Clinton Narrowly Wins Iowa, Heads To Seemingly Unwinnable Battle In New Hampshire

Hillary Clinton eked out the narrowest of wins in Iowa, but now she's headed to New Hampshire where Bernie Sanders holds a seemingly insurmountable lead in the polls.

Clinton Sanders January Debate

Heading into the Democratic caucuses last night in Iowa, the polls were telling us that the race between Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was exceedingly close. After seeing Clinton take the lead in the state late in 2015, Sanders started to close the gap again in the Hawkeye State in the new year to the point where, as of the final polls released yesterday, Clinton had a narrow lead over the Vermont Senator, and some late polling suggested that the gap had narrowed even further than the Des Moines Register poll released Saturday suggested. As it turns out, the polling that gave Clinton an average four point lead understated just how close the race in Iowa was all along. This morning, while it does appear that Clinton eked out a narrow victory, the fact that she leads Sanders by less than a percentage point presents Clinton with a headache heading into a New Hampshire contest where she continues to trail Sanders by a wide margin:

DES MOINES — Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont were locked in an intensely tight race in the Iowa caucuses on Monday as Mrs. Clinton’s strong support among women and older voters was matched by the passionate liberal foot soldiers whom Mr. Sanders has been calling to political revolution.

The close results were deeply unnerving to Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, as well as her advisers, some of whom had expressed growing confidence in recent days that they had recaptured political momentum after weeks when Mr. Sanders was drawing huge crowds and rising in the polls. The Clintons had appeared optimistic at rallies over the weekend, thanking Iowans for their support as much as urging them to turn out to vote.

The close vote means that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders are likely to split Iowa’s share of delegates to the Democratic convention, and Mr. Sanders will be able to argue that the Iowa result was a virtual tie.

The Clinton team was counting on its huge, well-trained army of volunteers, covering all of Iowa’s 1,681 voting precincts, to counter the enormous enthusiasm of voters who jammed into events to hear Mr. Sanders. But his well-financed Iowa organization was able to convert the energy of his crowds into voters on Monday night, as he drew huge numbers of first-time caucusgoers, young people and liberals who responded to his rallying cry against the nation’s “rigged economy.”

The virtual tie between the two candidates instantly raised the stakes for their next face-off, the primary next Tuesday in New Hampshire. Mr. Sanders holds a solid lead in polls there and has the advantage of being from Vermont; candidates from neighboring states have won the state’s primary in recent decades, and Mr. Sanders is admired in the state.

Clinton advisers said late Monday night that Mr. and Mrs. Clinton were discussing bringing on additional staff members to strengthen her campaign operation now that a pitched battle may lie ahead against Mr. Sanders. The advisers said they did not know if a significant staff shakeup was at hand, but they said that the Clintons were disappointed with Monday night’s result and wanted to ensure that her organization, political messaging and communications strategy were in better shape for the contests to come.

At her caucus night party here, Mrs. Clinton sought to put the best face on a tight result that had nearly half of Democrats voting against her. “As I stand here tonight breathing a big sigh of relief — thank you, Iowa!” she said, joined on stage by Mr. Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea.

“I am excited about really getting into the debate with Senator Sanders about the best way forward to fight for us and America,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Mr. Sanders, who spoke shortly after she finished, laughed as his crowd chanted “feel the Bern,” his campaign’s unofficial slogan. “Thank you — Iowa, thank you!” Mr. Sanders said.

Noting that he began his Iowa campaign with “no name recognition” and “no money,” Mr. Sanders drew ecstatic cheers as he said he took on the Clintons — “the most powerful political organization in the United States of America” — and drove them into a tie.

“I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment, and by the way, to the media establishment,” Mr. Sanders said. “That is, given the enormous crises facing our country, it is just too late for establishment politics and establishment economics.”

The results suggested that Mr. Sanders would be a strong opponent of Mrs. Clinton’s for a long time. The voters sent a clear message that income inequality weighed on their minds, with more than one in four Democratic voters saying the issue was the most important facing the nation, according to surveys of voters leaving the polls.

