Clinton Gets Aggressive With Sanders In Wake Of New Hampshire Loss

If last night's debate is any indication, Hillary Clinton's campaign is about to get much more aggressive in its critique of Bernie Sanders.

With the race for the nomination now in full swing, Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders met for another debate in Wisconsin last night, and in with the shadow of a big loss just behind her Clinton was perhaps more aggressive against the Vermont Senator than she has been to date:

MILWAUKEE — Hillary Clinton, scrambling to recover from her double-digit defeat in the New Hampshire primary, repeatedly challenged the trillion-dollar policy plans of Bernie Sanders at their presidential debate on Thursday night and portrayed him as a big talker who needed to “level” with voters about the difficulty of accomplishing his agenda.

Foreign affairs also took on unusual prominence as Mrs. Clinton sought to underscore her experience and Mr. Sanders excoriated her judgment on Libya and Iraq, as well as her previous praise of former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. But Mrs. Clinton was frequently on the offensive as well, seizing an opportunity to talk about leaders she admired and turning it against Mr. Sanders by bashing his past criticism of President Obama — a remark that Mr. Sanders called a “low blow.”

With tensions between the two Democrats becoming increasingly obvious, the debate was full of new lines of attack from Mrs. Clinton, who faces pressure to puncture Mr. Sanders’s growing popularity before the next nominating contests in Nevada and South Carolina.\

She is wagering that even voters excited by Mr. Sanders’s inspiring message will reconsider their support when they learn of his lack of experience in foreign policy and his vague explanations for how he will pay for his expansive government programs.

Mrs. Clinton pounced from the start, after Mr. Sanders demurred in saying how much his proposals would increase the size of the federal government. She stepped in and said that by economists’ estimates, the government would grow 40 percent under Mr. Sanders.

And rather than bashing him as she did at their debate last Thursday, she appeared to try to get under his skin by implying that he had not been transparent about the cost of his programs, such as his proposed expansion of government health care.

“This is not about math. This is about people’s lives, and we should level with the American people,” Mrs. Clinton said. She then repeated a jab at Mr. Sanders’s reputation as a truth-teller that she would return to during the debate: “You need to level with people about what they will have at the end of the process you are proposing. And based on every analysis that I can find by people who are sympathetic to the goal, the numbers don’t add up.”

“I don’t know what economists Secretary Clinton is talking to,” Mr. Sanders responded, insisting that families could come out with savings. “That is absolutely inaccurate.”

Mr. Sanders, who has exuded confidence since his New Hampshire win, raising more than $6 million in the 24 hours after the polls closed there, was more pointed and even belittling of Mrs. Clinton at times. He said bluntly that some of her attacks were wrongheaded, and he was dismissive after Mrs. Clinton talked about her plans to increase federal spending by about $100 billion a year. After Mrs. Clinton responded to a question by saying, “once I’m in the White House,” he began his next answer by saying, “Secretary Clinton, you’re not in the White House yet,” drawing some murmurs and jeers.

The candidates had one of their sharpest exchanges of the race when the moderators of the debate asked them what is typically a softball question: which leaders they admire. Mr. Sanders named Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, while Mrs. Clinton named Nelson Mandela — and then used the question to berate her opponent for his complaints about Mr. Obama over the years.

“The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president, I expect from Republicans,” she said. “I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination.”

Mr. Sanders called the comment a “low blow” and said that while he disagreed with Mr. Obama on occasion in the Senate, the president was a friend.

(…)

Mrs. Clinton’s pointed critique of Mr. Sanders was part of a new calculation by her campaign that the debate format, in which Mrs. Clinton excels, was the best way to draw attention to Mr. Sanders’s record and his minimal expertise in foreign policy. The role of commander in chief became another flash point on Thursday, when Mr. Sanders argued that his judgment was better than Mrs. Clinton’s, and more important than her experience. He criticized Mrs. Clinton’s 2002 vote to authorize the war in Iraq, her push to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya and her consulting of Mr. Kissinger.

“I’m proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend,” Mr. Sanders said, saying Mr. Kissinger had enabled genocide in Cambodia under Pol Pot.

Mrs. Clinton turned the exchange back on Mr. Sanders, noting that he had sidestepped requests to identify his own foreign policy advisers.

“Well, it ain’t Henry Kissinger,” Mr. Sanders snapped back.

Mr. Sanders also criticized Mrs. Clinton for telling CNN in 2014 that the children who entered the United States from Central America should be sent back, a statement that made some young Latinos question her commitment to their communities.

“I made it very clear that those children needed to be processed appropriately,” Mrs. Clinton said. But she said the United States also had to send a message to parents “not to send their children on this dangerous journey in the hands of smugglers.”

“These are children,” Mr. Sanders said. “I don’t think we use them to send a message, I think we welcome them into this country.”

Mrs. Clinton, sensing her rival’s relative inexperience on world affairs, offered a somewhat belittling reply at one point in the exchange: “It’s a big, complicated world out there,” she said.

As Jonathan Martin notes in his analysis of the debate for The New York Timesthe shift in tone that Clinton seemed to be displaying at this debate appears to be aimed at reminding Democratic voters that the election had entered a more serious phase, and that however infatuated they may be with many of the ideas that Senator Sanders has expressed on the campaign trail, and which have drawn so many supporters to his side. This is something that Clinton has hinted at before, but she has not stated quite as specifically as she did last night, but it’s one that seems to have much truth behind it. Although she didn’t come right out and put it this way, the truth of the matter is that it’s highly unlikely that a President Sanders would ever really be effective at getting his ideas implemented. For one thing, Republicans are likely to continue their hold on the House of Representatives through the redistricting that will take place in the wake of the 2020 Census, and quite probably well beyond that absent the kind of wave election we saw in 2006 or 2010. Republicans could also continue to hold on to the Senate, or at least have a sufficiently large minority to be able to use the legislative filibuster to block legislation that would somehow make its way through the House. Furthermore, the nature of Senate elections over the next several cycles suggests that party control of the upper chamber is arguably just as likely to switch back and forth between Republican and Democratic control as it is to stay under the control of one party for an extended period of time. In any case, under these circumstances, the idea that Sanders, who has never successfully originated a bill that was signed into law in his entire legislative career, would be able to get things as complicated as “single payer” health care or “free” college tuition through Congress is really quite fanciful. We haven’t gotten to the point where Clinton is being this explicit in her critique of Sanders, but much of her rhetoric last night makes it clear that this is where she’s headed. Senator Sanders is great as an idealist, Clinton is saying to voters, but as a President he’d be utterly hopeless when it comes to getting anything done.

Clinton’s concentration on foreign affairs is also unsurprising. Whereas Clinton has experience in this area both from her time as a Senator and Secretary of State, this is an area in which Sanders has never really had much to say. Indeed, most of his commentary on the issue of foreign affairs on the campaign trail has been to criticize Clinton, both for her vote in favor of the Iraq War more than ten years ago and the decisions she supported during her time as Secretary of State such as the intervention in Libya. Even conceding that Sanders criticisms here are good ones, they don’t demonstrate much about his own positions on foreign policy or how he’d handle the various issues that would likely come up in the world were he to become President. Foreign affairs has been an area of weakness for Sanders before, both in debates and in one-on-one interviews, and the Clinton campaign obviously knows this, which is why she’s likely to continue hitting on this topic.

Generally speaking, it would appear that Clinton’s campaign is aiming to get Democratic voters to look past Bernie Sanders and his idealism and begin to focus on what can realistically be accomplished and who is best suited to achieving those goals. The hope, obviously, is that Democratic voters will conclude that it’s Clinton and her seemingly more pragmatic approach to politics that would best fit that bill. In that regard, the consensus from analysts who watched last night’s debate appears to be that Clinton won the night, but it’s unclear what impact this will have on the race going forward. So far at least, Democratic voters who have actually gone to the polls have appeared to be quite attracted to Sanders’ idealism. Now that we’re entering a more serious phase of the race, though, we may start to see voters become more serious about questioning who should really represent their party going forward. That, combined with what still appears to be an overwhelming advantage on Clinton’s part among minority groups, is what is likely to propel her past Sanders in the end. The only question is how much longer Democrats are going to continue feeling ‘the Bern.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. HarvardLaw92 says:

    The media is evidently still trying its best to pretend that this is a horse race either horse could win.

  2. Todd says:

    reminding Democratic voters that the election had entered a more serious phase, and that however infatuated they may be …

    Infatuated? What condescending bull$hit. But now that you mention it, that does seem to be how Clinton and her supporters tend to view people who dare to choose Sanders over the more “obviously qualified” candidate.

    Still anxiously awaiting the spin as polls start to tighten, and upcoming votes are again “closer than expected” or “shocking” if Sanders wins.

  3. SKI says:

    Couple of thoughts:

    Clinton’s best line was in her summation (and not just because it echoes the argiument against Sanders I’ve been making):

    I am not a single-issue candidate and I do not believe we live in a single-issue country.

    Your conclusion that

    Democratic voters who have actually gone to the polls have appeared to be quite attracted to Sanders’ idealism

    may be overstating the case. Sanders won NH convincingly on the backs of non-Democrats (77-22 IIRC) but registered Democrats actually split. The upcoming primaries and caucuses are closed (though I think NV allows same-day registration).

    In my view, Sanders is ultimately a single-issue (albeit an important one) candidate with no track record for getting things done that appeals primarily to the most economically progressive (and white) portions of the base. Clinton, at least within Democratic circles, isn’t necessarily loved with the same intensity but she is more broadly acceptable – as the polling indicates.

  4. Andre Kenji says:

    Sanders biggest weakness is his vote against the 2007 Immigration Reform bill. When he tried to explain his vote and Hillary brought that Ted Kennedy wrote that bill, Sanders was unconvincingly. And lots of people are going to remember voters in Nevada about that.

  5. Tillman says:

    It’s worth pointing out Clinton has way more foreign policy advisors than she needs. Something about the Clintons not forgiving people who side against them mixed with Sanders not having close ties to the FP community.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Gadzooks and Heavens to Murgatroid…what a difference between that Democratic debate and the Republican debates.
    The average Republican must have IQ level…what?…30 points lower? 40 even? It’s been documented that the Republican parties intellectual leader, Trump, speaks at a 4th grade level.

  7. Tony W says:

    The media is going to great lengths to support Hillary Clinton. I get it, we have assets and people to protect after all.

    The good news is that Hillary is starting to adopt many of Bernie’s ideas, so hopefully this sham of a primary will have some lasting effect.

    I’m frustrated, as usual, that America doesn’t have better choices than what I’ve seen on the D and R side of the house. I have a sinking feeling that the extremely professional and competent management we’ve had over the last 7 years is about to come to an end.

  8. SKI says:

    @Tillman: Don’t buy that as the reason.

    1. It didn’t hurt Obama – who had far shorter time period to have established relationships in DC than Sanders.
    2. The article claims there are FP experts who were frozen out of of State by HRC for supporting Obama. If that was actually true, they wouldn’t expect to jump back into the front of the line for the plum jobs in a Clinton Administration and would be available to Sanders

    Bottom-line, Sanders doesn’t have a foreign policy team because he didn’t value it when he started putting his team together to make a run. Perhaps he didn’t take his own candidacy seriously until the last few months and didn’t think it would matter or perhaps he just doesn’t care about it.

    Experts want to be at the table and be heard, be listened to. If Sanders doesn’t have any, the most obvious reason is that he didn’t ask for advice and/or didn’t want to listen/focus on it.

  9. MikeSJ says:

    Tough call who won that debate. It’s the “Eat your Vegetables” candidate vs. the “Free Pony” candidate.

    I know vegetables are good for you but damn I’d sure love me a free pony.

  10. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    It’s been documented that the Republican parties intellectual leader, Trump, speaks at a 4th grade level.

    So, you’re saying you can barely understand what he says?

  11. Mr. Prosser says:

    @MikeSJ: Actually I want HRC tossing kale to all while riding a pale horse over conservatives. Unicorns pooping rainbows isn’t my dream.

  12. SKI says:

    @MikeSJ: I think that is a bit harsh – to both of them.

    Might I suggest that it the difference is whether you think incremental change is the best we can realistically achieve vs. what we would want to achieve is we were able to rule by fiat.

    For better or worse, the US political system simply doesn’t allow for radical change very often. It is why you see the Tea Party radicals on the right (States Rights!) and Absolutists on the left (Citizens United!) calling for a Constitutional Convention – to get around that nasty problem of needing to do the hard work of achieving consensus and agreement.

