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No, Hillary Isn’t Stealing the Primary

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In this Democratic primary that is both inspiring and infuriating in equal measure, one of the least appealing aspects of it how many Bernie supporters are accusing Hillary Clinton or the “Democratic Machine” of stealing the election for her. Now, there’s no question that the primary system is a hot mess–caucuses are undemocratic, many voter registration laws are ridiculous (including New York’s), states won’t pony up for primaries, states have different standards on who can vote in these primaries (I do not believe that non-Democrats should have the right to choose the Democratic Party nominee), etc. But these allegations that the problem is a conspiracy are totally ridiculous. First, the “party machine,” whatever that even means today, is the weakest it has ever been. Remember that for the vast majority of Democratic Party history, the primaries didn’t even mean very much and actual Democratic Party insiders picked the president. This has only changed in the last 50 years. Second, as Holland points out, why would Hillary steal a primary when she has no reason to do so?

It’s a conspiracy theory, and conspiracy theories tend to fall apart under the weight of their own internal illogic. Consider the 9/11 attacks: If they were a “false flag” operation pulled off by a cabal of extremists within the Bush administration in order to create a casus belli for the invasion of Iraq, why wouldn’t they make the attackers evil Iraqi intelligence officers rather than citizens of Saudi Arabia? And if they really felt the need to bring down the World Trade Center, why bother shooting a missile at the Pentagon? Why crash an airplane into a field in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania? Even judged on its own terms, the theory makes no sense.

Obviously, if campaign operatives were caught rigging a primary or caucus, their candidate would face a media shit-storm, their political careers would be over, and they might well end up in prison. So let’s set aside the specifics for a moment and consider whether there’s a coherent motive for these crimes that would be worth the risk.

Put yourself in the shoes of a vicious Clinton operative with loose ethics and a desire to win at all costs. Why would such a person bother rigging the vote in Wyoming, the state with the fewest delegates up for grabs? That’s a significant risk and a lot of trouble to go through to turn what might have been an 8-6 or perhaps 9-5 delegate split into a 7-7 outcome.

The same problem holds more generally. While Sanders has run an excellent campaign and exceeded all expectations, at no point during the Democratic primaries has he been on track to win. Sanders has held a lead in a handful of national polls, but at no time in the past year has his support broken 42 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s weighted polling average. And at no point in the race has Clinton held a lead narrower than 9.7 percentage points in that average. Why would any campaign, no matter how unprincipled, fix a race that it’s been winning from the start?

The reasons Sanders isn’t winning are not a conspiracy theory. They are quite explainable. It’s that a) he had a late start and couldn’t really compete in many of the states between Nevada and when his early success led to more fundraising and b) he has done very poorly with people of color and a Democrat can’t win the nomination without sizable black and Latino support.

But for a lot of people, conspiracy theories are more palatable than actual political analysis. It’s easier to blame some nefarious power than own up to a candidate’s or a position’s shortcoming, not to mention the work of structural analysis.

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  • MPAVictoria

    “b) he has done very poorly with people of color and a Democrat can’t win the nomination without sizable black and Latino support.”

    I agree with most of what Erik wrote but I object a bit to the above section. Bernie has done very well with younger people of colour and won Muslim voters by quite a bit.

    • He’s also been pretty dominant among Asians and Native Americans.

      • n00chness

        Gallup polling in late 2015 indicated that Bernie’s net favorable rating among Asian voters is +29, whereas Hillary’s is +21. (Cruz and Trump are at -20 and -43, respectively).

        The data suggests a slight edge for Bernie, but not “dominance” by any stretch of the imagination.

        • I was talking about election outcomes.

          See Hawaii, for example.

          As we see with Sanders’ strong favorables among Latinos and African-Americans, a contest between two candidates who are viewed favorably can still produce a lopsided win for one or the other.

          • n00chness

            Are you saying that the results of the Hawaii Democratic Caucus are representative for the entire US asian population?

            Source?

            • I’m saying that the results in Hawaii make the blanket statement about Sanders’ performance among “people of color” untrue, and in need of some modification.

              And also that Asians in Hawaii are more representative of Asians in the rest of the U.S. than, for example, southern African-Americans or Latinos are of Asians throughout the U.S. It’s kind of funny how you’re perfectly happy to let those groups stand in for “people of color” and then apply that outcome to Asians, but going from one group of Asians to another brings out this angry denunciation.

              • Johnny Sack

                This is a good point. “People of color” is not a monolith.

                • kped

                  Sure, but Eric specifically said

                  b) he has done very poorly with people of color and a Democrat can’t win the nomination without sizable black and Latino support.

                  So I think it’s obvious that he is talking specifically about two populations – black and Latino democrats. Maybe a little inelegantly for some peoples tastes, but it’s clearly not about Muslim or Asian American voters (who make up far smaller portions of the population and therefore don’t have the overall electoral impact of black and Latino Americans yet.)

                • Ronan

                  Well if he is, as I keep saying, why not not use the nonsensical descriptor “people of colour” and instead use the traditional, sensible, analytically clear “African Americans and Latinos”?

                • kped

                  What do you mean “if”? It’s in the same sentence, it’s quite clear what he meant. Why harp on a tiny word choice that is clarified in the same sentence?

                  Christ, what do they call this…sea lioning? I think that’s the proper internet meme to describe the derailing for a minor tangential argument.

                • Ronan

                  There’s an “if” because the sentence was complicated by the category “people of colour”, even if it was semi clarified later on in the sentence .
                  This Is obvious by multiple peoples readings.

                • kped

                  Then multiple people suck at reading comprehension, or are just sea lioning, trying to derail on a minor word choice THAT IS CLEARED UP IN THE VERY SAME SENTENCE.

                  Seriously, if you have trouble reading his point, the problem is with you.

                  b) he has done very poorly with people of color and a Democrat can’t win the nomination without sizable black and Latino support.

                • Manny Kant

                  Prediction: Bernie will not do well among Hispanic voters in New York. He will do better in California, though not by enough to actually win.

                • Ronan

                  Look kped, I understand youre a Hillary partisan, and so your routine is solely concerned with defending your candidate. I understand that your obligations can lead you (when the objective is to defend Hillary) to say(below) “stop erasing black people dude. Not cool”, and then with the other side of your mouth, when the objective is to undermine Sanders, and other people of colour are “being erased”, to stake the opposite position
                  I understand this is the dilemma faced by all hacks. And I appreciate how difficult it must be

                • kped

                  And what does that have to do with Hillary? Literally nothing in this argument is about her. It’s about you and a couple of others parsing out a 20 word sentence, pretending that the second part isn’t there to claim outrage.

                  As to the comment below, yes, saying “if it wasn’t for black people X would have won” is most definitely something that is often said during elections to treat the black vote as something “other”. My point: Using Republican talking points to say your guy would win is not a good idea.

                  But that again has nothing to do with the first point. So you are on a roll. Bring in Hillary even though she isn’t mentioned and has nothing to do with my criticism of you. Bring in a different argument from below, that again has nothing to do with this.

                  You’re a troll. Good to know. Back under the bridge with you.

                • Ronan

                  How Sanders is doing with blacks and Latinos has nothing to do with Hillary ?So what, they’re all just staying home ?

                • kped

                  No, you said i was shilling for Hillary,

                  Look kped, I understand youre a Hillary partisan, and so your routine is solely concerned with defending your candidate.

                  and I’m saying: What the holy hell does any of what I’m saying have to do with Hillary Clinton? I’m saying you and others are deliberately misreading a single sentence, and to do so requires you to literally stop reading it halfway so you don’t see his obvious meaning.