Mr. Sanders’s strong performance in Iowa was a significant milestone in a campaign in which he began 40 percentage points behind Mrs. Clinton when they both declared their candidacies last spring. Many Democrats privately dismissed Mr. Sanders as a left-wing fringe candidate who had no real chance of defeating Mrs. Clinton anywhere other than his home state of Vermont, where his democratic socialist politics were not as exotic as many Democratic Party leaders found them.

But Mr. Sanders proved to be a rigorously disciplined candidate, delivering the same powerful message inveighing against establishment politics, Wall Street and the benefits enjoyed by the wealthy and the well-connected.

The Clintons are now hoping for a surprise performance in New Hampshire, where they have campaigned and connected with voters since 1992, when Mr. Clinton came in a strong second place in the state’s primary, and Mrs. Clinton won the 2008 primary over Barack Obama, then a senator who had earlier won the Iowa caucuses.

Steve Duprey, a Republican national committeeman from New Hampshire, said if Mrs. Clinton ekes out a clear victory in Iowa, however small, it would give her “some much-needed momentum in New Hampshire — and if she can build that into a New Hampshire win, I think it will start the death rattle of the Sanders campaign.”

George Maglaras, a Clinton supporter who is a commissioner of Strafford County, N.H., predicted that Mrs. Clinton would have a lock on the Democratic nomination if she won New Hampshire on top of a close race in Iowa.

“Any other combination means we are in for a longer nomination process than many had anticipated early on,” Mr. Maglaras, a former mayor of Dover, N.H., added. Referring to New Hampshire residents, he said, “If they vote with their heads it will be Clinton. If they vote with their hearts it will be Sanders.”


Mrs. Clinton, 68, performed well on Monday night among women, moderates and older Iowans who rallied behind her promises to build on President Obama’s policies and fight for the needs of families. Her shifts to the left on trade, the environment and gay marriage helped her win over Democrats, though not the many liberals and young people who mistrusted her pragmatic style of politics and her ties to wealthy interests and Wall Street.

Mr. Sanders, 74, drew strong support from first-time Democratic caucusgoers, who accounted for more than four in 10 voters, according to polls conducted by Edison Research of voters as they entered caucus locations throughout the state Monday evening. But these voters made up a smaller share of the Democratic electorate on Monday than they did in 2008, when 57 percent of Democratic caucusgoers were first-timers. Mr. Sanders was also widely supported by younger voters and independents, but voters 65 and older accounted for about three in 10 Democratic voters and they strongly favored Mrs. Clinton.

Many political pundits have already observed this morning that what appears to be a narrow victory in Iowa over an insurgent candidate puts Clinton in much the same position she was after Iowa eight years ago. Back then, of course, Clinton ended up finishing in third place behind Barack Obama and John Edwards, which arguably put her in a weaker position than she is today. As I noted yesterday, though, the obstacles that Clinton had to overcome in the Granite State eight years ago were far less daunting than they are today. Back then, Clinton had led in New Hampshire for several months in the state before being overtaken by Obama late in 2007. Obama’s polling lead in the state, though, was far smaller at its peak than Bernie Sanders’ lead is today. The final RealClearPolitics numbers back then gave Obama an eight point three point lead over Clinton and Clinton went on to win the primary by just over 2.5 percentage points. As of today, by contrast, Bernie Sanders has an average lead in New Hampshire of eighteen points according to RealClearPolitics and just over seventeen points according to Pollster. This includes a UMass at Lowell poll that gives Sanders a thirty-one point advantage over Clinton. That is going to be a far more difficult lead for Clinton to overcome over the course of just one week, especially given the energy that Sanders’ surprisingly good performance in Iowa is likely generate for him in a state where he is already a well-known political figure in neighboring Vermont. If Clinton can somehow pull off even a narrow win in New Hampshire, of course, then she would go a long way toward putting Sanders behind her. If she can’t, which seems likely, then this race is going to last far longer than many Democrats anticipated even if the ultimate outcome seems clear.