    Ok, maybe I’m harsher after all…

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Considering that you are a person who believes and repeats all of their mendacious nonsense…in other words, a complete dupe…you should probably just STFU and go back to beating your illegal wife.

  14. Tillman says:

    @SKI:

    1. It didn’t hurt Obama – who had far shorter time period to have established relationships in DC than Sanders.

    Time period isn’t as relevant. Sanders didn’t make those relationships in his time but Obama did. The article doesn’t contest that Sanders didn’t form the relationships.

    2. The article claims there are FP experts who were frozen out of of State by HRC for supporting Obama. If that was actually true, they wouldn’t expect to jump back into the front of the line for the plum jobs in a Clinton Administration and would be available to Sanders

    They don’t expect to be at the front of the line. As the article notes, wonks are playing a long game for any position that pops up in the next four to eight years because the Clinton memory is a long one. There’s a reason several quotes from wonks are included that explicitly mention their distancing from the Sanders campaign.

  15. humanoid.panda says:

    @Tony W:

    The media is going to great lengths to support Hillary Clinton. I get it, we have assets and people to protect after all.

    Look, I (lukewarmly) support Sanders in the primary, but how frigging delusional you need to be to think that she is a media darling?

  16. SKI says:

    @Tillman:

    Time period isn’t as relevant. Sanders didn’t make those relationships in his time but Obama did.

    You can’t just wave away that distinction. It is critical. It is the reason he doesn’t have a foreign policy worldview. No foreign policy worldview => no foreign policy advisors. Not because of some nefarious plot by Clinton but because Sanders doesn’t care about foreign policy.

  17. bookdragon says:

    In some sense, I’d say that HRC is doing a Bernie a favor in the same way he has been doing one for her – both are bringing up the points that the eventual candidate will almost certainly get thrown at them from a GOP opponent, but doing so much more softly. Bernie really does need to be able to effectively answer the ‘does that add up’ and ‘how big do you want to make govt’ questions. HRC does need to be able to respond well to questions about her Wall Street ties. Bernie really does need to acknowledge that the issues facing minorities are bigger and more systemic than just bad economic conditions disproportionally affecting the poor. HRC needs to connect with and inspire the youth. And she really, really needs to take a page from Bernie’s book and start using ‘we’ a lot more than ‘I’.

    Still, Clinton seemed calm and collected throughout – nothing in her demeanor said ‘harsh attack’. This was almost like a collegiate debate in terms of discussing policy and promise vs possible.

  18. humanoid.panda says:

    @SKI:

    Bottom-line, Sanders doesn’t have a foreign policy team because he didn’t value it when he started putting his team together to make a run. Perhaps he didn’t take his own candidacy seriously until the last few months and didn’t think it would matter or perhaps he just doesn’t care about it.

    Anecdotally, I have a friend who offered his services to write white papers for the Sanders campaign on Russia and Eastern Europe. He was politely rejected, and told that they might reconsider if Sanders gets nominated.

  19. EddieInCA says:

    @Todd:

    Todd –

    With all due respect, being President, is about getting things done. Tell me how Bernie would get ANY of his plans turned into actual policy when he couldn’t get congress on board with any of them?

    And how about Bernie gives specifics on how we’re all going to get Free College and a Unicorn for Christmas every year?

  20. MBunge says:

    Even if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, what does it say about her that she has to “get tough” with a better version of Dennis Kucinich?

    Hillary clearly neither has nor wants a message for her campaign beyond “I’m Hillary Clinton,” which foreshadows a general election campaign that is nothing but “I’m great and the Republican sucks.” I’m not sure that kind of a whizzing contest is going to generate the sort of turnout Democrats are going to need to win in November.

    Rachel Maddow recently brought up that voter turnout on the Democratic side in Iowa and New Hampshire was lower this year than back in 2008, suggesting that weakens Sanders’ claim that he can boost turnout in order to win. But where is Hillary’s role in this? What does it say about her ability to get Democrats to the polls that she tied Bernie in Iowa and got blown out in New Hampshire?

    Mike

  21. Joe Gage says:

    i like that Hillary consults with Kissinger. The guy is not perfect, but very few people alive have the experience and understanding of geopolitics like Kissinger has. There was a reason, Kissinger was ranked the the most effective U.S. secretary of states of the past 50 years while John Kerry was ranked dead last.

    https://politicalwire.com/2015/02/05/scholars-rank-kissinger-effective-diplomat/

  22. Modulo Myself says:

    @SKI:

    What’s Hillary Clinton’s worldview, exactly?

    Overall, I don’t blame Sanders for not focusing on foreign policy. All he has to do is hammer on Iraq and what a compromised person Clinton is. He’s a smart politician and she’s changing her story every second.

    The same goes for the general election. Unless the main architects of the Iraq war and all of its supporters who still are out there giving advice decide to take vows of silence and invisibility, foreign policy is a dead zone. There’s fear and malice and there’s revulsion at stupidity. The Republican candidate should be boasting about how awesome torture and war crimes are, and the Dem should be talking about bad policy ideas.

  23. EddieInCA says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    What’s Hillary Clinton’s worldview, exactly?

    Have you asked the same question of yourself in regards to Bernie Sanders? Does he even have a view of the world outside of the USA?

    Not intended snarkily, but I’m looking for specifics from Bernie – on ANYTHING.

  24. Jc says:

    HRC is Mitt Romney of the Dem party for 2016. The most electable candidate but not loved by her party or supporters. That said, I have to agree – Sanders ideas are not realistic, and if he was elected, have zero chance of even partially being realized. Same on the GOP side. I think as more drop out, Bush will move up in line with Cruz and in the end is likely to surprise people. I mean, lets get real here?

  25. Tillman says:

    @SKI:

    You can’t just wave away that distinction. It is critical. It is the reason he doesn’t have a foreign policy worldview. No foreign policy worldview => no foreign policy advisors.

    So if I understand your logic correctly, because he didn’t form relationships with foreign policy experts as a legislator, he has no foreign policy worldview with which to form relationships with foreign policy experts in a presidential campaign? Aside from the circularity there, this ignores the fact that he has a record of statements on foreign policy made throughout his career in Congress. Clearly, there’s something more to it than just lacking a “foreign policy worldview.”

    Not because of some nefarious plot by Clinton but because Sanders doesn’t care about foreign policy.

    Are you arguing with strawmen here? I didn’t allege a nefarious plot by Clinton. It’s basic social sorting: as an independent, Sanders is an outsider both to the FP community and the Democratic Party. If anything, the Clintons’ long memory (hardly unique to them) would reinforce this sorting.

  26. SKI says:

    @Modulo Myself: Sorry but the mindset that “well, I think I can gtet elected without having to worry about an actual policy” is a nightmare for anyone that actually cares about governance – and suggests a deep level of unseriousness that should be disqualifying.

    To be elected, candidates need to explain why they are a plausible choice for the job – not just that the other person has problems.

    If Sanders actually thinks he can get elected without being able to coherently answer questions about his worldview, he is really mistaken.

    Also, if you don’t know Clinton’s foreign policy worldview, wheteher or not you agree with it, you simply aren’t paying attention. She has published a book (Hard Choices), given speeches (example), and has had numerous outside analysis of her positions published.

  27. MikeSJ says:

    I wish Bernie would be asked how he’d get his single payer passed. As in provide details how he’d move it through congress. Ask him about the committees and the chairmen of each and how he’d sell them on it. What is he going to do to persuade Paul Ryan for example?

    Obama barely squeaked by with a Republican born conservative health insurance plan already implemented by Romney in Massachusetts. Now people believe Bernie is going to get single payer passed somehow?

    Don’t even get me started on the Free College “plan” of his. I say this as a Democrat who likes Bernie and thinks he’s doing a lot of good being in the race. More than anything he puts to bed the idea that all politicians are crooks, looking out for the lobbyists with the most cash to spend.

    Good for him. But don’t think for one minute any of his plans have a snowballs chance in hell of ever passing.

  28. Modulo Myself says:

    @EddieInCA:

    His worldview is pretty clear to me. American democracy is not compatible with wealth, which has no desire for democracy. And American foreign policy is conducted in the interest of the state, rather than the people.

  29. Pch101 says:

    Sanders is setting himself up well as a viable contender for VP who can provides progressives with a seat at the table. As a presidential candidate, not so much.

    Progressives need to figure this out, lest they devolve into a patchouli-scented variant of the Tea Party that loves to hear itself talk and pretend that it’s a majority as it tilts at windmills and accomplishes nothing.

  30. SKI says:

    @Tillman:

    So if I understand your logic correctly, because he didn’t form relationships with foreign policy experts as a legislator, he has no foreign policy worldview with which to form relationships with foreign policy experts in a presidential campaign?

    No, that isn’t what I said.

    I said he doesn’t care about foreign policy in a significant way. I based that conclusion on (a) his obvious distaste in actually answering questions about FP and (b) his trouble with providing coherent answers to specific questions. He isn’t a complete buffoon like Carson or Trump but he has consistently failed to impress or demonstrate command of the issues. And that his lack of caring meant that he doesn’t have a pool of foreign policy experts he can cite as advisors.

    My comment above was in response to the risible claim that the reason Sanders doesn’t have a foreign policy team is that Clinton snatched them all up. That doesn’t pass the smell test with me.

    While I appreciate Mr. Korb’s vouching for Sanders, it doesn’t wave away why Sanders himself can’t answer or why Sanders doesn’t have a FP team. Has there ever been a serious candidate who, at this point, didn’t have someone in their campaign advising them? Why doesn’t Sanders?

  31. charon says:

    @SKI:

    The upcoming primaries and caucuses are closed (though I think NV allows same-day registration).

    I just checked, almost all the big states on March 1 are open.

  32. Modulo Myself says:

    Sorry but the mindset that “well, I think I can gtet elected without having to worry about an actual policy” is a nightmare for anyone that actually cares about governance – and suggests a deep level of unseriousness that should be disqualifying.

    Except that Bernie Sanders isn’t an unserious person. He’s spent his life caring about governance. Whereas Hillary Clinton has spent her political life caring about being president.

  33. SKI says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    His worldview is pretty clear to me. American democracy is not compatible with wealth, which has no desire for democracy. And American foreign policy is conducted in the interest of the state, rather than the people.

    That doesn’t make any sense as a foreign policy worldview. How does it tell me, the educated voter, what he will do or not do in particular situations?

    Also, how are you differentiating the “state” from the “people” in a representative democracy?

  34. Jeremy R says:

    @bookdragon:

    both are bringing up the points that the eventual candidate will almost certainly get thrown at them from a GOP opponent

    IMO the GOP case against Sanders is far more likely to be wall to wall red-baiting. In a Democratic party primary it’s tough for his opponent to point out just how devastating that will likely be (without sounding like they’re endorsing the attacks). I imagine the ads and talking-points will almost write themselves:

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/the-25-best-things-we-learned-bernie-sanders-book

    Sanders […] wrote, produced, and sold “radical film strips” and other education materials to schools about people like Eugene Debs.

    Sanders still has a portrait of Debs on the wall of his Senate office, and calls him a “hero of mine.” Debs founded the American Socialist Party and ran for president six times, unsuccessfully. Sanders wrote and produced a documentary about the socialist and fought to get it aired on Vermont’s PBS station.

    He had a socialism-inspired softball team […] called the “People’s Republic of Burlington” and won against “the business community.”

    As mayor, Sanders attracted national attention and controversy for supporting the socialist Sandinista government in Nicaragua, which was fighting a proxy war with the United States under Ronald Reagan.

    In 1985, he became the highest-ranking American official to visit Nicaragua at the time, and met with President Daniel Ortega. In his book, he called the trip “profoundly emotional” and praised Ortega. Burlington and Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, became sister cities.

    He also visited Cuba with Jane in 1989 and tried to meet with Fidel Castro, but it didn’t work out and he met with the mayor of Havana and other officials instead.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/19/bernie-sanders-profile-democrat-presidential-candidate

    When Sanders was mayor, Burlington formed an alliance with another city – in the Soviet Union. When Sanders traveled to Yaroslavl, 160 miles north-east of Moscow, in 1988, the trip doubled as a honeymoon with his new wife, Jane. Not much survived in terms of paperwork from that trip, although the mayoral archives do contain a tape recording of Sanders interviewing Yaroslavl’s mayor on a boat somewhere on the Volga river.

