% of Democrats voting for him in the primaries under any circumstance. Since republicans have cancelled or is cancelling most of their primaries, in states with open primaries, many republicans are likely to vote for Bernie. I suspect leaders of the Democratic Party realize this and they have a plan to combat it. What that plan is, I don’t know.
I really don’t think Bernie can beat trump in the general. It COULD happen, but I am not optimistic about that. Personally, I would have to hold my nose real tight to vote for Bernie, but I would vote for him over trump in a nanosecond. If he gets the nomination, I don’t think real Democrats will do like Sanders supporters did in 2016 and vote for trump or not vote at all.
I agree, momentum builds behind candidates however I think this is a unique primary. The Dems have had a history of having leading candidates who are moderate, they may lean a little to the left in primaries but veer back to the center in the GE.
In this unique case, a very Left candidate has started off the primary as the front runner, his appeal is not universal in the party so there are a meaningful percentage of voters who are strongly opposed to him AND fairly make the case that there is no path for him to tack towards the center in a GE.
Also, usually we don’t have so many candidates splitting up the vote so while having high 20’s to low 30’s numbers are winning in a 7 person primary, if that is a ceiling for Sanders, as the race narrows down, that may be a losing percentage.
So many things going on this election cycle. The urgency and absolutism to beat Trump, the rise of the Dem version of “The Forgotten People” rallying behind Bernie, his defiantly socialist and abrasive persona, his hostile and vindictive followers (not saying they’re a majority but they are there), the strong distaste by many non-Bernie Dems to strongly oppose him, etc.
In the end, will Bernie’s momentum stall if he is facing only one other alternative? Will the 70% or more nnot-supporting Bernie coalesce behind that one candidate or as you ponder, would some of them just turn to support Bernie?
I don’t know for sure but I would never underestimate the power of the party establishment. Might they step in after Super Tuesday to try and push out candidates who have no path? The rules are clear though, unless Bernie gets the support of a majority of the party, which I don’t know will be the case, he will not be the nominee. If he comes into the convention with 35% and the next closest candidate has 25% but is more supported by the party, it’s fair game for both to solicit delegates at the convention and for the 25%er to be the nominee.
There is a double-edged sword for Bernie, many of his supporters are well shown in polls to not vote Dem if Bernie isn’t the nom. Many Dems see Bernie as a coming disaster. Either way, Dems will lose a segment of voters that they will have to make up. I wonder if it might not make more sense in a convention deciding scenario, to go with the candidate who can make up voters from a bigger pool of potentials than Bernie’s smaller pool. And knowing that Russia and Trump are betting heavily that Bernie will be an electoral disaster for Dems perception matters.
A scenario I think is very possible is that after Super Tuesday, the primary opponent to Bernie in the primary will become more apparent and candidates who have been distracting and draining votes away, like Klobuchar, Steyer, and Buttigieg will decline to where they either drop out or hemorrhage voters to the primary Bernie opponent.
In such a scenario, we might see Bernie’s main opponent consolidate support and whether they come in below but close to his total, are neck and neck or have the most, either a plurality or a majority, a Bernie opponent could end up the nominee.
What’s allowing Bernie to win with 28% support is the dividing up of the non-Bernie vote. When the field shrinks, I think that it would be difficult for those who have seen Bernie adversarially, to join him instead of his then-unified opponent.
That could be Biden, it could be Bloomberg but I think the porridge that is just right for that and unifying Bernie voters and Biden voters is Warren. She’s not the most likely one right now to win the primary but she may be more ideal.
You won’t be surprised to learn we’re on the same page here.
There’s no question in my mind Warren is by far the more ideal
candidate to win the primary. And it should be clear to all that if
she doesn’t grab the brass ring, no other candidate now in the
running is more suited than she to unify Bernie and Biden voters!