                  Try to turn it into Clinton vs Sanders all you want. It’s not. It’s about you and others having fake shitty reading comprehension. You know what Eric meant, because he said it in the same sentence you are pretending to be upset about.

                  (if you want to accuse people of being hacks, you better not be acting like a bigger hack in that very argument…)

                • Ronan

                  Because Imo your position on the topic of Bernie Sanders is always seen through Hillary tinted glasses. I could make a comment about bernies awesome new low carb diet and you’d say it’s ridiculous and disqualifies him from being seen as a serious candidate that the only game in town is gluten free

                • Ronan

                  And look, four people before you “misread” the comment. This implies it wasn’t overly clear, No? And that the term poc didn’t really clarify it ?
                  I didn’t in fact misread it, I understood the point erik was making. I was objecting to the use of “people of colour”. Both in general and in this context

                • Ronan

                  ; )

                • kped

                  So…you are saying you are making up arguments in your head against a version of me that exists there. Cool.

                  I won’t engage with the rest, because you’ve grown tiresome. You knew what he meant, you argued against something he didn’t say/mean. You saw what I said, you argued against your interpretation of me from past threads.

                  Really, you’re arguing with the ghosts in your head. Good luck with that.

                • Ronan

                  I argued against the use of the term people of colour, which I claimed confused matters and wasn’t analytically useful. All of this is borne out by this subthread

              • Arouet

                It actually doesn’t make the statement untrue, you’re just objecting to “people of color” being lumped together. When you lump them together, Erik’s statement is true. Whether that’s advisable, I take no particular stance on.

                • The other part is that Erik also lumps together not just the different demographic groups, but also the two points – one about not doing well among black and Latino voters, and one about not doing well among people of color.

                  In doing so, his language works to assert a falsehood – that the Sanders campaign’s bad performance among black and (to a lesser extent) Latino voters extends to other people of color.

                • efgoldman

                  I think that’s the proper internet meme to describe the derailing for a minor tangential argument.

                  But that’s what blog commenters do.

              • DilbertSucks

                Bernie does well among Latinos too in states where he bothers to campaign. Bernie lost Texas and Florida among all racial demographics (he lost the White vote there too!) because he simply didn’t campaign much in those states. He won the Latino vote in Illinois, Nevada, and presumably Colorado. He also polls extremely well among California Hispanics. See my post below with the relevant links/polls.

                Bernie does poorly among African-Americans. That’s correct. Bernie does poorly among “people of color/minorities” is grossly misleading. “People of color” is a useless and misleading umbrella term. Lumping such disparate groups under one term, completely ignoring the major differences between them, is simplistic and insulting.

    • Arouet

      What Erik said is in no way incompatible with the point you’re making. Of course a candidate is almost always going to do better and worse with certain subsets of a demographic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t characterize their performance at a higher level of generality.

      For example: “Hillary is winning this primary,” is obviously not antithetical to the statement that “Sanders is winning heavily among younger voters.”

    • yinz

      Sure, but that’s not particularly salient w/r/t Erik’d point. Younger voters (18-29) are not the majority of democratic voters. Additionally, per this Gallup data, non-Black, non-Latino PoC voters make up ~5% of the democratic base.

      It’s awesome (and pretty telling) that Sanders has done well among these populations, but without heavy support from Latino and Black voters *of all ages*, he’s going to have a real, real hard time winning the nomination.

      Edit: beaten, and badly!

    • And as we discuss this, let’s not forget that there are two candidates influencing this race, not just one. Hillary Clinton actually does have some strengths as a candidate, and a strong attachment among, for instance, African-American voters is one of them.

      But for some reason, even her supporters tend not to want to talk about her strength in those communities in terms of her success, but in terms of a Sanders failure.

      • kped

        Not true at all, many of her supporters talk about her long standing connection to those communities and how that has prevented Sanders from making inroads.

        • …typically, as in this OP and thread, only in response to being called out like this.

          I wonder, kped – you saw the OP attributing the results to Sanders’ weakness, not Clinton’s strength. Where’s your comment taking Erik to task?

          • At least, that’s the way it works these days.

            If you go back to last fall and winter, there was much more discussion along the lines of what you’re saying volunteered up front by Clinton supporters. There has been a shift over the course of the campaign.

          • kped

            He didn’t offer reasons, because it was merely a statement of fact, so I don’t see the need to castigate him for failing to note Clinton’s strengths there. Eric wasn’t calling Sanders a weak candidate. Only nothing that he has performed poorly in two large Democratic voting blocs. Hardly controversial or needing qualifiers in my mind.

          • ChrisTS

            Why should he be taken to task? He wrote an OP about why Sanders is losing: it’s not a conspiracy; it’s XYZ. He needn’t include that Clinton is winning because PQR.

            • For the reason I just explained.

              Because describing the Democratic primary results among African-Americans (and to a lesser extent Latinos) is primarily a result of Clinton, not of Sanders. According to kped, this is a point that Clinton supporters are quite forthright about making.

              And given her level of motivation to jump in and say that Clinton supporters do so talk about the race in terms of her strengths, and not just Sanders’ alleged weaknesses, it’s especially noteworthy that she…you know…didn’t do that, and neither did any of the other Clinton supporters, until I pointed it out.

              Which is to say, it’s not so much that she should call Erik out, as that she would be expected to if what she was describing about Clinton supporters’ commentary was accurate.

              • kped

                ?

                (should say, he, not she. Not sure why you decided that and keep using it. Not bothered by it, but may as well clear it up)

                Nothing you just said has anything to do with this thread. Erik made a point about the race: You cannot win without the support of black and Latino voters. That’s it. It’s not a controversial point. It doesn’t say Sanders is weak. It doesn’t need to say Clinton is strong. It merely says: If you don’t win this large block of voters, you cannot win.

                Now, why you felt the need for your snark here is something for you and your therapist. I don’t actually care. Why you feel the need to keep talking about me to others, when I explain myself quite clearly above, again, you can talk to your therapist to figure these things out.

                You said to me before, so I’ll say it to you: You have to understand that not every comment is about Clinton v Sanders. In this case, Erik’s comment was just about gaining the Democratic nomination in general. I noted that. I also said that Clinton supporters do note her strength with these communities…but that has no bearing on this argument.

                I don’t think you’ll be able to accept this clear distinction, especially with Sanders loss today. Lash out, it’s OK slugger, I can handle your tantrums.

                • kped

                  (to clarify in case you hack this one up too: “but that has no bearing on this argument” is in relation to Eriks original post, the one you jumped on with your “witty” snark. “Haha, even her supporters don’t want to talk about her strengths”. But again: This has nothing to do with the OP, that you are trying to derail it and make this Clinton vs Sanders is just sad. It’s a totally uncontroversial point: You need to appeal to the entire base to win the Democratic primary. Full stop.)

  • BiloSagdiyev

    You can’t trust THE SYSTEM!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAYL5H46QnQ

    • Davis X. Machina

      Word up!

  • n00chness

    I wonder what percentage of Bernie’s supporters think that Bernie, not Hillary, has a 250 pledged-delegate lead, and that Bernie, not Hillary, leads overall with more than 250 million votes.

    They are delusional.

    If you can find a Bernie supporters who accepts these facts, they just hand-waive it away by explaining that the votes of Those People Down South should not be counted.

    Equally obnoxious.

    • Karen24

      Oh, how I HATE that “Southern primaries don’t count because those states will be red in November.” Virginia and Florida voted for Obama twice and North Carolina once. Heck, Louisiana rejected an insane Teahadi Republican for a Democrat as governor, which Kansas — a Sanders state — lacked the wit to in 2014. Georgia is more likely to vote Dem that Idaho or Wyoming, and has, I think about twice as many electoral votes as both those mountain redoubts have together.