    After receiving a rundown of central planning, Soviet-style, from Yaroslavl’s mayor, Alexander Riabkov, Sanders notes how the quality of both housing and healthcare in America appeared to be “significantly better” than in the communist state. “However,” he added, “the cost of both services is much, much, higher in the United States.”

  35. SKI says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Except that Bernie Sanders isn’t an unserious person. He’s spent his life caring about governance.

    No, he spent his life caring about income inequality. If he cared about ALL aspects of being POTUS, he would be able to articulate a coherent answer to specific foreign policy questions.

    Whereas Hillary Clinton has spent her political life caring about being president.

    Reality, particularly her work during the years and years when it was literally unthinkable that a woman could be elected in her lifetime indicate that you are factually wrong.

  36. Guarneri says:

    Hillary lecturing Sanders about leveling with the people. Sanders lack of foreign policy experience vs Hillary’s incompetence in Libya and outing US agents on her hack-o-rama home brewed server.

    It’s high comedy. Apparently her highest and best use, to, um, level with you, is trading cattle futures and dodging sniper fire.

  37. charon says:

    @charon:

    You all can check for yourselves here:

    http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P16/ccad.phtml

  38. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jeremy R:
    The red-baiting could be a problem. But I don’t see it as a huge one. Eugene Debs or Daniel Ortega will become like Alinsky and Ayers, the subjects of chain emails sent from senior citizen and senior citizen, and indecipherable complaint to everybody else. Smearing Sanders on this requires the distribution of too much information, most of it arcane.

    Anyway, Hillary Clinton is in no better of a position. It’s clear to me that she won’t be prosecuted for this stupid email thing, but she’s going to get smeared anyway by dozens of named and unnamed intelligence community Republicans for having exposed vital secrets and using her power to evade punishment. This is the kind of thing the media will push, because they have friends who will smear endlessly, and it’s easy as hell.

  39. Pch101 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    The red-baiting could be a problem. But I don’t see it as a huge one.

    Sanders insists that he is a socialist (which is odd, given that he is a social democrat and not a socialist), which sets him up for being the next George McGovern, i.e. the candidate embraced by the youth vote that doesn’t show up while their parents and grandparents go to the ballot box to defend themselves from communism.

    There is a reason why the GOP is praying that Sanders does well here, and it isn’t because they love social programs.

  40. Modulo Myself says:

    @Pch101:

    Fairly certain that Sanders would be happy to point out that the parents voted for Nixon and got nothing out of it.

    More importantly, this is not 1972. There are no riots, no burning campuses, no sense that the people fighting the war were getting screwed by the rich protesters. There’s no silent majority. The people who have it together are the young. Who looks more presentable–a young Bernie Sanders voter or some out-of-shape putz yelling about Mexicans at a rally for a reality-tv star? Hillary Clinton’s supporters are happy to point out that she’s limited in her authenticity because she’ s a woman. Fine–I agree. But it’s a concession that Sanders has the real authenticity.

  41. Moosebreath says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    “The red-baiting could be a problem. But I don’t see it as a huge one. Eugene Debs or Daniel Ortega will become like Alinsky and Ayers, the subjects of chain emails sent from senior citizen and senior citizen, and indecipherable complaint to everybody else. Smearing Sanders on this requires the distribution of too much information, most of it arcane.”

    The difference is that there was no direct connection between Obama and Alinsky, and a very attenuated one with Ayres. Obama did not mention either of them himself, and could very plausibly deny either affected his worldview. That is not true with Sanders, who as noted above supported Ortega and praised Debs.

    @Pch101:

    “Sanders insists that he is a socialist (which is odd, given that he is a social democrat and not a socialist), which sets him up for being the next George McGovern, i.e. the candidate embraced by the youth vote that doesn’t show up while their parents and grandparents go to the ballot box to defend themselves from communism.”

    He also calls for a revolution in nearly every paragraph of every speech. And, as noted above, he readily embraces as his heroes real life socialists.

  42. SKI says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    The red-baiting could be a problem. But I don’t see it as a huge one. Eugene Debs or Daniel Ortega will become like Alinsky and Ayers, the subjects of chain emails sent from senior citizen and senior citizen, and indecipherable complaint to everybody else. Smearing Sanders on this requires the distribution of too much information, most of it arcane.

    I think you hand-wave away too much. Sanders won’t deny or repudiate Debs the way Obama did with Ayers and there is an actual connection unlike Alinsky. It won’t require indechipherable comments and furtive chain emails because it will be discussed and the media will treat it as an actual story and explain the implications. Sanders will have to, the way Obama did with Ayers, stand up and explain the relationship and connection – and he won’t be willing to repudiate the core message that is associated with Debs or Ortega because he actually does share it. Those asserted connections didn’t sink Obama because there wasn’t actually a connection – and the media knew it. Sanders won’t have the same treatment because it isn’t the same facts.

    It isn’t just Senior Citizens who will be distrustful of a candidate with those connections.

  43. Pch101 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Stalin was an authentic Marxist-Leninist, Hitler was an authentic Nazi and Charles Manson was an authentic criminal. Authenticity isn’t necessarily a selling point, particularly when it’s for something that Americans dislike. A Muslim presidential candidate would have better odds than a socialist.

  44. MBunge says:

    Why does anyone think being a socialist is more of a negative when running for President than being a woman?

    Mike

  45. MikeSJ says:

    @Modulo Myself:
    The red-baiting could be a problem. But I don’t see it as a huge one. Eugene Debs or Daniel Ortega will become like Alinsky and Ayers, the subjects of chain emails sent from senior citizen and senior citizen, and indecipherable complaint to everybody else. Smearing Sanders on this requires the distribution of too much information, most of it arcane.

    How’s this for arcane: Ominous voice-over. A blurry black and white picture of Stalin in front of a crowd…look, this man to the right, now look behind him…we think it’s a young Bernie! He denies it of course but who can trust a Commie?

    Another blurry photo of Chairman Mao. Look! There’s a youngish white guy over there…is that Bernie? We can’t be sure but experts have confirmed that it could be him….

    Here’s a photo of Fidel…look at the guy over here with the beard…is that Bernie? It’s bad enough that he’s a commie but why does he hate America so much?

    They’ll be showing clips of blacks rioting and looting while stating Bernie has promised reparations to blacks. See a clip of a child soldier in Nigeria – this is who Bernie wants to replace your police with!

    Sounds ridiculous you say? Remember these are the same people that pushed the birther crap for years. Nothing is too ridiculous or outlandish anymore. Don’t count on the press to push back in the slightest.

    Obviously none of this is true but the saying a lie will get around the world while the truth is still putting it’s pants on exists for a reason. Think what a professional liar like Luntz can cook up with some Koch mega dollars to spend. It won’t be pretty.

    Bernie will bet beaten like a rented mule if he’s nominated.

  46. Pch101 says:

    Per Gallup: “In U.S., Socialist Presidential Candidates Least Appealing”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/183713/socialist-presidential-candidates-least-appealing.aspx

    Young people don’t mind, but the 50+ crowd is particularly hostile toward the idea. Guess which of those groups is most likely to show up on Election Day?

  47. Moosebreath says:

    @MBunge:

    “Why does anyone think being a socialist is more of a negative when running for President than being a woman?”

    Because it’s actually been polled:

    “As the 2016 presidential election field takes shape, more than nine in 10 Americans say they would vote for a qualified presidential candidate who is Catholic, a woman, black, Hispanic or Jewish. Less than half of Americans would vote for a candidate who is a socialist.”

  48. Moosebreath says:

    Sorry for repeating the substance of Pch101’s comment.

  49. Modulo Myself says:

    @MikeSJ:

    I think it sounds fantastic! The birther crap was pure kitsch and completely backfired. That ad is even more hysterical. It would be a joke in four seconds and disowned in twelve. Especially if this comes from people who want you to vote for Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

    And overall–I think there’s a sizable number of people on the left who are ready to gamble. The right is so psychotic and shriveled that they probably are busy hiring you to write copy for them at this moment.

    So by all means, let’s talk about Daniel Ortega, whose revolutionary government held elections while anti-government death squads sponsored (illegally) by America killed and tortured peasants. When Ortega lost his election, he stepped down, just like Stalin, if I recall.

  50. Modulo Myself says:

    @Moosebreath:

    But are they going to vote for a Replicant like Ted Cruz or a Reptilian like Donald Trump?

  51. Pch101 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    But are they going to vote for a Replicant like Ted Cruz or a Reptilian like Donald Trump?

    In a two-horse race, yes.

  52. MikeSJ says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I applaud your optimism. I suspect you think people are for the most part informed and willing to act in the interests of the country as a whole.

    I think most people are morons. Gullible morons at that. They are willing to vote against their own interests if the right buttons are pushed.

    Lets cut taxes on the rich! Even if they aren’t rich. Even if it hurts them and their communities.
    Lets get rid of Obama Care! & Government health care is evil! Even when they are covered via Medicaid expansion or using Medicare.

    I hope you are more correct than me but Republicans control the Senate, Congress and the majority of Governorships due to their ability to “gull” the gullible. It’s a skill they are very good at.

  53. Grumpy Realist says:

    I’m a Bernie supporter, but I’m pretty resigned to his effect as pulling Hillary further to the left, and resigned to voting for Hillary.

    If I’m in a real “let’s burn down the place” mood, will vote for Trump.

  54. Mikey says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    I’m a Bernie supporter, but I’m pretty resigned to his effect as pulling Hillary further to the left, and resigned to voting for Hillary.

    Same here. I think Sanders’ brand of social democracy…er, “democratic socialism” would do a lot to bring America fully into the modern civilized world, but I have no illusions the majority of Americans actually want to live there.

    FWIW I think Sanders himself probably sees it the way you and I do, he doesn’t expect to get the nomination but right now he has much greater exposure and reach than he has ever had, and he’s going to use it to the utmost.

    If I’m in a real “let’s burn down the place” mood, will vote for Trump.

    Never. In the unlikely event he were to win, I would not want to have even a single vote’s worth of responsibility for the inevitable horrors a Trump presidency would produce.

  55. Modulo Myself says:

    @Grumpy Realist: @Mikey:

    I don’t think Sanders started off thinking he had a chance, but he’s probably considering it a possibility now. He just pulled even, allegedly, in a poll in Nevada.

  56. MBunge says:

    @Moosebreath:

    From the January 14th edition of The Hill.

    “A new national poll by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News found that 65 percent of Republican primary voters could see themselves backing Donald Trump for president in 2016.

    That figure was at 23 percent when the poll asked the same question in March.”

    Whatever happened to the liberal obsession with the Overton Window? Why does it only seem to matter when it comes to criticizing Obama?

    Mike

  57. Moosebreath says:

    @MBunge:

    I am trying to find a connection between what I posted on the survey saying less than half the public would vote for a socialist and what you posted in response to it, and am totally failing. Care to enlighten me?

  58. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I’d be cautious about a poll released by the Washington Free Beacon which doesn’t link to the actual poll results.

  59. KM says:

    @MBunge:

    Why does anyone think being a socialist is more of a negative when running for President than being a woman?

    Right now, Sanders is running on sheer enthusiasm and cult devotion the way Trump is. People like him because he’s Bernie, not because of his beliefs. When it comes time to convince the other side of the aisle he’s worth voting for, Sanders is in a world of trouble.

    “Socialist” is a dirty slur in Americans’ psyches “woman” can’t match due to generations of propaganda, attack ads and mud-slinging. “Woman” has some positive base stereotypes a voter can think of (Mom and Apple Pie!!) while “socialist” can conjure up nothing good. There’s been no movement (Internet, social or otherwise) to reclaim the idea of socialism from the ubiquitously sneered “Commie” the same way there’s been to take feminism away from the “FemiNazi” accusation. “Pinko Commie liberal” has cache decades later with a larger segment of the population that you might think, even those that might be amenable to Bernie or his ideas personally. For god’s sake, “hippie” is still a political trope nearly half a century after the last hippie peaced out for the suburban life!

    Sexism is going to hurt Hillary (she can’t change what who she is) but socialism is going to drag Sanders down to the dust (he enthusiastically embraces it). I’d love for him to be VP but he’s not going to get enough people to vote for him for President. Betting on the young and the enamored once again save the day is a risky move when picking someone very likely to turn off the elderly and the traditionalist.

  60. Tony W says:

    @humanoid.panda: Hillary is nothing like a media darling, but apparently the establishment is scared by Bernie – so much so that CNN spent about 2 hours last night spinning for Hillary after the debate.