As for the results in the Democratic race in Iowa, what they make clear is that Sanders is a serious candidate going forward and that Clinton is going to have to treat him as such if she’s going to close out the race for the nomination in a way that doesn’t result in the same kind of bruising fight she had with Barack Obama eight years ago. Much as with Donald Trump, there were questions heading into last night whether the Sanders campaign could turn poll numbers into votes and whether they had the kind of ground game that would be needed to be competitive and it’s clear that the answer to that question is an emphatic yes. This is of particular concern for Clinton going into New Hampshire, of course, because it suggests that Sanders will be able to take advantage as his massive lead there quite easily unless Clinton can find a way to change the minds of a significant number of the people who presently say that they are backing Sanders. Given the fact that the appeal Sanders has is emotional and populist, while Clinton’s argument is more broad based, that isn’t going to be easy, Moreover, the fact that Sanders has made very few mistakes so far in this race suggests that the burden will be on Clinton to find a way to win rather than hoping that Sanders will stumble at any point in the next week.

As I’ve said before, ultimately losing New Hampshire likely wouldn’t be fatal to Clinton. She continues to have massive and seemingly insurmountable leads in South Carolina, Nevada, and other future primary states. Additionally, the fact that she at least performed strongly in Iowa means that she won’t be dealing with the prospect of back-to-back losses in the first two contests of the 2016 primaries. Nonetheless, this race obviously isn’t proceeding the way the Clinton campaign expected and the resilience of Bernie Sanders, even in the face of evidence that he’ll likely fall well short of actually becoming the Democratic nominee, means that this isn’t going to be the cakewalk that Clinton and her advisers may have been anticipating.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, Environment, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. C. Clavin says:

    Clinton won Iowa…no way she wins New Hampshire…and then Sanders is done, I think.
    I still believe Sanders being competitive is a good thing.
    She will be battle tested. Which will be invaluable against the mendaciousness of the Republican Party.

  2. john430 says:

    So…a congenital liar and a failed socialist head off to New Hampshire.

  3. Tillman says:

    Damn it, this whole idea of how the vote’s supposed to go falls apart if the young turn out!

  4. AEKH says:

    “Clinton only won barely in one of the three states where her opponent had a shot. Maybe everyone really hates this cackling witch after all?” – MSM

  5. C. Clavin says:

    You keep accusing her of lying….and investigation after investigation after investigation prove that you are, in fact, the liar.
    Are you capable of understanding that reality?
    As for Sanders being a Socialist…given you inability to comprehend even the most simple things about yourself…I’m guessing you don’t understand what socialism is. It’s a loaded term that confuses simpletons like yourself who insist on being wrong about everything.
    My guess is that you are a yyyuuuugggee beneficiary of “socialist” programs and policies and are not smart enough to recognize it.

  6. Moosebreath says:


    “So…a congenital liar and a failed socialist head off to New Hampshire.”

    Yes, we know Cruz and Trump are heading to New Hampshire, but this is a post about the Democratic side. Try to keep up.

  7. al-Ameda says:


    So…a congenital liar and a failed socialist head off to New Hampshire.

    Let’s see: 9 investigations and counting and yet Republicans have yet to recommend that charges be brought against Hillary Clinton.

    “failed socialist”? How is that she manages to fund raise so much money on Wall Street? Oh wait, never mind. I forgot that Wall Street is largely a communist-oriented investment banking and money making financial operations hub.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    She goes into Hew Hampshire as the underdog? She really couldn’t ask for more.

    All she has to do is keep it close and move on to real states.

  9. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Clinton survived Iowa, not won.

    But in both parties the races have just gotten more interesting for the later voters. Looks like real horse races going into at least Super Tuesday.

    But even it Bernie ends up following after New Hampshire, he complicates the Democratic contingency if Hillary’s email betrayal of assets in the field takes her out. If Bernie has near 50% of the delegates, then dropping in Biden or Warren risks alienating a lot of Democrat voters.