      • Arouet

        I mean that’s all true but the even more basic point is that, say, “Arkansas is a red state,” does not mean that “Arkansan Democratic primary voters are conservative.” And without that, the logic of discounting their votes is basically nonexistent.

        • Karen24

          Exactly, and if we want to expand the blue part of the map we need to support voters in red states, especially red states where it might do some good. (I’m looking at North Carolina and Georgia, which have a friendlier media market and which have provided a recent example of just how important judiciously-applied $$$ pressure can be.)

      • sam

        A really good way to make sure those states stay red in November is to alienate a good portion of the liberal democratic voters that reside in them.

        A good friend (and former colleague) of mine who lives in Atlanta used to keep framed copies of the front page of the NY Times from each of Clinton’s and Obama’s inaugurations hanging on his office wall. His mother apparently keeps a framed photograph of FDR on her wall. They are the die-hardiest of die-hard democrats and are by no means conservative. He knows he’s often tilting at windmills when he votes, but a surefire way to make sure he won’t vote for you is to tell him that his vote is somehow irrelevant.

        • Karen24

          Best of luck to you and your friend in Atlanta! May he soon see his state lit blue!

      • kped

        Well, you don’t have to go far to find Sanders supporters downplay the Confederate…I mean Southern votes….I can name some people for you if you want ;)

        (and of course Southern Caucus wins count…those are OK because they came later and show the true will of the electorate even if less that 20K people voted in them…)

    • Philip

      If you can find a Bernie supporters who accepts these facts, they just hand-waive it away by explaining that the votes of Those People Down South should not be counted.

      And apparently it’s not hard to find a Clinton supporter who dismisses every single Sanders supporter as either delusional or stupid?

    • Steven desJardins

      You think Hillary leads by over 250 million votes? You’re off by two orders of magnitude: 250 million is over three-quarters of the entire US population.

      • ChrisTS

        I assumed it was a typo: 2.5 million.

        • n00chness

          Typo – intended to say 2.5 mil.

    • Sly

      Honestly, I find the notion that “black Southerners are the inheritors of the Old Confederacy and should be disregarded by any left-wing political movement” to be much more obnoxious. Much, much, much more.

  • It’s certainly true that the party has been putting a heavy thumb on the scale for Clinton. For example, DWS and the debate schedule.

    It does not follow from this, however, that everything that works out to Hillary Clinton’s advantage is a consequence of the party putting its thumb on the scale.

    • n00chness

      Maybe if Bernie spent a little more time on raising funds for down-ballot Democratic candidates, and a little less time on self-aggrandizement, Bernie would have a little more mainstream Democratic support.

      I don’t find the claims that the primary has not been free and fair to be plausible in the slightest.

      • I would like to think that the DNC would maintain fairness and neutrality in its official functions during a primary contest even if one candidate was bringing in less money than the other. I guess we just part ways on that.

        Anyway, you’ve gotta love the “I didn’t do it and if I did it was self-defense” element of this comment.

        The party establishment isn’t doing anything to favor Clinton, and if they are, it’s Bernie’s fault. Thank your for your input.

        • Karen24

          You can’t really expect people to respond well to constant insults. Politics is very much a pragmatic business and someone who refuses even a tiny bit of pragmatism deserves to be eaten alive in it.

          • The initial debate schedule was set by the DNC last fall. This pretense of the national party’s favoritism towards Hillary being a result Sanders’ campaigning has a timeline problem.

            It’s funny how everyone understood at the outset of this primary that Clinton was the establishment favorite because of her history prior to this contest, and now it’s some obscure theory no one remembers.

            • ColBatGuano

              Is there any evidence that debates have had a significant effect on the primaries?

          • JL

            Are you suggesting that joe from Lowell, who I’ve always thought of as one of the more pragmatism-focused people here, refuses even a tiny bit of pragmatism? Or did you mean that Bernie Sanders, who has carved a record out of floor amendments and intra-party horse trading to get stuff like increased funding for community health centers and veterans’ services, refuses even a tiny bit of pragmatism?

            Either way, you’re distorting someone’s record pretty badly.

            • Karen24

              Sanders isn’t a Democrat and wanted someone to primary Obama in 2012, and has a long and storied record of telling the Dems that our party is a bunch of square sell outs. (And he’s perfectly willing to distort his legislative record on the ’94 crime bill so as to make his opponent who didn’t vote for it look bad.)

              JfL, on the other hand, is always reasonable.

              • JL

                Your complaints about Sanders don’t change the fact that he has a pretty strong record of pragmatic work.

                Someone who refuses even a tiny bit of pragmatism probably doesn’t run for Congress in the first place, at least not with the intention of getting there. If they get there, they don’t caucus with the Dems, they don’t seek out committee work or try to advance within committees, they don’t make deals with Dick Durbin to support the Dems on procedural things in exchange for committee assignments, they blow all their effort on no-hoper bills instead of using procedural hacks and backroom deals with Dems to get the provisions they want into legislation. When their ideological compatriots are pushing them to primary the incumbent Dem in 2012, they probably go for it, instead of waiting until 2016 when there’s no incumbent, because they don’t care about pragmatism.

                Sanders has a long history as a gadfly, which is a specific and sometimes useful role, rather than something inherently worthless. He’s a pretty pragmatic gadfly, though.

                • ColBatGuano

                  he has a pretty strong record of pragmatic work.

                  People keep saying this, but the evidence is pretty slim.

                • Philip

                  People keep saying this, but the evidence is pretty slim.

                  Do we need to post, verbatim, every amendment he got through a roll call vote in a Republican controlled House?

                • It’s amazing.

                  Obviously, the good Colonel has come across, for example, Sanders’ amendment record – passing the largest number of any of his colleagues for a period of over a decade. Or his response to the ACA – passing the Sanders Amendment and then being tagged by Harry Reid to round up progressive support.

                  But for some reason, neither of those count as evidence.

        • ChrisTS

          It’s not that he is bringing in less, it’s that he promised to contribute and has given (up to just recently) zero. And, where he has given a few thousand, it has only been to people who endorsed him.

      • slothrop
        • I got an interesting fund-raising email from the Sanders campaign for a progressive Democratic Congressional candidate.

          Apparently, she had the endorsement of EMILY’s List last time, and is now running for a second time. But in between then and now, she endorsed Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary, and now EMILY’S List is endorsing her opponent.

          We had something similar happen in Lowell. We had two great, pro-choice, liberal women running in a Democratic primary to fill Marty Meehan’s seat. But because one was a familiar face from the DC cocktail circuit and the other wasn’t, they bigfooted in and endorsed one candidate over the other.

          • sharonT

            This has happened in other Democratic House primaries too.

            Although a flush self founder can trip up the insiders choice. he used his hedge fund cash to outspend a long serving state senator in a district that was custom drawn for the state senator by the General Assembly. Mr. Hedge Fund is lodged in MD 6 voting with the New Dem caucus.

            So, at least in Maryland, outsiders aren’t always liberals.

    • Yankee

      It isn’t even obvious that the party putting its thumb on the scale in defense of its interest as a collective is a corrupt thing. Somebody should be doing strategy based on something other than the facebook echo chamber.

      • Wow

        • ChrisTS

          Well, but do you say ‘Wow’ to Republicans trying to stop Trump?

          (Can someone explain why, if I type ‘yu,’ spell checker offers ‘yew’ as the first option?)