  61. dmichael says:

    Many of the comments here appear to criticize Sanders because he won’t be able to get enacted legislation that would carry out his policies. There is no distinction between Sanders and Clinton on that basis because unless the Republicans completely change from total obstruction, neither would succeed. In addition, neither will be treated with respect in a general election. Both will be savaged by Republicans and their operatives. The Democrats will have either a septuagenarian socialist or a woman. Republicans hate the Clintons and will mock Sanders as a doddering old fool.

  62. SKI says:

    @Tony W:

    Hillary is nothing like a media darling, but apparently the establishment is scared by Bernie – so much so that CNN spent about 2 hours last night spinning for Hillary after the debate

    Because it is impossible to imagine that they liked her performance in last night’s debate better? I’ve seen a ton of analysis from a wide spectrum of commentators and the best I saw for Sanders was Mark Halperin who thought it was a draw and gave then both “B”s.

  63. David M says:

    @dmichael:

    Many of the comments here appear to criticize Sanders because he won’t be able to get enacted legislation that would carry out his policies. There is no distinction between Sanders and Clinton on that basis because unless the Republicans completely change from total obstruction, neither would succeed.

    But only one of them is talking about passing Medicare for All, free college and pony. And their supporters are saying Obama didn’t deliver enough. It’s nonsensical.

  64. KM says:

    @dmichael:

    Republicans hate the Clintons and will mock Sanders as a doddering old fool.

    Trump is only 5 years younger then Sanders. Botox and a rug do wonders, I hear……

  65. jukeboxgrad says:

    The following are general election matchups listed at RCP:

    Trump vs. Clinton – Clinton +4.7
    Trump vs. Sanders – Sanders +9.7

    Cruz vs. Clinton – Cruz +0.2
    Cruz vs. Sanders – Sanders +3.0

    Rubio vs. Clinton – Rubio +4.2
    Rubio vs. Sanders – Rubio +1.0

    If Hillary is supposedly so much more electable than Bernie, why is he consistently ahead of her in these matchups?

  66. MBunge says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Poll results change, sometimes quite dramatically in very short periods of time. People who use poll numbers as an excuse not to do something often don’t actually care about the numbers, they just don’t want to do it and any excuse will do.

    Mike

  67. charon says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    It was a push poll, run by Republicans

    http://www.targetpointconsulting.com/pages/clients

  68. Pch101 says:

    @dmichael:

    The main concern is that Sanders will motivate older and more centrist-to-conservative Dems (labor, Blue Dogs, etc.) and swing voters to either stay home or else vote Republican. Combined with his lack of outreach to blacks, and that’s a problem for the Democratic party.

    There are a lot of traditional Democratic constituencies who won’t vote for a self-proclaimed socialist. Meanwhile, progressives may be vocal but there aren’t nearly enough of them to win an election or to offset defections to their right.

    Clinton may not be well loved or be an ideal candidate, but at least she won’t alienate nearly as many voters.

  69. KM says:

    @jukeboxgrad :

    If Hillary is supposedly so much more electable than Bernie, why is he consistently ahead of her in these matchups?

    Dive deeper…..

    Cruz vs. Clinton – Cruz +0.2 – has Fox News in the poll to skew it, 4 polls
    – PPP (D) Clinton +2
    – NBC News/Wall St. Jrn Clinton +4

    Cruz vs. Sanders – Sanders +3.0 – no Fox News but only two polls
    – Quinnipiac Sanders +4
    – PPP (D) Sanders +2

    That’s looks like a pretty even matchup when you break it down. +2 and +4 so no Sanders isn’t as consistently ahead as you posit. Get a rating on Cruz vs Sanders from Fox in there and then we can talk….

  70. David M says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    General election polling isn’t remotely reliable at this point. You should know better.

  71. Tyrell says:

    Sanders comments about the “overpolicing” of certain areas is not going to help. He might have been pandering to the BLM people.
    Areas that have “overpolicing” tend to be “over ganged”, “over drug dealered”, and “over robbed”. The business owners and law abiding citizens are probably glad to see some “over policing “.

  72. Moosebreath says:

    @MBunge:

    “Poll results change, sometimes quite dramatically in very short periods of time.”

    They can. Do you have any evidence that they have in this case?

    “People who use poll numbers as an excuse not to do something often don’t actually care about the numbers, they just don’t want to do it and any excuse will do.”

    And people who rely solely on the fact that poll numbers can change in their direction also often don’t care about the numbers, they just are hoping that things will move in their direction. As the old saying goes, hope is not a plan.

  73. Moosebreath says:

    And while I don’t put much stock in YouGov, their poll results suggest that there has not been much change in the past months:

    “Nearly half (48%) of all Americans have an unfavorable opinion of socialism, the poll finds. This is essentially unchanged from a survey conducted in May 2015, when 51% expressed negative feeling about the ideology. 29% now hold a favorable opinion of socialism, up only slightly from 26% over the same period.”

  74. jukeboxgrad says:

    KM:

    no Fox News but only two polls

    You’re right that there isn’t much recent data on Sanders vs Cruz, so maybe it’s a stretch to say Sanders is stronger than Clinton in that matchup. But it’s not a stretch to say it looks like a tie. As you said:

    That’s looks like a pretty even matchup when you break it down.

    And that’s my point. If Bernie is really so unelectable (compared with Hillary), these results should not show “a pretty even matchup.”

    David M:

    General election polling isn’t remotely reliable at this point.

    Yes, it’s not a good idea to look at the polls I cited and use them to make a bet about what’s going to happen on election day, because a lot is going to happen between now and election day. But these polls do tell you something about what voters are thinking right now. Right now, all that most people know about Bernie is that he’s some kind of a socialist. Nevertheless, he beats Trump and Cruz, and does as well as Hillary does against them, if not better. We would not be seeing these results if the word ‘socialist’ was as toxic as some people here are claiming.

    And I agree that ‘socialist’ is a problem, but the other relevant players (Clinton, Trump and Cruz, in my opinion) seem to have problems that are even bigger. And that’s what matters.

  75. gVOR08 says:

    The GOPs and their radio talkers have been calling Obama a socialist all along, although he’s so moderate and centrist he squeaks. That’s gotta take some of the edge off. People may not vote for a socialist, but Bernie isn’t one, really. Will they actually believe the charge he’s a socialist from Chicken Littles who’ve been calling everybody left of Ronald Reagan a socialist for years?

  76. Pch101 says:

    @gVOR08:

    The difference between Sanders and Democrats such as Obama is that Sanders has said previously and will continue to claim that he is a socialist. It won’t just be an accusation.

    Sanders’ pride will be used against him. Instead of easing off of the socialism claims, he’s going to play into their hands by doubling down on them.

  77. Pch101 says:

    Jukebox –

    The GOP hasn’t yet attacked Sanders with any vigor (in part because he isn’t the presumptive nominee, and in part because they would prefer that he defied the odds and became the nominee).

    Clinton hasn’t run much of a campaign against the GOP because she does not yet know against whom she will be running. In contrast, the GOP has been campaigning against her. So we don’t really know what the messaging will look like or how effective Clinton’s post-primary campaign will be.

    The polling won’t mean much until each side has one nominee left standing. The enthusiasm of a few rah-rah supporters on either side at this stage of the game cannot be expected to reflect the overall electorate, many of whom may have a general leaning but ultimately don’t care all that much.

  78. Tyrell says:

    Hillary has to be careful not to try to out left Bernie, or she will find herself way out in the left field foul section; all alone.
    She needs to stay in theiddle.

  79. Tony W says:

    @Tyrell: Spoken just like an old white guy

  80. jukeboxgrad says:

    gVOR08:

    The GOPs and their radio talkers have been calling Obama a socialist all along

    This is a very good point. The right has been crying wolf with that word, with the result that the word is devalued.

    Pch101:

    The difference between Sanders and Democrats such as Obama is that Sanders has said previously and will continue to claim that he is a socialist. It won’t just be an accusation.

    The label is an abstraction, and it has negative power by itself, when it’s not attached to a person. But once you attach it a person, the person matters more than the label, and you either like that person or you don’t.

    Trump is proving this. He smashes the normal concept of ‘Republican’ and ‘conservative’ in various important ways, but he’s winning because personality and attitude matter more than abstract ideological labels.

    Certain personality traits that make Trump likable are also present with Sanders, and I think this traces back to the fact that they are both New Yorkers, in a deep way. A professor of linguistics has made some brilliant observations about this:

    How a New York Accent Can Help You Get Ahead … Their partisans may be loath to admit it, but Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump do in fact share some common ground. There is of course their upstart, outsider image. Then they share a posture of forthrightness and candor. A third similarity is how they talk. Not what they say, but how they sound: Like they’re from New York. Other politicians with no hint of New York in their speech, such as Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, would likely love to have “telling it like it is” as part of their brand. Only Chris Christie seems to even come close. See a pattern? …

    The New York identity, in the case of a speaker like Mr. Trump or Mr. Sanders, in turn links to stereotypes of New Yorkers that exist in the culture, such as being frank and combative in speech. These qualities are not suggested by Mrs. Clinton’s Chicago-lite vowels and Jeb Bush’s muddle of rich Eastern Texas transplant via New England preppy. Any efforts on their part to claim forthrightness and outsider status therefore become harder to pull off because they go against type.

    … in an age where trust in politicians is at a minimum, it is not hard to see the attraction of that blunt aspect of the New York image. It’s a quality that can be profoundly appealing.

    There are fascinating parallels between Trump and Sanders. They both fit the moment. Trump was badly underestimated. Now Sanders is being underestimated.

    One more thing about New York: in a battle of cultures, Brooklyn wins over Queens. Queens wishes it was half as cool as Brooklyn, half as tough. In a battle between a guy from a Brooklyn and a guy from Queens, everyone knows who has the advantage. I’m not joking. These cultural stereotypes matter.

  81. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @MBunge: Because in this case, the woman in question is still, in the dark night of her soul, a country-club republican and staunch supporter of corporate America. I don’t happen to hate corporate America as much as others on this site seem to, but anyone who imagines that Hillary is to the left of anything that passes for the center in the fever swamps of the Tea Party is kidding themselves. The only reason that she passes muster as liberal is because we’re living in a time where the Republican Congress person from San Diego noted a few years back that the GOP would no longer nominate a RINO like Ronald Reagan.

  82. Pch101 says:

    Jukebox –

    Trump is proving this. He smashes the normal concept of ‘Republican’ and ‘conservative’ in various important ways, but he’s winning because personality and attitude matter more than abstract ideological labels.

    Trump is proving that xenophobia sells, which has been alive and well in the US since we passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. Which is to say that Trump hasn’t proven anything — attacking foreigners and minorities is old school.

    Bernie Sanders is an ideal candidate for being Willie Hortoned, when he could use a Sister Souljah moment instead. You wrongly presume that everyone has formed an opinion of him when many people don’t even know who he is — not everyone is caught in the political bubble and following this with the kind of intensity that one finds on a political blog.

    Progressives are just as naive and dazzled by their own BS as the Tea Party, except the Tea Party benefits from the US checks-and-balances system that makes change difficult by design. In contrast, progressive politics are defined by change, which invariably requires compromises that they don’t want to make.

  83. Andre Kenji says:

    In some sense, Sanders is the “Generic Democrat”, not so different from the classic “generic Republican”. The fact that a “Generic Republican” would poll better than the real Republican candidates would show the weakness of these candidates.

    The fact that Hillary is having hard time dealing with Sanders is a horrible sign for her White House run. But that does not make Sanders “electable”.

  84. Andre Kenji says:

    @Pch101:

    Trump is proving that xenophobia sells,

    The best explanation for Trump was Trevor Noah´s sketch that compared Trump to African Presidents. Trump is the classic right wing demagogue.

  85. MBunge says:

    @Moosebreath:

    It’s great that you were actually able to understand the point I was making after I had to explain it to you a second time. Let’s see if we can make any more progress.

    The Gallup poll you referenced, as best I can tell, never asked the question of would you vote for a socialist for President before this election cycle. The other only deals with a general attitude toward socialism. Do I disagree with their implications? Not really. I’m sure the socialist label would be a problem in the general election for Sanders but most likely not as big a problem as you imply. After all, if we follow your logic as to the significance of that Gallup poll we would have to conclude that racism and sexism is nearly extinct in the American public.

    Is that what you believe?