    And the discovery that Hillary compromised Special Access Programs (SAP) on her server, the classification given to programs with US intelligence agents and their assets names and addresses, this plays not only into the theme of Hillary abandoning men and women in the field for her own convenience, but also brings skilled intelligence operatives into opposition with her. The kind of operatives who know how to trickle out information in the most effective manner to keep a clear and present danger out of the White House. Look at what the CIA tried to do to Bush.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:


    And the discovery that Hillary compromised Special Access Programs (SAP) on her server,

    Can you name which special access program she compromised? I’ve read it was almost without a doubt the drone program and the act that “compromised” it was citing a news paper article. Really, if the best attack you have against HRC is based on an anonymous leak, may I suggest holding fire?

  11. C. Clavin says:


    Clinton survived Iowa, not won.

    Clinton – 699
    Sanders – 695
    I don’t recall seeing a column for “Survived”

    Hillary’s email betrayal of assets in the field takes her out

    More of you claiming facts that are not in evidence.

    The kind of operatives who know how to trickle out information in the most effective manner to keep a clear and present danger out of the White House.

    You mean like they did to Bush and Cheney, who did in fact betray an operative?

  12. Ben Wolf says:

    Sander’s people are rolling out a significant game in South Carolina and appear to have every intention of going for a win. If the state primary is close Clinton, even with an eventual nomination, may well be crippled in the general election.

  13. Hal_10000 says:

    I’m glad to see it. I was talking last night to my mother, who’s a very Republican Republican. And we both disagree with Sanders’ entire economic agenda, we both liked him. He’s honest about what he thinks, he’s enthusiastic, his campaign has been very positive and he’s declined to slime Clinton. As a libertarian-conservative, I also like his less aggressive foreign policy and support for civil liberties.

    I realize the Clintonistas and the “we must win no matter what!” Democrats are trying to spin hard. But the fact is that Clinton was supposed to completely house Sanders in Iowa. This was supposed to be where his candidacy ended and we would, at long last, give Clinton the nomination she earned by virtue of … something. I still think Clinton will win, but this was the same stuff we heard eight years ago: that Obama may have won Iowa, but he was niche candidate who wouldn’t win the whole enchilada. And when Clinton won New Hampshire, that was supposed to be the end of him. Didn’t happen then. Probably will happen now; Sanders is no Obama. But I wouldn’t put *too* much money on it.

  14. Hal_10000 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Seriously? You’re going to argue that Clinton doesn’t lie? The reports from the Whitewater investigation detailed numerous lies. They weren’t indictable but they spelled out, in great detail, how the deceptions and evasions of the Clintons needlessly dragged everything out. Example: the Travel House “scandal” where they couldn’t just admit they wanted to put their own people in (perfectly legal) but made up stuff about embezzlement. Then there are the numerous biographical lies: the airport snipers; How they were broke when they left the WH. Hell, even Politifact has called her out on numerous occasions.

    All politicians lie. Rubio lies. Cruz lies like hell. Trump … well, Trump just BSs. He doesn’t care about whether he tells the truth or not. But we have 25 years of experience to know that Clinton is not an honest person.

    As for Sanders being a Socialist…given you inability to comprehend even the most simple things about yourself…I’m guessing you don’t understand what socialism is. It’s a loaded term that confuses simpletons like yourself who insist on being wrong about everything.

    Here’s a weird thing about me. If someone calls himself a socialist, I might think that he’s a socialist. Sanders has been calling himself a socialist for decades. He is literally proposing things like socialized medicine. I have a sneaking regard for Bernie and an outright admiration for him on civil liberties. But let’s not pretend he isn’t what he says he is.

  15. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin: Clinton – 699
    Sanders – 695

    Interesting phenomena. Six of 6 coin tosses that chose who got the odd delegate in districts where there was a tie went for Clinton.

    In any case, Hillary was suppose to handily win, instead she has a winds of coin toss “win”, which is more a survive.

  16. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin: You mean like they did to Bush and Cheney, who did in fact betray an operative?