          • elm

            (Can someone explain why, if I type ‘yu,’ spell checker offers ‘yew’ as the first option?)

            It’s a conspiracy. Clinton is trying to remind bad typers that Bernie is a Jew and thus tap into the latent anti-semitism in America thus enabling her to win the primary.

          • No, I say “Wow” to people who describe, either implicit or explicitly, Sanders’ position in the Democratic Party as being comparable to Donald Trump.

            Wow, Chris.

    • efgoldman

      It does not follow from this, however, that everything that works out to Hillary Clinton’s advantage is a consequence of the party putting its thumb on the scale.

      Maybe a lot of Democratic voters have noticed that Sanders is not a Democrat, and feel that a Democrat should get the Democratic nomination.
      I thought maybe the Vermont Democratic party was moribund, like Texas, and that’s why Bernie presented himself as an independent socialist, or whatever he is. But no – every state-wide elected official in VT, except the Lieutenant Governor, is a Democrat, including the other senator and the congresscritter. Both houses have Democratic majorities. VT now is as blue as blue can get. He could have joined the Democrats and had the benefits of the party and organization at any time in the last 20 years.
      I think he’s fortunate to have gotten as many votes as he has.

      • Maybe this comment is a pretty good example of an internet commenter projecting his opinion onto the broader electorate. With Sanders rising from 3% to parity over the course of the primary process, the notion that any explanation that Democratic voters came to see something negative about Sanders over the course of the primary makes no sense.

        For that matter, looking at a campaign that accomplished that and basing one’s analysis around failure is reminiscent of the people who looked at the success of the Obama White in passing the ACA and discussed that process in terms of shortcomings. The very first question, obviously, in both cases should be “Wow, how did he succeed so far beyond reasonable expectations?”

  • DilbertSucks

    he has done very poorly with people of color and a Democrat can’t win the nomination without sizable black and Latino support.

    I agree with most of your post, but I have to take issue here. It’s African-Americans who vote overwhelmingly for Hillary in every state, not “people of color.”

    Bernie has done very well with Latinos when he’s reached out to them. He outright won the Latino vote in Illinois and most likely Nevada and Colorado as well. He lost them in Texas and Florida, but Hillary won the White vote in Texas and Florida as well. She won across all racial demographics. The most likely explanation is that Bernie didn’t run very good campaigns in Texas or Florida, which seems backed up by the facts. It has nothing to do with race or Bernie’s failings with “people of color” (I hate this term, to be frank).

    Meanwhile, polling has Bernie doing extremely well with Latinos in California and nationwide:

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/California-Latinos-gravitating-toward-Bernie-7247123.php

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/poll-latino-voters-near-evenly-divided-over-clinton-sanders-n552531

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article70202867.html

    Sanders, an independent, edges Clinton nationally thanks to solid support from several groups. He leads 76-23 percent among those 29 and younger; 63-31 percent among Latinos; 62-32 among independents; 58-38 among the unmarried; and 56-42 among liberals.

    Clinton leads 65-29 percent among those 60 and older; 61-35 among African-Americans; 57-39 among the married; and 53-43 among Democrats.

    For the record, I’m not expecting Bernie to do well among NY Latinos tonight, because the majority of NY Latinos are Puerto Ricans/Dominicans, who tend to inhabit the same social circles as Blacks and share their voting patterns. You see this reflected in intermarriage rates: the majority of Black-Hispanic intermarriages are in the Northeast, where the majority is Puerto Rican/Dominican. Black-Hispanic intermarriage is rare in the Southwest and South in general, where the Mexican/South American population is larger.

    Bernie does better among Mexicans and South Americans. Based on Hawaii results, he also does well among Asians/Pacific Islanders.

    I guess you can say it’s a pet peeve of mine when people use the term “minorities” or “people of color” when their comment by and large only applies to Blacks. Moreover, in many cases, saying “minorities” and “people of color” is dishonest and misleading, and non-Black minorities themselves will pick up on this.

    • That’s fine except you have to do a lot of work on the Latino issue. When you get blown out in Texas and Florida, you can’t just wave that away.

      • Karen24

        And please note that Florida voted for Obama twice. It’s well on its way to being the solid blue urban state its demographics suggest it should be, which Wyoming and Idaho won’t be this century.

      • DilbertSucks

        That’s fine except you have to do a lot of work on the Latino issue. When you get blown out in Texas and Florida, you can’t just wave that away.

        What part of “Hillary won White voters in Texas and Florida too” did you miss? Why do you reduce it to the “Latino issue”? That’s exactly what I took umbrage with. From what I’ve read, Bernie didn’t bother campaigning much in Texas or Florida period, essentially ceding those states to Clinton. It has nothing to do with “the Latino issue” and everything to do with Bernie not campaigning strongly in those states. In states where Bernie made an effort to win, like Illinois and Nevada, he’s done very well with Latinos. In fact, he would’ve won Illinois if it were limited to the White/Hispanic vote. Blacks gave Hillary the win in Illinois.

        • kped

          “If this group of voters didn’t exist, he’d have won!”

          It’s not cool when they delete black voters to show how Republicans X would have won the presidency, not cool when Democrats do it to show it would have made Bernie win.

          Hillary won Illinois because she had a broader coalition of democratic voters, representing all groups.

          See, that sounds much better, and is just as accurate.

      • slothrop

        The question why minority voters prefer HRC is interesting. Glenn Ford’s analysis of black voters’ politics of fear as a reason to vote for HRC might explain why Latino voters irrationally prefer HRC over Sanders.

        • Latino voters irrationally prefer HRC over Sanders.

          Where “rational” = “preferring the candidate or position that I personally support.”

          • slothrop

            She’s terrible for Latinos. She saying the right things now because it’s politically expedient for her to do so. But, she’s no friend of Latinos, for sure.

            • ColBatGuano

              That article is the same rehashed bullshit every Sanders supporter trots out. I like the added touch of calling her a liar when her stands don’t match your fantasy world.

          • tsam

            Where “rational” = “preferring the candidate or position that I personally support.”

            Well sure, if you assume that blacks and latinos are capable of thinking for themselves and all think exactly alike. But well know that’s not true, don’t we?

            • slothrop

              What? Can you write a sentence?

              • tsam

                Do you even lift?

        • JL

          I am a Sanders supporter, but the idea that it’s irrational for people to prefer the candidate they (correctly or not) think is more likely to beat the anti-them party, is condescending tripe.

          Also, if one is a Sanders supporter, that thing you linked to is enormously self-serving. It might be helpful to read one of the many analyses of black or some Latino voting preferences, that are less geared to make you feel righteous. Or to talk to some black or Latino folks who support Clinton and find out why they feel the way they do.

          • slothrop

            I’m married to a Central American immigrant & have many relationships with Latinos, especially Mexicans. My spouse despises HRC for her Latin American foreign-policy history. My spouse does not trust HRC on immigration, based on HRC’s equivocations. There is no question that Sanders has demonstrated unwavering support for these people, while HRC vacillates as is her custom. The problem is, most of the people I talk to just don’t know very much about Bernie.

            • tsam

              I’m married to a Central American immigrant & have many relationships with Latinos, especially Mexicans.

              Well I guess that settles it then.

              • slothrop

                The polling shows that he has very low name recognition among Latinos.

                • petesh

                  Well, that was last August.

              • EliHawk

                The plural of anecdote is still data, right?

                • ColBatGuano

                  Is one plural?

            • Alex.S

              It doesn’t matter too much, but Sanders did vote against one of the big immigration bills (2007) due to labor opposition. He then voted for immigration reform the next go-around (Gang of Six era during Obama administration).