    And the percentage of the public who will never vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s Hillary Clinton likely isn’t that far behind the “never vote for a socialist” bloc, while being even more resistant to persuasion.

    My record as a prognosticator is nothing to write home about, so I won’t hazard a guess at what might happen in November. If Hillary gets the nomination and loses, however, no one should try to claim there weren’t clear signs of trouble early on.

    Mike

  86. Tyrell says:

    “The kind of criticism that we have heard from Senator Sanders about our president”: indeed. Hillary and Sanders both would be wise to distance themselves completely from the failed policies of the Obama administration.

  87. Moosebreath says:

    @MBunge:

    “It’s great that you were actually able to understand the point I was making after I had to explain it to you a second time”

    No, actually I understood it after you explained it once and projected word salad once before that. But go on and continue to think you are a model of clarity and vision.

    “After all, if we follow your logic as to the significance of that Gallup poll we would have to conclude that racism and sexism is nearly extinct in the American public.”

    No, however we would have to conclude that people are willing to vote for people of both sexes and of all races if they believe the candidate stood for what they do, which is not the same as being free from racism or sexism. Since nearly all people have pulled the lever in the voting booth for persons of both sexes, and likely a smaller but still significant majority have of candidates of multiple races as well, it actually has the virtue of being plausible.

    “And the percentage of the public who will never vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s Hillary Clinton likely isn’t that far behind the “never vote for a socialist” bloc, while being even more resistant to persuasion.”

    Since the portion of the public who will never vote for Hillary Clinton are primarily Republicans and Republican leaning independents, likely few votes actually up for grabs are lost by nominating her, whereas the same does not hold true of people willing to vote for a socialist (see the same Gallup poll as above, where only 59% of Democrats would vote for a socialist).

    “If Hillary gets the nomination and loses…”

    I’d say the chance that Hillary gets the nomination and loses is significant. I’d also say that the chance that Sanders gets the nomination and loses in a massive landslide which takes down dozens of other Democratic candidates is far greater. And you seem willfully blind to the latter possibility.

  88. Pch101 says:

    @MBunge:

    It’s great that you were actually able to understand the point I was making after I had to explain it to you a second time.

    To be blunt, your point wasn’t particularly insightful on either occasion.

    After all, if we follow your logic as to the significance of that Gallup poll we would have to conclude that racism and sexism is nearly extinct in the American public. Is that what you believe?

    Racism and sexism are now frowned upon, so there will be invariably be some survey respondents who will attempt to conceal those sentiments from a pollster.

    Socialists do not belong to a protected class, and there is no stigma attached to attacking socialism. On the contrary, Americans love to trash socialism, even if they don’t quite know what it means. Accordingly, the survey responses to that particular question should be more accurate, since there is less motivation to lie. See the difference?

  89. CB says:

    CB’s prognostication:

    We are so screwed, you guys. I’m seriously.

  90. MBunge says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Why is it so hard for people to just admit “I like X.” People are so insecure about having a preference. Like in this situation. It can’t simply be that you like Hillary. No, there has to be something fundamentally, massively, unfixably wrong with Sanders that makes Hillary the only choice. That’s so you can pretend you’re not a guy with an opinion, but that you’re smarter than others who can’t perceive “the reality of the situation.”

    Mike

  91. MBunge says:

    @Pch101: the survey responses to that particular question should be more accurate, since there is less motivation to lie.

    There is also more opportunity for education. Those negative attitudes exist in large part because people have never heard a positive defense of socialism. That’s where the Trump example, which I don’t think you understand quite as well as you think you do, comes in.

    If Sanders were the nominee, the entire Democratic Party and the whole liberal movement would immediately become devoted to explaining, defending and justifying socialism. They would have to for their own sakes. And millions of voters who don’t like whomever the GOP offers up would naturally become more receptive to that persuasion. If merely being exposed to Trump and the real chance he could win can so decisively change the minds of Republican voters, why couldn’t something similar happen with Sanders?

    Enough for him to win? Possibly not, but it is amusing to see Clinton supporters proclaim Bernie would be an electoral disaster when…

    A. Hillary is having so much trouble beating him, and…
    B. Bill Clinton never got 50% when he was running for President and not only presided over the annihilation of the Democratic Party at almost every level of government but actively spent a good portion of his time in office screwing over Democrats for his own political benefit. I swear, it’s like Stockholm Syndrome with some people.

    Mike

  92. Moosebreath says:

    @MBunge:

    Returning for another helping of word salad I see.

    “Why is it so hard for people to just admit “I like X.” People are so insecure about having a preference.”

    It’s not. People do it every day (and especially this weekend, given Valentine’s Day).

    “Like in this situation. It can’t simply be that you like Hillary. No, there has to be something fundamentally, massively, unfixably wrong with Sanders that makes Hillary the only choice. That’s so you can pretend you’re not a guy with an opinion, but that you’re smarter than others who can’t perceive “the reality of the situation.””

    Actually, I don’t particularly like Hillary. If there were someone else running whom I thought had a chance to win in November, I’d give them a serious look. Bernie just isn’t that guy. There really is something massively and unfixably wrong with him. Sorry if you are too blinded by your views to care about it, no matter how it is pointed out to you. You just think that wishing for a miracle will turn that weakness into a strength.

    “Bill Clinton never got 50% when he was running for President and not only presided over the annihilation of the Democratic Party at almost every level of government…”

    If you increase the percentage to 51% and change parties, the same applies to George W. Bush. If you drop the percentage and change parties, the same applies to Ronald Reagan. I believe the last time a 2 term President had a majority in either House after his second term’s mid-term was FDR, and he lost a huge number of seats in 1938.

  93. Pch101 says:

    @MBunge:

    Er, your presumption that everyone who is skeptical of Sanders’ socialism jig is a Clinton cheerleader is a lame strawman devoid of logic.

    The fact that opinion polls find more support for the idea of a Muslim presidential candidate than a socialist ought to be a wake up call.

  94. stonetools says:

    Those who think the US electorate is ready for a nuanced appreciation of “socialism” must have been living in another universe these past eight years. Here on Earth Prime, i not only think that Sanders will not only face a thoroughgoing red-baiting campaign-he will also face Jew-baiting and atheist-baiting as well. Let me expand on the last. My understanding is that Bernie is atheist-agnostic in terms of his religious bent. Now I suspect that most of the OTB community is indifferent to this-indeed, that some may even welcome an atheist President. That sensibility is assuredly not shared by most of the US electorate. I think the polls show that the US electorate would prefer even a Muslim to an atheist as President-and most would not vote for a Muslim. I think the moment Bernie becomes the nominee , you would soon see a whispering campaign that Bernie is a secret atheist-something I doubt he could convincingly deny. This, combined with his professed socialism, will likely doom him in a general election campaign.
    Now do I like any of this ? Nope. But I don’t like cancer or arthritis either, and yet they exist. The fact is that opting for Sanders as the Democratic presidential nominee would be a huge gamble, and given the stakes -the future of the ACA, the Supreme Court, the Iran nuclear deal, and much else-it’s not a gamble we should take, IMO.

  95. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pch101:

    Trump is proving that xenophobia sells

    Trumps’s xenophobia is part of the picture, but it’s definitely not the whole picture. When you hear people talk about why they like Trump, they don’t just say (in various coded forms) ‘he hates colored people just as much as I do.’ They say ‘he’s authentic.’ What is Trump’s big advantage over the people he’s beating? He seems more real. What is Sander’s big advantage over Clinton? He seems more real.

    Bernie Sanders is an ideal candidate for being Willie Hortoned

    This statement sounds like what we were hearing from Republicans a few months ago. Just a few months ago, lots of Republicans were sure that Trump would fold as soon as people saw a few ads reminding them of his history as a liberal. That didn’t work out. Why? Because once people decide they like you, they develop an endless capacity to ignore that kind of attack. And people like Trump because they think he’s real. That’s what people are looking for right now. Enthusiasm for Clinton is low because she lacks that quality. Sanders doesn’t have that problem.

    By the way, consider these elections:
    Bush – Gore
    Bush – Kerry
    Obama – Romney

    I think in each case, the winner was the person who seemed more authentic, more natural, more real. Can anyone think of an election (US president) where the loser was the person who was generally seen as more authentic? I can’t.

    By the way, I think Clinton’s problem of perceived inauthenticity would be more-or-less a non-issue if the R nominee was Cruz or Rubio, because I think they have a similar problem. But next to Trump she will seem as exciting and convincing as a cardboard cutout. She will have trouble beating Trump in much the same way they are having trouble beating Trump.

    You wrongly presume that everyone has formed an opinion of him when many people don’t even know who he is

    I have given no sign of presuming what you presume I’m presuming, which means the one making an incorrect presumption is you. All most people know about Sanders is that he’s supposedly some kind of socialist. Bernie Sanders the actual person is a lot more charming and likable than Generic Socialist. As more people get to know him, he will get stronger, and that is exactly the pattern so far.

  96. jukeboxgrad says:

    opinion polls

    It’s actually just one Gallup poll that’s been cited (unless I missed another one in this thread). Hanging your hat on that one poll over and over again is a way of inadvertently emphasizing that it’s all you have. Or maybe you have something else?

    Here’s another poll on that same subject, except this one goes into more detail. On this question:

    Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of socialism?

    The answers are as follows:

    Very or somewhat favorable: 26%
    Very unfavorable: 32%
    Somewhat unfavorable: 19%
    Not sure: 23%

    “Somewhat unfavorable” is not a strong statement. Everyone can think of something “somewhat unfavorable” about every person they have ever voted for. With 42% in either “not sure” or “somewhat unfavorable” that means there are a lot of people who are susceptible to learning something new about this subject. And on this question:

    How would you feel about a candidate for president who described themselves as a socialist?

    The answers are as follows:

    Enthusiastic or comfortable: 28%
    Would have some reservations: 36%
    Very uncomfortable: 36%

    Again, “would have some reservations” is not a strong statement. It applies to pretty much every single candidate anyone ever voted for, for any office. People in this group are potentially open to the idea.

  97. jukeboxgrad says:

    the chance that Sanders gets the nomination and loses in a massive landslide which takes down dozens of other Democratic candidates is far greater.

    I haven’t seen anyone explain how this claim is congruent with the matchup polls I cited, and I think it might be helpful to look at those polls in more detail. The below data is from here and here. What we have here are 19 separate polls from 7 different pollsters. Here’s how to read the table (sorry I didn’t bother creating an html table; maybe someone else would like to do this). After date and pollster, there are three columns, as follows:

    – how Clinton did in the matchup against the R candidate
    – how Sanders did in the matchup against the R candidate
    – a number that represents a comparison between the Clinton outcome and the Sanders outcome

    vs Trump
    2/4 Quinnipiac Clinton +5 Sanders +10 Sanders +5
    2/3 PPP Clinton +7 Sanders +4 Clinton +3
    1/13 NBC Clinton +10 Sanders +15 Sanders +5
    12/20 Quinnipiac Clinton +7 Sanders +13 Sanders +6
    12/17 PPP Clinton +3 Trump +2 Clinton +5
    11/30 Quinnipiac Clinton +6 Sanders +8 Sanders +2
    11/19 Fox Trump +5 Trump +5 Tie
    11/17 PPP Clinton +1 Trump +3 Clinton +4
    11/4 McClatchy Clinton +15 Sanders +12 Clinton +3
    11/2 Quinnipiac Clinton +3 Sanders +2 Clinton +1
    10/29 NBC Clinton +8 Sanders +9 Sanders +1
    10/17 CNN Clinton +5 Sanders +9 Sanders +4
    10/4 PPP Tie Tie Tie
    10/29 NBC Clinton +10 Sanders +16 Sanders +6
    9/21 Quinnipiac Clinton +2 Sanders +5 Sanders +3
    9/3 SUSA Trump +5 Trump +4 Sanders +1
    8/30 PPP Clinton +2 Trump +1 Clinton +1
    8/25 Quinnipiac Clinton +4 Sanders +3 Clinton +1
    7/28 Quinnipiac Clinton +12 Sanders +8 Clinton +4
    7/25 CNN Clinton +16 Sanders +21 Sanders +5
    7/21 PPP Clinton +13 Sanders +10 Clinton +3

    vs Cruz
    2/4 Quinnipiac Tie Sanders +4 Sanders +4
    2/3 PPP Clinton +2 Sanders +2 Tie
    12/20 Quinnipiac Tie Cruz +1 Clinton +1
    12/17 PPP Clinton +2 Cruz +1 Clinton +3
    11/30 Quinnipiac Clinton +5 Sanders +10 Sanders +5
    11/17 PPP Clinton +2 Cruz +5 Clinton +7
    11/4 McClatchy Clinton +10 Sanders +12 Sanders +2
    11/2 Quinnipiac Cruz +3 Cruz +1 Clinton +2

    vs Rubio
    2/4 Quinnipiac Rubio +7 Tie Sanders +7
    2/3 PPP Rubio +2 Rubio +2 Tie
    12/20 Quinnipiac Clinton +1 Rubio +3 Clinton +4
    12/17 PPP Rubio +1 Rubio +3 Clinton +2
    11/30 Quinnipiac Clinton +1 Sanders +1 Tie
    11/17 PPP Rubio +2 Rubio +6 Clinton +4
    11/4 McClatchy Clinton +5 Sanders +3 Clinton +2
    11/2 Quinnipiac Rubio +5 Rubio +6 Clinton +1
    10/29 NBC Clinton +3 Sanders +5 Sanders +2
    10/4 PPP Tie Rubio +4 Clinton +4
    8/25 Quinnipiac Clinton +1 Rubio +1 Clinton +2
    7/21 PPP Clinton +5 Rubio +5 Clinton +10

    Here’s a summary of the last column: there are 16 instances where Sanders has an advantage over Clinton, 21 instances of the reverse, and 5 instances of a tie. This summary ignores recency, and it ignores the magnitude of the advantage in each instance. If you take those two things into account, it looks like roughly a tie between Clinton and Sanders, or possibly an advantage for Sanders.