    Actually never proven Republicans had anything to do with that. The “journalist” who actual did name her was a Democrat with a byline. They got Scooter for dissembling to the FBI.

    But neither here, nor there, since Plame was not in the field when revealed. Not operating under false credentials. And most importantly, not meeting with assets so as to reveal those assets to hostile governments.

  17. JKB says:


    Oh, sorry, the State Department won’t release the emails that contain such classified material. Something about following the law about exposing classified material.

    We’ll just have to trust the statements of people who have a need to know and have have the clearances to read Hillary’s compromised emails.

    See, two wrongs don’t make a right. Even if classified material is compromised by a self serving politician, one still cannot compromise it themselves unless granted official permission to release it by the classifying authority.

  18. JKB says:


    “Socialism; a speech delivered in Faneuil hall, February 7th, 1903, by Frederic J. Stimson

    First, what is the best the socialists, in their writings, can offer us? What do the most optimistic of them say? That our subsistence will be guaranteed, while we work; that some of us, the best of us, may earn a surplus above what is actually necessary for our subsistence; and that surplus, like a good child, we may “keep to spend.” We may not use it to better our condition, we may not, if a fisherman, buy another boat with it, if a farmer, another field ; we may not invest it, or use it productively ; but we can spend it like the good child, on candy — on something we consume, or waste it, or throw it away.

    Could not the African slave do as much? In fact, is not this whole position exactly that of the negro slave? He, too, was guaranteed his sustenance; he, too, was allowed to keep and spend the extra money he made by working overtime; but he was not allowed to better his condition, to engage in trade, to invest it, to change his lot in life. Precisely what makes a slave is that he is allowed no use of productive capital to make wealth on his own account. The only difference is that under socialism, I may not be compelled to labor (I don’t even know as to that — socialists differ on the point), actually compelled, by the lash, or any other force than hunger. And the only other difference is that the negro slave was under the orders of one man, while the subject of socialism will be under the orders of a committee of ward heelers. You will say, the slave could not choose his master, but we shall elect the ward politician. So we do now. Will that help much? Suppose the man with a grievance didn’t vote for him?

    Bernie’s showing the candy but hiding the shackles of slavery that will be locked on to pay for his candy.

  19. humanoid.panda says:

    Interesting phenomena. Six of 6 coin tosses that chose who got the odd delegate in districts where there was a tie went for Clinton.

    It’s really incredible how quickly talking points permeate JKB’s consciousness. For the Nth time: political operatives peddle this BS for money. Why do you do it for free? Do you realize what it makes you?

  20. humanoid.panda says:

    Bernie’s showing the candy but hiding the shackles of slavery that will be locked on to pay for his candy.

    Man, it must be such a bummer for you to be enslaved every time you take a dump, with sewers being public and all.

  21. Rafer Janders says:


    He is literally proposing things like socialized medicine.

    Well, so has every single American politician for the last fifty years, Republican and Democrat alike — they all support Medicare, which is simply another form of socialized medicine.

  22. Rafer Janders says:


    Impressive — every single sentence in that post was a lie.

  23. humanoid.panda says:

    @Rafer Janders: And so did Otto Von Bismarck, that flaming pinko.

  24. al-Ameda says:


    Bernie’s showing the candy but hiding the shackles of slavery that will be locked on to pay for his candy.

    I had no idea that Social Security and Medicare were enslavement programs.

  25. john430 says:

    @C. Clavin: She lied during Whitewater, she lied during the impeachment proceedings, she lied during the $100,000 profit on a phony stock deal , she lied about being “poor” and she lied about Benghazi. Tell me Cliffie, is your tired and worn out “democratic Socialist” of the International Socialist bent or does he lean towards the National Socialist version.? Don’t bother answering because either way we can kiss our basic freedoms goodbye.

  26. David M says:


    And those matter why? Just the other day Cruz said the following: “[Obamacare] is the biggest job-killer in this country. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, have been forced into part-time work, have lost their health insurance”. It seems to me that is a lie we should care about much more than some nonsense about Whitewater or how much money the Clinton’s had when they left the White House.