              • ChrisTS

                And he voted to dump nuclear waste on a poor Latino community in Texas.

            • sharculese

              “My spouse gets to speak for everyone of a particular race,” said someone who is totally not condescending to said race.

              • kped

                Did I tell you about my black friend? He says…

                edit: Damn, should have read one comment below, delazeur beat me to it!

            • delazeur

              I bet you have a black friend, too.

          • Ronan

            Is the problem the word irrational ? Fair enough, though most analysis is going to be dancing around that term as voting preferences are not usually developed overly coherently or after deep engagement.
            A lot of people here seem to be opposed to generalizing About a demographic at all(while then, with the other side of their mouth, generalizing About that demographic). Is it condescending to say poor southern whites who vote republican vote against their economic interests? Or that a significant amount might be driven by racism? Is it not more condescending (not saying u do this, but others do) to.imply that nothing negative can be said about black/Latino preference formation, like it can with other groups ?

            • Alex.S

              It’s fine to say a group is voting because of reason X.

              It’s not ok to say a group is voting the wrong way, because they should be prioritizing issue Y.

              The first lets people examine the group and make decisions on how to court them (or if they should be courted). It also allows for trying to change how the group is voting through engagement.

              The second is not good, because it dismisses the group. It’s ok to dismiss a group if a candidate or party decides that they can’t prioritize or accepts the things that group wants. But it’s not ok to dismiss a group because they should be thinking your way, and they’d realize how great your party or candidate is if only they thought the right way.

              ——–

              The first method results in a party or candidate examining the electorate and forming a winning coalition. Or trying to form one, but reaching a limit based on how far they will go.

              The second method results in a party or candidate just insisting that they’re right and the voters will agree with them.

              • Ronan

                It absolutely is okay to say group x should prioritise y. If I was American I’d certainly say southern whites should prioritise a welfare state, and I’ve no problem saying it about my compatriots either.
                I’m not talking about building coalitions from the top, I’m taking about the context here, internet banter and layman philosophizing

            • Spiny

              Is the problem the word irrational ? Fair enough, though most analysis is going to be dancing around that term as voting preferences are not usually developed overly coherently or after deep engagement.

              But this is not the same as irrational. Opinions formed without a scholarly understanding of a subject can still be entirely rational.

              Is it condescending to say poor southern whites who vote republican vote against their economic interests?

              Yes. They may have a different understanding of their economic interest than you do. They may, as you say, be voting on racist, classist, or sexist lines. Either way, more is gained by listening and making good faith arguments in response.

              Is it not more condescending (not saying u do this, but others do) to.imply that nothing negative can be said about black/Latino preference formation, like it can with other groups ?

              I think there’s a difference between academic discussion of preference formation and wielding of preference formation arguments as a political club. The latter is almost always done on the (false) assumption that the wielder has formed his or her opinions from perfect fact and rationality. It never comes off well.

              • Ronan

                If your final paragraph was the norm *, then I’d maybe agree. But there’s a huge double standard (not from you here, but in the various discussions)
                I don’t necessarily disagree with the rest

                * edit ie if we didn’t judge unfavoured demographics preferences all the time

              • Ronan

                “Opinions formed without a scholarly understanding of a subject ”

                But it’s not being judged against “a scholarly understanding of a subject.” Bijan recently linked to a paper which said a significant amount of people voted based on the candidates appearance. Is that rational ? My grandmother voted the same party her entire life and said she would(hyperbolically, yet plausibly)even if they took her pension and kicked her into the street . I understand why she did (primarily tradition and identity issues, possibly economic ones for her father’s generation ) and I don’t think she was irrational or that I’m any more rational. but I don’t have an issue with either of us being categorised as at least semi irrational

                • Spiny

                  Bijan recently linked to a paper which said a significant amount of people voted based on the candidates appearance. Is that rational ?

                  Without reading the paper and seeing how they define appearance, it’s hard to say. If it’s strictly “I don’t like that suit color” then of course that’s not rational, but I doubt that gets to the whole of it. If you were voting primarily from a racist/sexist/classist standpoint, definitely that’s rational, though gross. To the extent that all of us (who are sighted) for good or ill form our judgments of people based on at least some visual cues, yeah, it’s rational.

                  Fundamentally I believe this world is too complicated to expect voters not to use non-issue factors in their voting pattern. Hell, for many not spending their day reading politics is the most rational choice they make all day!

                  I understand why she did (primarily tradition and identity issues, possibly economic ones for her father’s generation ) and I don’t think she was irrational or that I’m any more rational. but I don’t have an issue with either of us being categorised as at least semi irrational.

                  I don’t have an issue with that either, but I think you then basically have to define all voters as at least semi-irrational.

                  I genuinely believe no one votes solely on impartial assessment of the issues. All of us are influenced by our biases and personal histories, all of us are making decisions with imperfect information.

                • Ronan

                  I agree with all of that. For the purposes of full disclosure, this was the bit bijan quoted that I was riffing from

                  “A 1992 study found that in the absence of other information, voters used candidates’ physical attractiveness to draw inferences about their personal qualities and political ideology.[9] A study performed using logistic regression analysis on data from the 1986 through 1994 American National Election Studies found that low-information voters tend to assume female and black candidates are more liberal than male and white candidates of the same party.[10] A 2003 study that analyzed precinct-level data from city council elections held in Peoria, Illinois between 1983 and 1999 found that the placement of candidates’ names on the ballot was a point of influence for low-information voters.[11] An analysis concerned with the “puzzling finding” that incumbent legislators in mature democracies charged with corruption are not commonly punished in elections found that less-informed voters were significantly more likely to vote for incumbents accused of corruption than were their better-informed counterparts, presumably because they did not know about the allegations.[12]”

                  I haven’t read the paper (also can’t link because my kindle doesn’t allow it, but I will later)

                  Edit: I agree it’s not necessarily irrational. But I think the use of the description “irrational” when talking about voting preferences is at least debatable

                • Edit: I agree it’s not necessarily irrational. But I think the use of the description “irrational” when talking about voting preferences is at least debatable

                  Well, I start with a de minimus standard notion: Voter preferences are irrational if they are inconsistent (in a strong sense).

                  Thus, if I have a strong policy preference A and consistent vote for a party who consistently and explicitly oppose A, then, eteris paribus, I have irrational voting behaviour.

                  Now, the problem with many claims that some class of voters is irrational, is that it requires a lot of work on dorking the other things unequally to get to the contradiction. Thus, let’s take a What’s Wrong With Kansas style thesis: A: People in Kansas prefer to have a state economy that’s not a basket case and roughly the current level of services. B: They vote Brownback and he slashes services and killed the economy.

                  But to make this strictly an inconsistent set of believes you have to set up a lot of beliefs about casualty that the voters might not share. Thus, the best you can get to is that those voters are mistaken, but rational unless you think their remaining mistaken is irrational.

                  Alternatively, you can say that people’s pure arbitrary preference ordering is irrational because you don’t like it. So, if a voter 1) wants competent government and 2) opposes gay marriage, they will typically have no optimal vote (i.e., the Democrat will give them 1 and the republican will give them 2; let’s presume they know this and don’t presume the Republican will give them 1 AND 2), it’s not irrational for them to vote for the Republican for the sake of 2, if they strongly prefer 2.

                  You might say, “That’s crazy! Why would you prefer failing government for the sake of sticking it to the gays!?!?” (I certainly say that ;)) But if it is brute preference, then game over from most formal theories of rationality perspective.