    Something else to take into account is the identity of the R candidate. For example, if the R candidate is Rubio, Clinton looks like a slightly better bet then Sanders. If the R candidate is Trump, the reverse is true. Right now it sure looks like Trump is way ahead of Rubio.

    Here’s a summary of the above data if you focus on Trump, focus on recent data (since 12/1), and take into account magnitude: Clinton’s sum (last column) is 8. Sander’s sum is 16. So if the election were held today, and the R candidate was Trump, the 5 most recent polls, in aggregate, show an advantage for Sanders.

    These results seem to indicate that the toxicity of word ‘socialist’ does not exceed the various toxicities attached to Clinton.

    opting for Sanders as the Democratic presidential nominee would be a huge gamble

    The available data seems to indicate the Clinton gamble and the Sanders gamble are roughly equal. If you think Trump will get nominated, the most recent data seems to indicate that the Clinton gamble is worse.

  98. Pch101 says:

    Jukebox –

    What is Trump’s big advantage over the people he’s beating? He seems more real.

    Trump would lose in a general election, so he has no advantage.

    The reason that pundits are surprised by Trump is because he behaves like someone who does not wish to win a general election.

  99. jukeboxgrad says:

    Trump would lose in a general election, so he has no advantage.

    He has no advantage except for the advantage he has over every other R candidate. And you’re right that he will lose in the general election, which is another reason to understand that Sanders is not much of a gamble, because Trump is the most likely R nominee.

  100. MikeSJ says:

    Polling on Sanders is useless because it doesn’t factor in the damage he’ll take from a real campaign i.e. brutal negative ads against him. Dukakis looked decent until the Republican barrage against him started.

    I’d also not be so quick to assume Trump would lose in the General Election. There are too many factors in play here – a new terrorist attack that he capitalizes on or mobilizing the huge numbers of non-voters that could surprise everyone.

    He’s been expected to lose every step of the way and yet he keeps growing in strength. I have no idea what happens next with him but I’ve learned not to expect the expected from him.

  101. Moosebreath says:

    @MikeSJ:

    “Polling on Sanders is useless because it doesn’t factor in the damage he’ll take from a real campaign i.e. brutal negative ads against him. Dukakis looked decent until the Republican barrage against him started.”

    Exactly. At this point in the campaign, to about half of the voting public, Sanders is “generic Democrat”. Moreover, Hillary is not going to go after him in the same way the Republican nominee is.

    On the other hand, Hillary is about as well known as anyone in the country, and has been the subject of attacks for decades. There is far less info which has not already been on the front pages about her.

  102. An Interested Party says:

    Can anyone think of an election (US president) where the loser was the person who was generally seen as more authentic?

    Nixon vs. McGovern…

  103. jukeboxgrad says:

    Here’s some more data regarding the Clinton/Sanders comparison, from Pew, 1/20/16. On the question:

    % of registered voters who say this candidate would make a great, good or average president

    The result is this:

    Clinton 53%
    Sanders 52%

    Clinton is ahead if you look only at great/good, but it’s essentially a tie if you combine great/good/average.

    On the question:

    % of registered voters who say this candidate would make a poor or terrible president

    The result is this:

    Clinton 44%
    Sanders 35%

    There are 9 candidates in the poll, and Clinton’s poor/terrible number is higher than anyone except Trump.

    Don’t know/Never heard of is 2% for Clinton and 12% for Sanders. I think that means there is more room for the Sanders result to improve. If members of that 12% group have a 50% likelihood of liking Sanders once they get to know him, then Sanders ends up with a great/good/average number of 58% (compared with 53 or 54% for Clinton).

    Here’s another revealing question:

    % of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters who say this candidate would make a poor or terrible president

    The result is this:

    Clinton 80%
    Sanders 60%

    Clinton will drive R turnout, because the R desire to defeat Clinton exceeds the R desire to defeat Sanders.

    How are all these results consistent with the idea that Sanders is a bigger gamble than Clinton? They’re not.

    Hillary is about as well known as anyone in the country, and has been the subject of attacks for decades.

    Yes. And the result is that 44% think she would make a poor or terrible president. This especially high number reflects her negative power to drive R turnout.

  104. Moosebreath says:

    @An Interested Party:

    ” Can anyone think of an election (US president) where the loser was the person who was generally seen as more authentic?

    Nixon vs. McGovern… ”

    Obama vs. McCain.

    Al Smith vs. Hoover (a bit old, but it may be a better comparison for Sanders vs. Trump, given the prejudice against Catholics at the time).

  105. jukeboxgrad says:

    MikeSJ:

    Polling on Sanders is useless because it doesn’t factor in the damage he’ll take from a real campaign i.e. brutal negative ads against him.

    All current polling for all candidates does not take into account the brutal negative ads that haven’t happened yet. In the general election there will be plenty of brutal negative ads on both sides, and there’s no reason to believe that this problem is worse for Sanders than it is for Clinton. The worst thing you can say about Sanders (‘he’s a socialist’) is something everyone already knows. With Clinton, the stupid email story is going to be a gift that keeps on giving.

    If someone finds evidence regarding Sanders and little boys, everything changes, but I don’t see that happening.

  106. Moosebreath says:

    @jukebox:

    “The worst thing you can say about Sanders (‘he’s a socialist’) is something everyone already knows. With Clinton, the stupid email story is going to be a gift that keeps on giving.”

    This is exactly backwards. Everyone knows about Hillary’s e-mails. Not everyone knows about Sanders and socialism.

  107. jukeboxgrad says:

    Nixon vs. McGovern

    Thank you, I think that’s a good example. I forgot about that one. I agree that Nixon was probably seen as less natural and authentic, so this is a relevant counterexample for the phenomenon I’m talking about.

    Obama vs. McCain

    This is a matter of opinion, highly subjective, but I left that one off my list because I see it as roughly a tie. That is, I think I think both Obama and McCain were generally seen as real and natural.

    Al Smith vs. Hoover

    I just don’t know enough about that one. Also, I think this question just applies in the modern era, where it’s so important to seem natural on TV. On that measure, Trump probably has a big advantage over Clinton, and possibly no advantage at all over Sanders.

    You know the old saying: ‘The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.’ I think Trump, like many politicians, is really good at faking sincerity. Sanders doesn’t have to fake it because he’s actually sincere. I think Clinton is sincere, but comes off as insincere, for reasons that are complicated, probably unfair, and unfixable.

    Not everyone knows about Sanders and socialism.

    I find that hard to accept. When people are talking about him, that word comes up routinely. For example, try searching at CNN for sanders socialist. 1200 results. Do the same thing anywhere else and you’ll also see a long list. Google those words and you get 26 million results.

  108. Pch101 says:

    Jukebox –

    Being the nominee doesn’t matter if you can’t win the election. You’re acting as if the presidential election stops at the primaries, when the primaries are just the beginning.

    That’s why the Sanders vs. Clinton primaries are essentially irrelevant. Ultimately, the election that matters most — the one on the first Tuesday in November — is a contest between Clinton and some Republican, not Sanders vs. Clinton. We don’t yet know what that Clinton vs. ____ (insert GOP name here) campaign will look like, but what we do know is that she won’t be running against Sanders.

  109. Pch101 says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Not everyone knows about Sanders and socialism.

    People who are highly politicized wrongly tend to assume that everyone else keeps up. A lot of Americans are more likely to know about Colonel Sanders than Bernie Sanders. You can bet that the GOP will be sure to tell them.

  110. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pch101:

    You’re acting as if the presidential election stops at the primaries

    You seem to not understand the polls I cited. They are not about the primaries. They ask a voter to choose between an R and a D.

    the election that matters most — the one on the first Tuesday in November — is a contest between Clinton and some Republican

    Which is why I cited numerous polls which ask the voter to choose “between Clinton and some Republican.”

    People who are highly politicized wrongly tend to assume that everyone else keeps up.

    I cited polls based on registered voters. This group is not “everyone.” This group doesn’t keep up with everything, but they keep up more than people outside this group.

  111. Pch101 says:

    You seem to not understand the polls I cited.

    I understand them, but noting that they don’t mean much until it becomes a two-horse race. The election is an abstraction at this point in time.

    This is a marathon, not a sprint. You are judging the final outcome by the performance during the first half-mile, and comparing Clinton to someone who will not be her opponent in November.

  112. jukeboxgrad says:

    they don’t mean much until it becomes a two-horse race

    The polls I cited ask voters to say what they would do in “a two-horse race.” If you know a better way to predict that behavior, I hope you’ll tell me what it is.

    comparing Clinton to someone who will not be her opponent in November

    If you know a better way to compare Clinton and Sanders, I hope you’ll tell me what it is. The data I cited is far from perfect, but it’s still better than unsupported assertions.

  113. Moosebreath says:

    @jukebox:

    ” Obama vs. McCain

    This is a matter of opinion, highly subjective, but I left that one off my list because I see it as roughly a tie. That is, I think I think both Obama and McCain were generally seen as real and natural.”

    Can I have some of what you’re smoking? Obama was generally seen (and still is today) as bloodless and unemotional to a fault, being compared to Spock. McCain on the other hand was always considered charming and relaxed in person, and that was considered one of his best qualities.

    ” Not everyone knows about Sanders and socialism.

    I find that hard to accept. When people are talking about him, that word comes up routinely. ”

    How many front page stories have been about Sanders’s socialism? Now compare that to the number of front page stories about Hillary’s e-mail (which is what you were comparing it to on level of common knowledge). It just is not in the same galaxy.

  114. MikeSJ says:

    I2072726″>jukeboxgrad:
    In the general election there will be plenty of brutal negative ads on both sides, and there’s no reason to believe that this problem is worse for Sanders than it is for Clinton.

    This is the million dollar question re. Bernie. I think Hillary is well known enough, love her or hate her but there’s no new garbage they are going to be able nail her with. Been there, done that.

    Bernie is a blank slate to the public and the Republicans are going to paint a very ugly picture on it. The socialism, his history that can easily be twisted e.g. “Honeymoon in the USSR” and he’s going to resemble the second coming of McGovern when they are finished with him.

    I don’t think his age is going to help him either. I don’t know if he’s physically going to be able to keep up with a campaign that goes the distance. There’s not a nice way to put it but the dude’s old and looks and sounds it.