Stern — bit very necessary — words, Ad Lib. They’re all very worth reading, and if people remember only the new old proverb you just made up, “The one time people shouldn’t put their heads together is when their hair is on fire” and SueInCa’s wise advice “I will vote blue, no matter who,” they can lower their emotional temperature, chill, and all of us will have an easier time making it through the Democratic primaries and be ready to support whoever becomes the Democratic nominee and then accomplish the really hard job of getting Trump out of office on Jan. 20, 2021.
Thanks NoManIs A Island! I’ve had my fill of the hysteria, this is not an emergency or a disaster, it’s a primary. There are ebbs and flows in popularity and front runners, the candidate we want may or may not end up the nominee but how does that change the existential threat that Trump is? And what a nightmare a 2nd term would be? I know some people say that’s their reason for panicking, because they fear Bernie would lose and Trump would be re-elected but adding to the panic is self-destructive…especially when being constructive would better convince people to support one’s candidate.
If these Dems would just see this atmosphere as toxic and proof that the propaganda wars against the Dems are working, we could be a lot more unified despite favoring different candidates.
You’re welcome Ad Lib! I had my own fill of the hysteria even before the Iowa caucuses came, and by now I’ve had a surfeit of it. We’re clearly in the almost literally nauseating midst of what deserves to be called “Irrational Democratic Primaryphobia.” Not a very catchy name for the current disorder, but it does describe its bizarre presentation.
What we see so clearly as self-destructive behavior among an alarming number of Democrats will have very dangerous consequences if it’s allowed to fester and metastasize much longer, but unless more of us can can sound the alarm and somehow get it heeded, the hysteria may reach such a level that whoever gets the Democratic nomination for president will be carrying a very unnecessary burden as he or she attempts to defeat Trump.
One might think the existential fight to preserve and restore our democracy might be dire enough to unite us more at the same time we support different candidates, but we would be sadly mistaken.
Well put AdLib! I find in these times of outrage fauxrage, I have decided to become the Chad character from SNL: “Ok” said with as much disinterest as possible.
Hope you all are well. I am busy beyond belief. Our little resistance group grew from 5 people in January 2017 to 65 now. We are “a force” for candidates in our district. We had the HIGHEST Dem turnout in our precinct thanks to our peeps in all of our county. Pretty proud of that, but damn it is hard.
Will try to tune in. Keep writing the good stuff, and everyone: CALM THE FUCK DOWN.
Hey AlphaBitch! great to hear from you!
As you can see, I’m fed up with the reality-televisioning of this primary too.
That’s fantastic, building your group like this! You’re doing the good work to make a difference! Walking the walk and not just talking the talk…and freaking out that seems to sweep up so many people.
Hysteria just isn’t very flattering.
Hope to see you here again soon! Sending thanks and props for all you’re doing for the cause!
Yes, I don’t get angry or panic, I just respond with facts and the truth as I know it. It is a sustained propaganda approach that is causing some of the panic and division, as well. Still, I stopped being angry about it and calmly state the truth. Now that is not to say I can’t get my angry on, lol, but for a legitimate reason, not this primary bullshit going on. Full disclosure, our entire household did vote for Bernie, but I will vote blue, no matter who.
Hey Sue! I know how sensible and thoughtful you are, you see the big picture. And I agree, we are being flooded with propaganda from all directions and I understand how some people fall prey to it. Russians and their trolls and bots, Trump and the GOP, corporate news (pushing Bloomberg) and extremists.
You won’t see it on The Planet but as I browse social media, it is rampant. A majority of posts about the party are displaying fear or anger. Ultimatums flying in every direction, people now proudly saying they won’t vote for the Dem nominee if it’s not their favored candidate, it’s pretty messed up out there.
But we’ve sent 4 years criticizing Repub voters for being rubes that were easily played by Trump while now, it seems that many Dem voters are proving just as susceptible to manipulation and propaganda.
I too will vote for whoever the Dem nom is to remove the only real threat to our country and democracy. I was lucky enough to get my preferred candidate, Obama, as the nominee in 2008 but it hasn’t always been the case. I favor Warren this time around but if she doesn’t win, it doesn’t change how urgent it is that the Dem nominee wins and Trump is removed. A second term would descend us into an oppressive autocracy, that should be the sole issue for all Dems in the GE.