    • Johnny Sack

      In fact, my wife is Puerto Rican and she is probably going to vote for Clinton tonight.

      Whereas I, the Cuban, am going to vote Bernie.

  • Joe_JP

    In NY, we have to vote for one of the candidates and delegates for our congressional district (we pick seven). Curiously, there are not seven delegates among the choices we were given that are bound to Sanders. Only five. I’m sure this confused some people.

    Republicans just have the candidates (they also have a chance to vote for Carson) for some reason.

    • So…do you check a box for each of the delegates, too?

      Could someone vote for four Clinton delegates and three Sanders delegates?

      • Alex.S

        The vote for the candidate determines the vote. Delegate selection does not matter for how the vote is counted.

        I believe that even if there are not enough delegates for a candidate, they’ll get delegates appointed for them (according to green papers). There are also gender rules and other things… so I’m honestly confused why there’s even a delegate vote.

        • Joe_JP

          I’m honestly confused why there’s even a delegate vote.

          It’s probably seen as a democratic way to choose among the delegate candidates who were chosen who knows how. The public other than seeing who they are bound to and their sex rarely has a reason to pick. I remember one elected official among the choices — even on that level, not much to go on.

          • EliHawk

            Yeah, there were 6 each for my district, and the comptroller was the top-lined Clinton Democrat. Best I could figure, the vote between the candidates determines the share, and the # of votes for each delegate places their rankings (i.e. if Clinton wins a district 4-2, the top 4 Clinton delegate vote winners and top 2 Sanders delegate vote winners get a ticket to Philadelphia). But that’s just a guess, honestly.

      • Joe_JP

        Yes, you fill in ovals for a candidate and also you fill in the ovals for the appropriate (something like 5-7 depending on the district you live in) delegates from a list. As O. notes, there are two sections on the front of the ballot … the delegates are not under the candidates’ names. You are from what I can tell voting for the delegates so can very well split 4-3.

      • ochospantalones

        Yeah, you can pick any combination you like. Or less than seven. If you are inclined to vote based on the actual individuals the Hillary delegates tend to be better known local party people. One of mine was my state senator. Whether that is a reason to vote for or against them is in the eye of the beholder.

    • ochospantalones

      I voted absentee, so it may be structured a bit differently, but my ballot had two separate sections. The first was a choice between Hillary and Bernie, and the second was delegate selection, with instructions to pick up to seven. Hillary had seven delegates listed, Bernie had six. I think the Hillary/Bernie vote is for statewide proportional allocation and the delegate specific vote is for district level delegate allocation. I guess Bernie did not max out his slate of delegates in every district.

    • Alex.S

      Sanders did not fill out his slates in New York, but it doesn’t matter. The candidate vote is the only thing that determines who wins what.

      I think the only non-caucus states where people vote for delegates and not candidates are Illinois and Pennsylvania. This actually cost Trump a few delegates because his supporters didn’t vote for delegates based on their names.

      • Hogan

        On my absentee PA ballot, I voted for both candidate and delegates.

        • Alex.S

          Thanks, you are correct. In Pennsylvania and Illinois, it is just the Republican primary that votes for delegates. The Democratic Party banned the practice a while ago.

          • ochospantalones

            The PA Republican primary has the added wrinkle that the delegates are not associated with any candidate on the ballot. It is just a list of names, and all are “unpledged”.

            I am sure Trump will do a great job of making sure his supporters in each district know which delegates are his before they go into vote.

  • advocatethis

    Why would any campaign, no matter how unprincipled, fix a race that it’s been winning from the start?

    I have Dick Nixon on line 2.

    • Hogan

      Why would any sane campaign, no matter how unprincipled, fix a race that it’s been winning from the start?

      • EliHawk

        And, to be fair to Nixon, one reason he was winning from the start is he ratfucked everyone not named McGovern. Eventually, yeah, the foreign policy stuff and overheating economy meant he was unbeatable. But entering 1972, was every possibility that Muskie could beat him. The New Deal crackup wasn’t fully apparent yet.

  • Johnny Sack

    I’m probably going to go vote for Bernie tonight when I leave work, but…re the Google thing: everyone knows who Hillary Clinton is, so I would expect there to be more searches for Bernie Sanders.

    • rea

      Also, more Bernie Google searches (Bernie Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes!) might simply mean more people wondering what the heck he’s talking about.

    • John Selmer Dix

      Right. Also, the internet is not the US! Even less, so, Twitter. There is a pervasive unquestioned assumption that social media or google searches provides an unbiased sample of the population. It’s lazy, and a consequence of a statistically-illiterate pundit class.

      • Karen24

        This is the most important thing anyone has said in this entire thread. Google is available to almost the entire world, and the world is really interested in our election. (I have friends in Denmark and Germany who tell me they regard our elections as more serious than their own, since what we do will have a large effect on their lives.)

        • Spiny

          Wikipedia doesn’t allow Google search volumes and results orderings to be used as evidence for a reason. Too many factors affect the numbers.

    • AMK

      Donald Trump has more google searches and facebook mentions and twitter tweets than all the other candidates combined. That clearly means he’s the overwhelming favorite to sweep every state in November.

    • SNF

      Google searches also aren’t inherently positive. I mean, I’ve Googled plenty of Republicans. That doesn’t mean I support them.

  • MacK

    This guy used to call me from Wormwood Scrubs – he wanted to prove the infamous to do list was a fake by the police:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1348624/Nagged-husband-plotted-wifes-murder-on-personal-organiser.html

    The problem was, he had in fact confessed months before the police found the to-do-list. He was upset because he was a laughing stock in prison – and because he could not force his kids to visit him. By the way I was not his lawyer….but I learned a certain amount about the case. The police do ‘fit up’ people, typically because the ‘know’ the person is guilty but can’t prove it. In this gentleman’s case they had him cold when a constable, out of curiosity turned on his PDA, so why bother? He was going to get the maximum sentence anyway.

    One thing, the to-do-list included the note to “buy rubber gloves, Marigold brand are best…”

    • I nominate this for comment of some suitable time period; it’s magnificent.

    • ChrisTS

      The brand notation shows real attention to detail!

  • John Selmer Dix

    The focus on Bernie supporters, as opposed to Sanders himself, is absurd. Bernie is down, but not by much. Some people will inevitably resort to conspiratorial thought, and if you go rutting through the shit-pile that is Twitter, you’re going to find some real crazy fucks.

    I think the reason is because it is much easier to hit search-and-replace your Millennial pieces and substitute in “Bernie supporter” or “BernieBro” than to think for a little bit.

    • Clicking through to the link, and its links, provides the following sources for these CTs:

      A guy who makes his living writing stolen-elections conspiracy books.

      A guy who writes a web site called “Russia Insider.”

      Some people in bars.

      And one actually interesting one: the Sanders campaign calling for the release of the raw vote totals in Iowa, which isn’t an allegation of the race being stolen.

      • rea

        A guy who writes a web site called “Russia Insider.”

        Ah, the Putinist left . . . .

        • I know that only lame losers believe in conspiracies, but as a lame loser, I think the Russians have played the western anti-imperialist left like a fiddle. They know what buttons to push.

          • Karen24

            I’m not sure the Russian efforts you describe constitute and conspiracy since they made no effort to conceal their actions.

          • Manny Kant

            What’s amazing is that these Russian propaganda outlets don’t even need to hide it. These people would happily share articles credited to Pravda.

          • djw

            I think the Russians have played the western anti-imperialist left like a fiddle. They know what buttons to push.

            Oh, yeah, big time. It’s possible some of them wolud have wandered in that direction on their own, but there has been herding.