  115. Pch101 says:

    Again, it’s an inappropriate use of data because –

    -The matchup is an abstraction — polls will not be meaningful at this point
    -The election is months away — polls will not be meaningful at this point
    -Clinton will not be running against Sanders, so her performance against him is largely irrelevant
    -Sanders’ efforts have thus far been limited to white, retail politics states, which are not an good indicator for the nation as a whole
    -Clinton has not yet campaigned against the GOP (since the GOP nominee remains a tossup), yet it has campaigned against her, so we cannot compare the two-candidate results (GOP attacks, but Clinton barely responds — you really don’t know what the Clinton vs. GOP battle will look like)
    -The GOP hasn’t attacked Sanders, and Clinton’s attacks have been fairly tame (she isn’t playing Joe McCarthy)

    What’s easy to predict –

    -Clinton will begin campaigning hard against the GOP when she has an idea of who will represent them. That’s when her messaging will become clear and her messaging can be judged and compared to the other side. If her attacks work, then her GOP opponent’s numbers will fall and some points moved to her side.
    -Clinton won’t be running against Sanders, no matter what
    -If Sanders were to run, he would be demonized, so his polling numbers would be expected to suffer if he was the Dem nominee
    -Positions among voters will be more crystallized when we know who is in the two-horse race — the election will become less of an abstraction as time runs out and the field is defined

    When you don’t have good data, it’s best to use that data cautiously, otherwise you end up with pseudo-science instead of reliable analysis.

  116. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pch101:

    When you don’t have good data, it’s best to use that data cautiously

    The data I presented is better than no data at all. When you find data that contradicts my data, I’d like to see it.

    The matchup is an abstraction — polls will not be meaningful at this point

    You cited a Gallup poll about a socialist president. What criteria do you use to decide when a poll is meaningful and not an abstraction?

  117. jukeboxgrad says:

    Moosebreath:

    Obama was generally seen (and still is today) as bloodless and unemotional to a fault, being compared to Spock.

    OK, fair enough. Obama looks relaxed and natural standing next to Mitt, but McCain beats both of them on this measure. So in addition to McGovern, I also agree that McCain is a counterexample to the pattern I was talking about.

    Now compare that to the number of front page stories about Hillary’s e-mail (which is what you were comparing it to on level of common knowledge). It just is not in the same galaxy.

    Yes, Clinton-email has gotten a lot more overall coverage than Sanders-socialist, but that doesn’t mean that the number of voters with knowledge of the former greatly exceeds the number of voters with knowledge of the latter. Clinton-email reached the level of saturation coverage a while ago; once that point was reached, the next wave of stories is not reaching a large number of people who were not already reached, because everyone has already been reached. It’s like shooting someone a second time; they don’t become twice as dead.

    A key difference between these two things is that Clinton-email at least has the appearance of being a current story. There is going to be more news about various current events. You and I know that this news doesn’t mean anything important, but it’s still going to get reported, dribble by dribble. And each new set of stories will be a chance for her opponent to say something like this: ‘we already knew it was bad, but we just found out it was even worse than we thought.’ And that attack will be a problem, even though it will probably be a lie. These future stories won’t harm Clinton by enlarging the universe of people who heard about Clinton-email, because everyone has already heard about it. But they will harm Clinton by raising the possibility that the whole thing is worse than you thought.

    In contrast, what is the news going to be about Sanders-socialist? It’s going to lack impact because it’s not going to be anything current. It’s going to be stories about how Sanders wore a Mao t-shirt fifty years ago (an example I just made up). It’s going to be just like Wright-Ayers-Alinsky, and we know how effective that was.

    As far as we can tell, Sanders has no major vulnerabilities aside from the big one that is already hiding in plain sight: he’s a democratic socialist. And I think a lot of people are going to realize that they are also democratic socialists, and just didn’t know it. It will be sort of like finding out that you have been speaking prose all your life.

    To repeat something I said on a prior thread: there’s plenty of evidence that voters who don’t label themselves “progressive” nevertheless support progressive policies. For example, a majority believes that government should “redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich.” So ‘socialist’ is like ‘Obamacare;’ when you take away the label, and just describe what the thing contains, you find that a surprisingly large number of people like the contents.

  118. jukeboxgrad says:

    MikeSJ:

    Hillary is well known enough, love her or hate her but there’s no new garbage they are going to be able nail her with.

    That’s what we all believed pre-email, but unfortunately it’s no longer true. Because of the email story, there’s going to be a steady stream of fresh, new garbage.

    Bernie is a blank slate to the public and the Republicans are going to paint a very ugly picture on it.

    They’re going to tell you that socialism is horrible. This isn’t going to stick, because Sanders will be on your TV and it will be very easy to see for yourself that there’s nothing horrible about him. It’s immediately obvious that no one owns him, and that he is not the creation of handlers, and that he deeply believes everything he says. Trump is appealing in exactly these ways (maybe he doesn’t believe everything he says, but he’s effective in creating that impression). Clinton is appealing in none of these ways.

    the dude’s old and looks and sounds it

    I agree that this is a weakness, and it makes the VP choice especially important.

    I would consider this a bigger problem if his opponent was Rubio or Cruz, but I think his opponent will be Trump. Anyway, Clinton is not exactly young. The age difference between Sanders and Clinton is 6 years. The age difference between Sanders and Trump is less than 5 years.

  119. Pch101 says:

    The data I presented is better than no data at all.

    You’re misusing the data for the reasons that I stated.

    The polls are what they are, but I’ve already explained why their usefulness is limited. You’re trying to make them tell a story that they don’t tell.

  120. jukeboxgrad says:

    You’re trying to make them tell a story that they don’t tell.

    Shorter Pch101: ‘polls I cite are useful. Polls cited by someone else aren’t.’

  121. Pch101 says:

    Some polls are more relevant than others, and why some polls are more subject to abuse than others. I’ve explained why you are misusing yours.

    It’s not enough to have data — we have to also understand what it means. Perhaps Clinton will prove to be a lousy candidate, but as of now, she is the candidate who has the most to gain and the least to lose by a well-defined race for the reasons that I have stated.

  122. jukeboxgrad says:

    I’ve explained why you are misusing yours.

    Your explanation consists of unsupported speculation about future events. I’m looking for data showing that Clinton is a better bet than Sanders, and I see essentially none.

  123. Pch101 says:

    No professional in politics would rely upon polling data in the manner in which you are using it, particularly given these circumstances in which one party has a high-profile presumptive nominee along with a runner-up who has been barely touched while the other party is nowhere close to choosing its candidate.

  124. Grewgills says:

    @jukeboxgrad:
    When looking at the head to head match ups you need to consider a few things.
    1. As it stands Clinton and Sanders fair very close to the same vs all of the at all likely potential republican nominees.
    2. None of the individual republican nominees have faced much criticism or any negative ads from Clinton or Sanders. Trump has received sine criticism, the rest have received pretty much none.
    3. Clinton is and has been under constant attack by all of the republican front runners and has been under constant republican attack for about 25 years.
    4. Sanders has been pretty much ignored by all of the republicans and no real negative stories have been in the media about him.
    5. After the primaries 2 and 4 will change, but 3 will not. That will have predictable results on 1.
    We ignore this at our peril.

  125. Tyrell says:

    Sanders, it appears, is running around in a desperate move to pick up the “black” vote. He does not need to apologize for anything. “Reparations”: forget it. If he comes out for that, his campaign is over. He must be careful not to appear to appease radicals.

  126. Pch101 says:

    In the 2008 primary, Hillary Clinton had more popular votes than did Barack Obama.

    Yet we know what happened — Obama won the primary thanks to the superdelegates. Even though he had far from a decisive win in the primary, Obama went on to win two presidential terms, with the electoral vote favoring him by a substantial margin in both instances.

    Clinton’s strong primary performance did not prevent Obama from winning the general election twice. At the end of the day, Obama was running against Republicans, not against Clinton. If anything, the Obama v. Clinton contest may have helped the Democrats in the 2008 general by energizing its base.

    Remember this as you consider 2016.

  127. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pch101:

    In the 2008 primary, Hillary Clinton had more popular votes than did Barack Obama.

    This claim comes up a lot even though it’s deeply misleading:

    Obama won more votes unless you count Michigan, where he wasn’t on the ballot.

    And even if you look at the situation in the way most favorable to Clinton, she was ahead by a tiny margin:

    Only by counting Michigan, where Clinton’s name was on the ballot but Obama’s was not, can Clinton claim to have won more votes. Counting only officially reported results, Michigan puts Clinton’s total ahead nationally by 286,687 votes or 0.8 percent. Once estimated votes from the four non-reporting states are included, the margin becomes less significant: 176,465 votes, or 0.5 percent. And if Michigan’s “uncommited” votes were accorded to Obama, he’d have a 61,703-vote lead (0.2 percent), counting estimates from the non-reporting states.

    When you make this claim it’s better if you tell the whole story.

    No professional in politics would rely upon polling data in the manner in which you are using it

    Another unsupported assertion, one more in a long series.

    I’m impressed by your willingness to respond to a request for data with a string of comments that are fastidiously devoid of data. Carry on.

  128. jukeboxgrad says:

    Grewgills:

    Sanders has been pretty much ignored by all of the republicans and no real negative stories have been in the media about him.

    Except that there have been numerous negative stories, because he is routinely described as a ‘socialist,’ and what I have been told in this thread is that this word, all by itself, is a powerful poison. So he should be dead by now, and he should not be doing as well as Clinton in the match-ups I cited.

    I want to know what the future negative stories are going to say, aside from describing the horrors of socialism. I think the currently available information seems to indicate that this alone is not going to matter that much.

    Clinton is and has been under constant attack by all of the republican front runners and has been under constant republican attack for about 25 years.

    You say that as if it’s a good thing, and makes her an attractive candidate. The result of those attacks is that she is deeply hated, and therefore will drive R turnout in a way that Sanders will not. I cited polling to demonstrate this. And the email story is going to stay fresh, and will be an ongoing burden and distraction for her.

  129. jukeboxgrad says:

    And here’s something I mentioned in another thread, but it also fits here:

    On Thursday, the Drudge Report conducted its first presidential preference poll of the 2016 campaign. … With more than 1,000,000 votes cast, Donald Trump took the top spot with 36 percent of the vote. He was followed by Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)16% in second, with 30 percent. … While there isn’t any scientific value in the poll, with respect to predicting voting outcomes, the size of the voting sample and Drudge’s position at the center of political news makes the results interesting, nonetheless.

    Drudge is a major right-wing voice. His audience is massive and hardcore. They are not college liberals. 340,000 votes for Bernie in a Drudge poll is a major signal, and this signal is mostly being ignored.

    The tea party base is not really against socialism. They’re just against the government helping people they don’t like. They’re fine with socialism when it means the government helping people like them (‘get your government hands off my medicare’). They can see that Sanders believes in this.

    Sanders is in a strong position to pull voters away from Trump.

  130. Pch101 says:

    The point remains that Hillary Clinton’s strong performance during the 2008 primary did not prevent Obama from winning the general election.

    The reason why is obvious: Obama ran against McCain, not against Clinton. That’s just a fact, and the parallels to this current campaign should be obvious: Clinton will not be running against Bernie Sanders in the general election, so their contest does not tell us anything about the general election.

  131. MBunge says:

    @Pch101: Clinton will not be running against Bernie Sanders in the general election, so their contest does not tell us anything about the general election.

    Only if you think Bernie Sanders in 2016 is the exact equivalent of Hillary Clinton in 2008 and Hillary in 2016 is the exact equivalent of Obama in 2008. Because, you know, politics is actually filled with examples where difficult primary fights foreshadowed a defeat for the eventual nominee.

    Mike

  132. jukeboxgrad says:

    their contest does not tell us anything about the general election

    What does tell us something about the general election are polls that ask voters how they would vote in the general election, given various match-ups. That’s why I cited data from those polls. If you have data that’s more meaningful, I’d like to see it.

  133. Pch101 says:

    Again –

    -Everyone has been campaigning against Clinton
    -Clinton has, for the most part, not campaigned against anyone, since she doesn’t know who her opponent will be
    -The Republicans have largely ignored Sanders

    If Sanders were to win the nomination, his star would fall as America discovers he is a commie. You can’t use current results to predict future outcomes, since he has been left alone. Anyone who thinks that socialism! = oarsome campaign slogan isn’t paying attention.

    The GOP campaign against Clinton is already well defined. We know what to expect since it has been ongoing for awhile. Barring some sort of October Surprise, we can gauge how effective that might be.

    Clinton’s campaign against the GOP is currently unclear. If it is effective, then it will help her to gain support and take support away from the Republican. And it doesn’t need to be a landslide popular vote win; most of the states are already decided, so the question is down to whether she can win states such as Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado.

    The ultimate question and the only one that matters is whether Clinton will run an effective campaign after the primary, as this election is hers to win or lose.

    It is not necessary to have a landslide primary result in order to win a general election.