  27. gVOR08 says:

    @john430: Do you ever question anything you read in the Conservative Echo Chamber?

    Oh, and when @David M: quotes Cruz lying about Obamacare, Cruz also lied when he said he lost his own health insurance.

  28. JKB says:


    Are you saying coin tosses did not occur?

    Because the theory is Hillary “won”. But the spread is only 4. There were 6 coin tosses. So really a Hillary win was just dumb luck.

  29. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: I had no idea that Social Security and Medicare were enslavement programs.

    I take it you are older and likely to get your benefits as opposed to the young who will have to pay higher taxes and at best get some skeleton of benefits?

  30. Moosebreath says:


    “I had no idea that Social Security and Medicare were enslavement programs.”

    After all, St. Ronaldus Magnus said so. The fact that, more than 50 years on, his predictions have proven laughably wrong has not given conservatives a second’s pause, either about Reagan’s wisdom or about their worldview.

  31. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB: You are only going to lose SS and Medicare if we, collectively, allow it. The Rs will come out and propose a two tier system – out of the goodness of our hearts, we’ll honor our promises to old people. But because *squirrel* we’re going to have to reform the system and cut bennies for newer enrollees. And the olds will vote for it ’cause we’re greedy bastards. Then they’ll come around and say look young people, you’re paying for all those luxurious benefits for old people. It’s unfair. And they’ll screw the olds too.

    Don’t let them bullspit you. OMG SS is bust ’cause baby boom!! That got fixed years ago. Minor tweaks and it’s all good. They borrowed the money for their stupid wars, and in order to pay it back, Pete Peterson and his ilk are going to have to pay taxes. That’s the real problem. That, and it must drive Goldman Sachs crazy to see that huge pot of money they can’t screw with.

    Don’t let them play divide and conquer and you’ll get yours..

  32. Rafer Janders says:


    Conservatives have been predicting the imminent bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare for several generations now, and have time and again been proven wrong. But I suppose if a continued record of being wrong was any impediment to their beliefs, then conservatives would no longer be conservatives…..

  33. Dave D says:

    The 6 coin tosses won is one thing. But the alleged fraud on the recount at the clusterfvck that was the Roosevelt High school caucus site in DSM is troublesome. They need to fix this system. At my site there was no official and so our forms went to a volunteer to give to the campaign which is shady as all get out. Even with the additional sites it was poorly managed by the party and the downtown one needed to open up additional space.

  34. Jack says:

    Hillary Clinton Accomplishments: Staying out of prison for 25 years.

    Bernie Sanders Accomplishments: 34 years in public office, never proposed a bill that passed.

    That’s some list of accomplishments for the Democrat presidential nominees.

  35. Scott says:

    @Jack: Unfortunately, the only Republicans with any accomplishments are at the bottom of the heap. Only in America can the experienced get creamed for the act of actually having a record while the non-accomplished get applauded.

  36. Jack says:

    @Scott: You mean like Obama?

  37. Neil Hudelson says:


    He passed 3 bills just in 2014 alone. He’s in the top 25% of Senators serving 10+ years in terms of effectiveness in passing bills.

    Like…it hurts being this stupid, right? It has to. Or do you lack the cognitive ability to feel pain? Please, inquiring minds want to know

  38. Scott says:

    @Jack: So I guess you agree with me.

  39. Pch101 says:

    A Clinton-Sanders ticket might be difficult to beat.

  40. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: No, I am saying that the coin tosses are for county delegations. Each state delegation is equal 1,000 county delegations. So out of those Hillary’s margin of six, coin tosses equalled 0.006.

  41. humanoid.panda says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Sanders is known as the Amedment King in the Senate. Which is an incredible achievement for the single most leftward member of the Senate.
    Sanders was also behind the vast expansion of the rural health clinics written into the ACA. Which means he did more good for many, many, many thousands of GOP voters that all GOP candidates combined, squared and quartered.

  42. Grewgills says:


    Sanders has been calling himself a socialist for decades.