          • EliHawk

            Completely agree. So many of them act like it’s still 1959, and Russia’s not actually run by a Reactionary Autocrat instead of dedicated to building the people’s socialism.

    • Alex.S

      My favorite Team Sanders conspiracy theory was that Microsoft was going to steal Iowa.

      http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/sanders-campaign-suspicious-corporate-influence-iowa-caucus

      • ColBatGuano

        But a bird landed on his podium! And he spoke to the Pope! He should be winning by a landslide except that Shillary and the DNC (band name!) are stealing it from St. Bernie!!!!!

  • Sebastian_h

    This is one of those issues where both sides really do have good points, but they just end up talking past each other.

    Clinton really is good at the back-room kind of intra-Party gaming. Whether that is bug/feature depends on how strongly you think it plays out in inter-Party politics (I tend to think not much, but lots of respectable people think otherwise).

    She really did stack the deck as much as she could (debate scheduling, super-delegate stuff, rules issues) but that is like money in politics–it can influence but not control. (See her loss to Obama under similar circumstances.

    Sanders really did start too late, but there is a good institutional question of whether or not it is wise for us to set up systems where “too late” means “almost a year before the election”. We really are in permanent campaign territory there.

    Not every thing that breaks Clinton’s way is a result of her campaign deck-stacking. Lots of things are, but not everything. And she has enough stacked stuff that blatant cheating isn’t likely.

    From an institutional point of view, I would say that we are Clinton is a mediocre to bad campaigner who looks strong mainly because Republicans are being idiots. She is certainly much worse than Obama, and arguably one of the worst campaigners since Dukkakis. In the future we might want to take steps to make sure that such a person doesn’t get to pull the internal levers to box everyone else out such that “too late” means the ridiculously extended schedule that it does. Ideally I suppose we would have a system where being a moderately good campaigner wasn’t so important, but that is an issue for another day.

    • JG

      arguably one of the worst campaigners since Dukkakis

      For a front-runner or eventual winner, maybe, but she is clearly better than the loads of Dems who entered the contest with some buzz and then completely flopped on the campaign trail like O’Malley this year and Biden in previous years.

      • Manny Kant

        O’Malley had buzz?

        • humanoid.panda

          He had buzz before his handpicked successor lost to a Republican in 2014. Was a dead man walking ever since.

    • sharonT

      This. I do wish there had been more politicians willing to run against Clinton in the primaries. 4 years of pragmatic-incrementalism with a dash of “Clinton Kill List” 24-7 is not going to be good for my blood pressure. Please, spare me the 90s again.

      sigh

    • From an institutional point of view, I would say that we are Clinton is a mediocre to bad campaigner who looks strong mainly because Republicans are being idiots. She is certainly much worse than Obama, and arguably one of the worst campaigners since Dukkakis.

      Between “worse than Obama” and “one of the worst since Dukakis” is, like, everyone. This makes no sense.

      As a stumper, she is, overall, perfectly fine. She has highs and too many lows, but she connects with a wide range of people and pretty well. Lots of people admire her and are enthusiastic about her. We see that in some of these very threads.

      She gets more negative press and attention and for longer. And she definitely has missteps, but c’mon. Anyone who rallies against Obama as strongly as he did to nearly win with *Mark Penn* on her team has something going for her.

      • One of the worst since Dukakis puts her in Gore/Kerry territory, but not the absolute worst.

        That sounds about right to me.

        she connects with a wide range of people and pretty well. Lots of people admire her and are enthusiastic about her. We see that in some of these very threads.

        It just keeps getting worse. Her favorables are down to the 30s. The chart isn’t a right-facing alligator anymore. It’s one of those snakes that can unhinge its jaw. She’s in Ted Cruz territory.

        • kped

          I think that’s a function of the Sanders supporters rage for now and it will get better after the primary. Tempers are high right now. It doesn’t help when the losing party with passionate supporters sends out emails saying she is committing fundraising fraud.

          • slothrop

            These are scientific polls, not polls of “Sanders supporters.”

            • kped

              Yes, and polls involve supporters of both sides in an election. In a particularly nasty election, which this has become, one group may sour on the other side, leading to drops in favorability.

              I think there’s a very good chance that once the primary is over and cooler heads prevail, her favorability will go back to what it was a few months ago. Not great, but enough to win. Obama was underwater for the majority of the 2012 election. He won quite easily still.

              • slothrop

                I’m not sure that frantically tacking quickly to the right will improve her favorables, but sounds plausible, also proving Prof. Lemieux’s view that she’s a good, solid liberal Democrat.

                • random

                  BS is having to spend a massive amount of money to keep her negatives up that high on the left.

                • EliHawk

                  Yeah, changes in her favorables are less about “tacking right” or whatever, more that General Election footing + United Party + Beloved Democratic Surrogates Rallying the Party in a 4 Day Infomercial = the team rallying around their candidate. It’s where the convention bump comes from.

                • random says:
                  April 19, 2016 at 4:45 pm
                  BS is having to spend a massive amount of money to keep her negatives up that high on the left.

                  So, Hillary Clinton only goes into grotesquely-unpopular territory when she is subject to political attacks by campaign opponents.

                  Totally nothing to worry about.

              • I think there’s a very good chance that once the primary is over and cooler heads prevail, her favorability will go back to what it was a few months ago.

                Hillary Clinton’s favorables have not been at even the waterline for an entire year. “A few months ago” puts them at between -8 and -11.

                Obama was underwater for the majority of the 2012 election. He won quite easily still.

                Barack Obama was not underwater for even a single day of the 2012 election.

                • kped

                  I went to a couple sites off Google, they showed a mix of even or underwater at times in 2012.

                  http://www.pollingreport.com/obama_fav.htm

                  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_favorableunfavorable-643.html

                  But I did misread one column, he was above for most of 2012, so I was off there.

                  (see, i’m entirely ok with admitting mistakes. You quadruple down on yours. You should work on that!)

                • I went to a couple sites off Google, they showed a mix of even or underwater at times in 2012.

                  That’s why people who wish to use polling data to understand what’s happening, instead of shilling for a case they’ve already decided upon, use poll aggregators to get the state of polling, rather than cherry-picking some outliers.

                • kped

                  Let it out Joe…let it all out…I admit error, with no issue at all. That you need to insult shows a lot about your character. Or lack thereof.

                  But I get it. You’ve had a tough 24 hours. Let it all out. We’re here for you.

                • Maybe this time, a forced pretense of superiority will actually convince people.

                  Hey, 179th time’s a charm!

                  But I get it. You’ve had a tough 24 hours.

                  Bernie Sanders has won about 18 times more contests in this cycle than I thought he would win under the most favorable of scenarios when I signed on as a supporter. His ideas have taken over the party, and he’s compelled Hillary Clinton to dance to his tune. The notion that this primary contest has been anything but a glittering success for me is just more of you assigning positions onto me to make yourself feel better.

                  Hillary Clinton winning her home state really doesn’t change any of that. All of the disappointment and stress in this election is on your underperforming side of the table.

                  There are those of us who value things in politics beyond the second-hand sense of power that comes from wearing the winning team’s jersey. Your insistence that I’m unhappy about the nominating contest going much better than I thought it would because the inevitable result played out speaks ill of you.

          • I think that’s a function of the Sanders supporters rage for now and it will get better after the primary.

            You think the continuation of a trend that has steadily continued since 2012 is the result of “Tempers are high right now.” That’s just great.

            In a remarkable coincidence, this pro-Clinton argument that is entirely at odds with the available evidence just happens to align perfectly with what’s been bugging kped on the internet recently.