    And you really ought to ask yourself why the GOP hasn’t gone in full attack mode against Sanders. Part of the answer should be obvious — they would prefer to face him in a general election, because it will be easier to rip him apart. (They’ve already tried to destroy Clinton and haven’t had much luck.)

  134. jukeboxgrad says:

    they would prefer to face him in a general election

    The great Republic minds who think it will be easy to beat Sanders are the same minds who were convinced Trump would never get this far, and they are wrong in both instances for similar reasons.

  135. Pch101 says:

    Trump is setting himself up to lose the general election, so nobody who has aspirations for the White House should be trying to emulate him.

  136. Grewgills says:

    @jukeboxgrad:
    Despite about 25 years of negative attention from republicans, before the campaign started she was rather popular. It wasn’t until the run up to the campaign when republican attacks began in earnest that Clinton saw her favorable ratings drop. That campaign by the republicans hasn’t started against Sanders. You seem to believe that the fact that the republicans have thrown everything they have at Clinton and virtually nothing yet at Sanders doesn’t matter. That Sanders will be just as strong after the republican attacks. This despite the observable effect their attacks on Clinton have had. I don’t think that is a safe position to take.
    That said I have seen your pattern on here and there is nothing I or anyone can do to get you to drop this bone, so have at it. Neither of our minds will be changed today.

  137. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pch101:

    nobody who has aspirations for the White House should be trying to emulate him [Trump]

    Good thing Sanders isn’t doing that. Trump and Sanders are both succeeding, and for similar reasons, but that doesn’t mean “emulate” is an appropriate observation.

    Trump is setting himself up to lose the general election

    You’re right that he’s going to lose, which is another reason to not worry about the relative electability of Sanders and Clinton.

  138. jukeboxgrad says:

    Grewgills:

    Despite about 25 years of negative attention from republicans, before the campaign started she was rather popular. It wasn’t until the run up to the campaign when republican attacks began in earnest that Clinton saw her favorable ratings drop.

    That seems to not be the case. A helpful graph is here. When she left office (2/13) her favorable/unfavorable was 56/35. 10 months later she was at 49.2/42.4, a negative move of 13 points. Benghazi! probably had a lot to do with that. Now she is at 42.8/52.9, which is a negative move of 31 points, relative to 2/13. So she was already dropping fast when she left office. Do you define 2013 as part of “the run up to the campaign?” I would assume that you don’t.

    Another helpful graph is here. It covers 24 years. It shows that she was especially popular during the time she was SOS but not so much before and after. So it’s not correct to imply that she’s been “rather popular” for 25 years. She has had some good periods, and some bad ones. Unfortunately this is one of the bad ones. Probably her worst, ever.

    You seem to believe that the fact that the republicans have thrown everything they have at Clinton and virtually nothing yet at Sanders doesn’t matter. That Sanders will be just as strong after the republican attacks.

    For attacks to have teeth they have to be based on current events (or at least recent events). Benghazi! was current events. The email story is now current events, and it will continue to be current events. What is the current events for Sanders? There is nothing.

    I have seen your pattern

    My pattern is to form beliefs based on facts and data, and I change those beliefs when I come across new facts and data which prove I’m wrong. I have done this many times, and I’m always ready to do it again, so I’ll be grateful when you show me something new.

  139. Pch101 says:

    I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to fathom that Sanders will have the red card played against him if nominated and that socialism isn’t exactly popular among large segments of the American population.

    At the very least, one should be willing to acknowledge that this has not yet been put to the test.

    In any case, the most successful Democratic primary candidate in recent history was John Kerry, who won 61% of the primary popular vote in 2004. We all know how well that went in the general.

  140. Grewgills says:

    @jukeboxgrad:
    Between 2009 and mid 2015 she had net positive favorable ratings. Starting as early as 2013 she was the presumptive democratic nominee and the republican attacks began. The Benghazi hearings were when it began in earnest. We all know now why those hearings dragged on as they did and the email fiasco is directly tied to those politically motivated investigations.
    I understand that you think that the American public is amenable to be educated into a nuanced understanding of socialism and that somehow Bernie being agnostic leaning to atheist while culturally Jewish won’t hurt him. I disagree.
    What can hurt Clinton has been widely and repeatedly aired to the point of saturation.
    Sander’s socialism has been talked about very little. No serious attacks have been aimed at him on that front yet. No attacks on his faith have been leveled at all yet. I am pretty sure those attacks will be potent and severely damage his electability. You apparently disagree.

  141. Pch101 says:

    Sander’s socialism has been talked about very little. No serious attacks have been aimed at him on that front yet. No attacks on his faith have been leveled at all yet.

    Which is to say that it is not possible to make a data-based pro-Sanders argument because the data does not exist. Unless he’s in the fray (and he won’t be, since he won’t be nominated), that data will not be available.

  142. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pch101:

    Sanders will have the red card played against him

    I cited a poll which suggests that “the red card” is probably not as scary as you think. In the 15 comments you have posted since I cited that poll, I’m not surprised that you have addressed it this many times: zero.

    John Kerry

    I’m also not surprised that you’re trying to change the subject.

    Which is to say that it is not possible to make a data-based pro-Sanders argument because the data does not exist.

    I understand one of your techniques for dealing with data you don’t like: ignore it and say it doesn’t exist.

  143. jukeboxgrad says:

    Grewgills:

    I understand that you think that the American public is amenable to be educated into a nuanced understanding of socialism

    No one has addressed the poll I cited, which suggests that they don’t need much additional education, because they already don’t care as much as you think.

    Also, every attack on him as a socialist is a chance for him and his surrogates to explain what that means in his instance, which means you are helping him spread his message. This logic does not apply when Clinton is being attacked over Benghazi! and email.

    and that somehow Bernie being agnostic leaning to atheist while culturally Jewish won’t hurt him

    The people who care a lot about this are the biblethumpers who Clinton never had on her side anyway. No one expects Clinton to win the Jesusland states.

    And attacking him on culture/religion is going to be a very risky business, because it’s going to be hard to do without looking like anti-Semitism (and a lot of those attacks will genuinely be anti-Semitism). Anti-Semitism will inspire a fierce backlash which could end up helping him.

    Sander’s socialism has been talked about very little.

    Here, let me google that for you. 25 million results does not fit my concept of “very little.”

  144. Pch101 says:

    Some folks like to argue that Sanders doing well in a primary is proof that he is a viable candidate.

    Well, John Kerry did better in his primary than did Bill Clinton or Barack Obama performed in their first-term primaries, yet you should know which of those three didn’t become president.

    Winning by a wide margin in a primary is not an indication of one’s ability to win a general election. That inconvenient truth is on point when someone is attempting to argue that doing well in a primary is meaningful.

  145. jukeboxgrad says:

    Some folks like to argue that Sanders doing well in a primary is proof that he is a viable candidate.

    Good thing I didn’t do that.

    Some folks like to annihilate straw men instead of dealing with what’s actually been said.

  146. Pch101 says:

    It’s disingenuous to make all of these comparisons of Clinton vs Sanders polling and primary numbers, then argue that it’s somehow off-topic to provide historical examples that illustrate why their primary contest doesn’t mean much for the general election.

    Clinton does not need to beat Sanders by a wide margin in the Democratic primary in order to win the general election. As history demonstrates, a strong primary result is no guarantee of a win.

  147. Grewgills says:

    @jukeboxgrad:
    Look through the first several pages of those 25 million hits and there is very little from any major news organization from the past couple of years. Within the first page it is already stretching back to 2007. This is not at the forefront now.
    The poll you are hanging your hat on suggests that among millenials and democrats it is only marginally unfavorable. Looking at independents and anyone over 30 it becomes a much bigger problem. The under 30s vote at considerably lower rates than over 30s and independents need to be swayed. Your poll doesn’t mean what you claim it does.
    The likelihood of us learning how well Sanders would do in the general is pretty low, so we probably won’t ever really know.

  148. Pch101 says:

    I’m sure that the McGovern campaign would have appreciated the pro-Sanders arguments.

  149. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pch101:

    then argue that it’s somehow off-topic to provide historical examples that illustrate why their primary contest doesn’t mean much for the general election

    You insist on continuing to pretend that my argument relies on what’s happening in “their primary contest.” It doesn’t.

  150. jukeboxgrad says:

    Grewgills:

    Look through the first several pages of those 25 million hits and there is very little from any major news organization from the past couple of years.

    The following are items that come up if you search google news for sanders socialism. I omit the links because this site won’t allow so many links in one comment, but you can find each article easily enough by googling the title. Each of these articles discusses Sanders and socialism:

    2/14 Fox – O’Reilly Explains ‘Democratic Socialism’
    2/12 WP – Bernie Sanders fields questions on reparations, socialism, and felon voter rights
    2/12 WSJ – Socialism’s Second Life Will Crush the Young
    2/11 USA Today – Glenn Reynolds: Socialism not as hot as its spokesman
    2/10 CNN – Who is Bernie Sanders?
    2/10 Newsweek – Why is Socialism Suddenly so Popular?
    2/10 Forbes – Memo For Bernie: World’s Second Largest Investor, Vanguard, Is Socialist
    2/10 CNN – How did a socialist kibbutz influence Bernie Sanders?
    2/9 WSJ – Explaining Bernie’s ‘Socialism’
    2/7 WSJ – How Democrats’ Shift to the Left Is Helping Bernie Sanders
    2/5 WSJ – Socialism Returns as Immunity to It Fades
    2/1 Forbes – The Bernie Sanders Philosophy: An Equal Share Of Misery
    2/1 Bloomberg – What Millennials Like About Bernie Sanders
    2/1 WP – Democratic socialism might be inevitable in America, even if Bernie Sanders loses

    That’s 14 articles in the last 15 days. That doesn’t fit my concept of “very little.” By the way, I omitted lots of items from major newspapers, Yahoo News, HuffPo, Washington Times, National Review and Breitbart because I didn’t want to quibble about the definition of “major news organization.”

    Anyone who currently doesn’t know that Sanders is a socialist also probably doesn’t know that he’s running for president.

    Articles like this are not hard to find, except if you would prefer to not find them.

    Looking at independents and anyone over 30 it becomes a much bigger problem.

    And when you look at the poll more closely you realize it’s not a big problem, because for many people socialism is only somewhat unfavorable, not very unfavorable. This is the key point I made a long time ago, that no one wants to address. The group that has strong negative feelings about socialism is roughly the same group that thinks Palin would make a great president. It’s not 1950 anymore.

  151. SKI says:

    @jukeboxgrad: most Americans aren’t paying any attention yet. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/2016-election-polls-value_us_55f83910e4b09ecde1d9b328

    And they won’t, given historical patterns until the conventions/Labor Day.

  152. jukeboxgrad says:

    most Americans aren’t paying any attention yet

    The poll you cited is five months old, and it also doesn’t say what you said it said.

    they won’t, given historical patterns until the conventions/Labor Day

    Citation needed.

  153. SKI says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Read better.

    In that link is the following chart

  154. jukeboxgrad says:

    In that link is the following chart

    And the chart doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t know. Your poll is still five months old, and you still said the poll said something it didn’t say, and then you made an assertion that is not supported.

  155. SKI says:

    I said that most Americans aren’t paying attention yet. They aren’t. They don’t. They never do. And even when they claim they are, most of those claiming to, don’t.

    If you disagree, have at it. I don’t give a damn.

  156. Pch101 says:

    “Bernie the Red will raise your taxes!” will be a difficult charge for Sanders to dispute, since he insists that he is a socialist and he actually is talking about cranking up payroll taxes.

  157. jukeboxgrad says:

    SKI:

    I said that most Americans aren’t paying attention yet

    I know that’s what you said. Your only supposed support for that statement is a poll that’s five months old. If you have a poll that’s current, that would be helpful. Otherwise, you’re pretending to know something that you don’t actually know.

    Also, your original statement was this:

    most Americans aren’t paying any attention yet

    Which is a stronger statement that wasn’t even true in September, when your poll was issued. The actual poll behind your article is here. Here’s what that poll says:

    27% Very closely
    32% Fairly closely
    21% Not too closely
    19% Not at all closely
    1% Don’t know

    That is, as of five months ago, 59% were following news about the election very closely or fairly closely. Therefore it was obviously false to claim, even five months ago, that “most Americans aren’t paying any attention yet.” Emphasis added.

    And your newer statement (“most Americans aren’t paying attention yet”) is also obviously false, and was also false even in September. If someone is paying attention “fairly closely,” that means they are paying attention.

    Read better.

    Hilarious.