A second term would descend us into an oppressive autocracy, that should be the sole issue for all Dems in the GE.
Adlib, that is my bottom line, as well. I just really do have a hard time understanding how people who you think are fairly bright, fall for the propaganda. Part of it is just plain laziness. The number of people who can expound on an article where they only read the headine and tag line is amazing. And many are not even ashamed to admit it 🙂 I do like the Elizabeth Warren that showed up to the debate last Wednesday, but I just don’t see that from her all the time. Still, I would be happy to cast a vote for her in the general. I also see Bernie supporter’s shortcomings as well. This whole business of only voting if your candidate wins is what helped to elect trump. What is that they say, keep doing the same thing and expect something different is a fool’s game, some still have not learned that lesson.
This s the game that Russia and Trump are happy for Dems to play, spurring Dems to fight so desperately among themselves that they lose sight of the real threat, Trump.
No question, the government has already been realigned to operate as an autocracy, Congress has lost its checks and balances and Moscow Mitch has collaborated with Trump to sabotage our courts against democracy. We are on the verge of losing our democracy for the foreseeable future and we can’t afford to be freaking out over the primary.
As for Warren, I was becoming very disappointed in her as she was sold by her political aids to be the peacekeeper and unity-minded candidate. In other words, bland, quiet and always “on message”. That’s not who she was, not why I liked her and a cynical political tactic I dislike. As she was facing a do or die moment, Bloomberg luckily jumped in and gave her the lifeline she needed, to go for broke and return to her fighter persona. I think she’s learned from that mistake and her rising to 2nd in national polls has to have proved to her that playing it safe is not a path for success.
I’m not crazy about Bernie but as we’ve discussed, whoever the Dem nominee is will be the only person to prevent a 2nd dictatorial term of Trump. How is that not the priority?
I can’t quite figure out whether the people threatening not to vote Dem if their candidate isn’t the nom are just being petulant right now or really would accept a Trump dictatorship to any compromise? What do you think?
If I go by the Jill Stein voters in 2016, I believe some of them will. It was so very obvious she was a schill for RT and people still voted for her. There was no reason on earth she should have been sitting at Putin’s table with Mike Flynn, but they made up every excuse in the world for her. Even Dems fell for her “recount” bullshit and gave money to her which she never did send to any charity like she promised. Incredible that people fell for her, but I would guess it can happen again. I don’t generally unfriend people on FB but election night I saw one of her people say they were going to sit back and laugh at all the people who would not get universal healthcare now. That person had a good friend who was battling cancer at the time and she knew the hardships they were facing, but thought it appropriate to make that comment. I unfriended her immediately.
I remember early on in the 2016 race, I saw Stein in a TV interview and she outright lied about the ACA and was lying about the policies she allegedly supported. It was obvious.
I think some of the Stein voters may have been Yang or Sanders supporters this time around. There was a self-importance and smugness in those self-destructive voters who blathered about defiantly wanting change and Progressive policies while taking actions to help put a racist, law-breaking conservative dictator in the White House. Like the Trump cultists, I don’t think time or energy should be wasted on trying to get them to vote for the Dem nominee, whoever it is.
Stein was at the very least, a Russian-sympathizing fraud as that Moscow event proved, if not an asset. Thankfully, there is no voting base for third party candidates this time around, as in most presidential re-election campaigns.
Stein will always be tied to Trump’s election, as will those who voted for her. This year, Dems need to show they’ve learned their lesson and after the primary, come together to elect the Dem nom and send Trump packing to Florida…so he can prep for the avalanche of criminal and civil suits he and his family and business will be buried in.
What a glorious day that will be, seeing the avalanche of things going against him.
The reservoir of Karma has been filling up full, when the dam bursts, they will hopefully be swept away!