    Sanders self identifies as a social democrat. That is distinct from a democratic socialist and very different than a Marxist or Leninist model. Many of his opponents want to take Sander’s self identification of a European style social democrat and pretend that it means the same thing as being a Marxist. That is at best poorly informed. It is, however, out there and it will be used against him, Unfortunately, that line of attack will likely be pretty successful.

  43. Joe Gage says:


    I did not know that about Bernie. Can you tell me if he is responsible for the plethora of urgent care facilities across the country? I don’t know what the deal is with these centers, but it seems like there are already way too many. Most of them are empty throughout the day and are located in prime real estate space. I’m curious to who actually owns these centers and who is really benefiting . These centers sound good on the surface, but I imagine there is more to this story.

  44. Pch101 says:


    Socialism is the belief that the state should own major industries.

    What industries does Sanders currently want to nationalize? It would seem that the answer to that is “none”; he dropped that rhetoric decades ago.

    Do you think that East Germany was a democracy because it referred to itself as the German Democratic Republic? Just because somebody uses a label does not mean that he is using it accurately.

  45. JKB says:

    @Pch101: Socialism is the belief that the state should own major industries.

    Nice. You use the 10th grade economics definition of socialism. When really that is just state-centric socialism, or as some socialists now call it, State Capitalism.

    The Socialist, under this definition, would be the man who, in general, distrusts the effects of individual initiative and individual enterprise ; who is easily convinced of the utility of an assumption, by the State, of functions which have hitherto been left to personal choices and personal aims ; and who, in fact, supports and advocates many and large schemes of this character.

    A man of whom all this could be said might, in strict justice, be termed a Socialist. The extreme Socialist is he who would make the State all in all, individual initiative and enterprise disappearing in that engrossing democracy of labor to which he aspires. In his view, the powers and rights of the State represent the sum of all the powers and all the rights of the individuals who compose it ; and government becomes the organ of society in respect to all its interests and all its acts. So much for the Socialist.

    A few social programs does not Socialism make, but it is important to keep the socialistic programs and regulations down to a minority so that the liberties of capitalism can produce the surplus needed to fund the socialistic programs. Sadly, Socialists, like Bernie and Hillary, are greedy and cannot understand that their incessant grasp for power over the liberty of others will strangle the milk-cow, the capitalist.

    Socialism is a philosophy of failure. The desire to reorder society to take from the producers the wealth and surplus that the socialist by their very acts reveal they are unable to produce themselves. But oddly, the Socialist leaders end up with much of that wealth in their own bank accounts.

  46. anjin-san says:


    Hillary’s email betrayal of assets in the field takes her out.

    What is this, the patented Fox News Hillary Clinton Smoking Gun Takedown #4763?

  47. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB: Damn straight. You let somebody like Sanders loose he’ll turn this country into a socialist hell hole, like Sweden, or Norway, or most of Europe.

  48. Grewgills says:

    So you found the broadest definition of socialism that you could and then made unfounded assertions about Clinton and Sanders. Not impressive.

    A few social programs does not Socialism make

    Socialist safety nets beside a regulated capitalist system make a social democracy. All of the nations that make up what we call the developed world are social democracies. The differences are all in the balance of safety nets, regulations, and capital. As James used to be fond of saying, we are all playing between the 40 yard lines. Pretending that Sanders is some sort of Marxist and whichever Republican is the champion of capitalism is simplistic, inaccurate, and childish.

  49. anjin-san says:


    My God, do you actually believe this tripe? If you and I spent a few hours talking politics, you would probably walk away convinced I am a socialist.

    But I spend my working life helping entrepreneurs make more money. I suspect I talk to more CEOs, company presidents, and business owners during an average work week than you do in a year. Our household income puts us in the top 10%, and I also suspect that my wife and I have spent far, far more on taking care of some of our less fortunate family members than most members of the self-declared “personal responsibility” crowed on the right – idiots like Bithead who declare loudly and often that “taxation is theft” and then send their kids to public schools.

    Why don’t you take a drive to the coast and visit the people’s republic? Here you will find the people who do the innovating and keep our economy moving forward – and most of them are liberals.

  50. anjin-san says:


    Don’t you know that the socialistic Western European countries are on the verge of collapse? It must be true, because I have heard folks on the right talking about it for half a century now.

  51. humanoid.panda says:

    @Joe Gage: No- Sanders is responsible for a vast expansion of community health centers, which are a network of non-profit health centers that mostly serve inner cities and rural areas. They are, to put it mildly, not under-utilized..

  52. humanoid.panda says:


    Sanders self identifies as a social democrat. That is distinct from a democratic socialist and very different than a Marxist or Leninist model.

    No, that’s quite wrong. Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist not a social democrat. The problem with this is that he is in fact a social democrat, with an American twist (European social democrats don’t mind large corporations, as long as labor gets word in how they run, while Sanders comes from an American tradition of anti-bigness socialism). To put it mildly, when he started running in Vermont in the 1970s, he didn’t put too much thoughts into proper branding..

  53. Pch101 says:

    The definition of @Grewgills:

    So you found the broadest definition of socialism that you could…

    That wasn’t the definition of socialism, but an editorial about one guy’s late-19th century view of what that particular individual believed to be socialism.

    It has no bearing on my earlier point: Socialism is the belief that the state should the means of production, so Sanders isn’t exactly a “socialist.” There are variations within socialism, but Sanders doesn’t fall under any of them.

    We judge people by their ideas and actions, not by the labels that they choose for themselves. Political scientists don’t regard North Korea to be a democratic republic just because that’s what the government in Pyongyang chooses to call it.

  54. al-Ameda says:


    I take it you are older and likely to get your benefits as opposed to the young who will have to pay higher taxes and at best get some skeleton of benefits?

    Thats’s been the conservative talking point for years – that Social Security and Medicare will emaciated programs by the time my children are eligible.

    The fact is, they (those 2 programs) will be emaciated if Republicans want to emaciate them. Even Ronald Reagan approved of a program recalibration back in 1985 in order to set the program on the right path for the next 40 years – current Republicans would rather set Social Security and Medicare on a path to privatization.

  55. Yolo Contendere says:

    @john430: Holy shit. Did you just accuse a Jewish man of being a Nazi?

  56. Grewgills says:

    I thought he was more accurately self identifying at this point. His agenda is pretty middle of the road European social democracy.

    It was probably the most broad definition of socialism he could find regardless of source. It seems to be a definition that some people use when it suits them. On the right right now that generally means defining socialism as broadly as possible, using that definition to label someone a socialist, then comparing that person or group to autocratic stalinist or leninist socialists. By any reasonable definition based on his policy proposals Sanders is a pretty run of the mill social democrat.

  57. Pch101 says:


    Except that it isn’t a definition, but just a rant. Don’t dignify it as being something that it isn’t.

    If I write a lengthy piece that explains why poodles are cats, that doesn’t make it so. If some clown on the internet decides to agree with me and quote me as an authority on zoology, that doesn’t make me an authority. At the end of the day, poodles just aren’t cats and making a passionate or verbose claim to the contrary won’t change that. Even if the idea goes viral and is popular among a certain hare-brained segment of the population, the facts will remain what they are.

    I find that internet right-wingers love to grasp at these sorts of straws as they try to turn lies and half-truths into truths and exceptions to rules into rules. Not all sources are created equal, and we need to be vigilant about those who would claim authority via the use of bogus or abused references.

  58. john430 says:

    @Yolo Contendere: No, I asked a question. A question is not an accusation. Idiot!

  59. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Even Ronald Reagan approved of a program recalibration back in 1985 in order to set the program on the right path for the next 40 years

    To be fair, Reagan approved of a scheme to recalibrate SS in order to maximize the surplus provided to the general fund, in an effort to hide the true extent of the deficit & debt explosions that were his two terms.

    It had the net effect of shifting a larger portion of the burden of paying for federal spending from the upper class to the middle & lower class.