            • kped

              I think the drop below where it was in the 45-50% range to now is a function of the primary. Is that an unreasonble belief?

              God, you are itching for anther fight, eh hack? Not gonna do it this time, the last one (polls should be how we choose candidates because reasons!) was so embarrassing to even acknowledge that I’m just not interested in sinking to your level of idiocy.

              You can keep trying to bait me into pointless arguments, but I won’t waste my time with you.

              Enjoy the New York primary chum ;)

              (btw, the guy saying I’m using Clinton arguments suddenly using Sanders campaign “SD’s should give the election to Sanders because polls show she is X” is rich! Hacks gonna hack, shills gotta shill. Joe does what Weaver and Devine tell him to.)

              • You project more than a 30s movie theater, and nobody reading this site will do anything but laugh at you, of all people, accusing someone of being a campaign shill.

                • kped

                  You love to try to assume everyone elses thoughts about how a debate is going, don’t you? Strange tic you have. So desperate for acknowledgment from faceless internet denizens to prove that you are better and smarter. How’s that working out for you?

                  “Other people will see this and laugh…I’m sure of it!” Oh I’m sure they will Joseph. Why, how unreasonable to think that a candidate will get a bounce after a nasty primary is over. How utterly absurd of me to even entertain that!

                  (and seriously, you can’t claim your not a shill when you said SD’s should ignore the election and give in to the Bernnnnnnn. So just stop.)

                • I love doing it with you, kped, because it’s so obviously true. It’s not a tic; it’s not something I habitually do. It’s just you.

                  You have remarkably little self-awareness, and you completely lay yourself open, while under the delusion that you’re being crafty and fooling people. It’s awesome. I mean, look at your last sentence. You so desperately want to characterize me as the shill, but you just can’t stop yourself from using language like “…the Bernnnnnnnnnn.”

                  So desperate for acknowledgment from faceless internet denizens…

                  Yeah, you sure got me. If there’s anything that characterizes my commentary, it’s a desperate quest for approval. Ha ha ha.

                  Why, how unreasonable to think that a candidate will get a bounce after a nasty primary is over. How utterly absurd of me to even entertain that!

                  This is a good example; I haven’t written a word one way or another about whether Hillary will get a nomination bounce, but because you wish to characterize the conversation that way, you’ve assigned me that position, and now you think that if you write it over and over, people will believe I have.

              • God, you are itching for anther fight, eh hack? Not gonna do it this time, the last one (polls should be how we choose candidates because reasons!) was so embarrassing to even acknowledge that I’m just not interested in sinking to your level of idiocy.

                Oy, I was just going to stay out, but this is not remotely a correct characterisation of the conversation you are referencing.

                That conversation started with my recapping an situation that Joe and I discussed where we thought it might be reasonable for super delegates to override pledged delegates. The current situation is highly unlikely to be similar to our imagined scenario.

                I did suggest that (smallish uniform) sample based voting (aka, “polling”) would have advantages over our current, non-uniform, effort based, nominally enumerative based voting. You reacted poorly, but other people we able to have a perfectly reasonable discussion about that.

                Neither joe nor I proposed anything that would take effect in the current nomination race in any of the now overwhelmingly likely scenarios.

                Joe is quite right to look at HRC’s favorability numbers and wonder what the hell is going on. They are striking and concerning. Perhaps it will just be a weird hiccup (I hope so!), but that’s not obviously the case.

                ETA: Your insistence that my discussion of hypotheticals and of voting system is motivated by a desire to game the current outcome really is bizarre. I mean, supposed I were to convince you, what exactly would that do to the race?

                • Neither joe nor I proposed anything that would take effect in the current nomination race in any of the now overwhelmingly likely scenarios.

                  Exactly.

                • That conversation started with my recapping an situation that Joe and I discussed where we thought it might be reasonable for super delegates to override pledged delegates. The current situation is highly unlikely to be similar to our imagined scenario.

                  And imagined scenario, I’ll note, that 1) required compelling evidence of a change in their preference because it was 2)is based on a desire to be more responsive to the desires of the Democratic electorate, not less.

        • That sounds about right to me.

          Yeah, I’m fine with Gore/Kerry who were reasonable good campaigners, but not superstars. Gore faced some of the press challenges HRC does.

          It just keeps getting worse. Her favorables are down to the 30s.

          That is dreadful, but…can we reasonably attribute that to her campaigning? I mean, she’s campaigned before without having such a trajectory or bottom. Ah, see here. The last time she was in the 30s was 1992. In 2008, she didn’t go below 48. Was she such a spectacularly better campaigner there? Is Bernie attacking her?

          I don’t see that her day to day is worse. Maybe it’s this round of scandals?

          • Roberta

            Can’t really see anyone bothered by this round of scandals that wasn’t bothered before, though.

            I’m not sure what the explanation is.

            • Latest round plus outsider wave plus de facto nominee remorse?

              Both prohibitive front runners are hated. We tend to think Trump’s negative as due to him, but maybe it’s due to him being the nominee presumptive.

          • That is dreadful, but…can we reasonably attribute that to her campaigning? I mean, she’s campaigned before without having such a trajectory or bottom. Ah, see here. The last time she was in the 30s was 1992. In 2008, she didn’t go below 48. Was she such a spectacularly better campaigner there? Is Bernie attacking her?

            I don’t see that her day to day is worse. Maybe it’s this round of scandals?

            I notice that the real damage began in March 2015, was interrupted by a bump she got after her shellacking of the Benghazi Committee, and then continued. So whatever the explanation is, it’s something that has been going on since she entered the race. Or perhaps since she left the State Department in 2012.

            Either way, it’s unlikely to be something that just popped up over the last couple of weeks, because the trend is so much longer than that.

            • brewmn

              And, it’s something that’s highly unlikely continue once the presidential race become Hillary v.s Donald Cruz.

              But keep flogging those unfavorable numbers, Joe. I’m sure any day now all of Hillary’s supporters will realize the error of their ways, listen to you, and start feeling the Bern.

              • kped

                He’s not relying on that anymore. He’s relying on Super Delegates looking at those numbers and saying “Fuck off voters, we feel the Bernnnnnnnnn!”

                Not sure which scenario is more absurd.

                • Or you’re misrepresenting my position on super delegates.

                  It’s definitely one of those two things.

              • And, it’s something that’s highly unlikely continue once the presidential race become Hillary v.s Donald Cruz.

                Out of curiosity, have any of your predictions about Hillary’s unfavorable numbers turned out to be right? Any, at all? For example, “She’s known, people have heard all the attacks on her; she’s fireproof?”

                Seriously, you can step off that high horse now. You have so totally not earned it.

                But keep flogging those unfavorable numbers, Joe. I’m sure any day now all of Hillary’s supporters will realize the error of their ways, listen to you, and start feeling the Bern.

                Oh, I’ve given up on trying to get Hillary supporters to face reality.

                It is kind of funny, though, the way you too look at quantitative data you don’t like, and respond by yelling at me about how much power your preferred candidate has.

                Some people speak truth to power. Some people shout “Power” at truth.

              • And, it’s something that’s highly unlikely continue once the presidential race become Hillary v.s Donald Cruz.

                Well, given that it’s not clear what the explanation is now, it’s hard to say.

                Projecting (un)favorability into votes is difficult. For example, HRC still leads in national polls against Sanders for the nomination, but the gap has been narrowing. So the fact that he leads her in favorability doesn’t immediately translate into his leading her in preference. The trend lines parallel, but even then it could be that people go from preference for nomination to unfavorability.

                And of course, Trump’s favorability is worse and getting more so. So even if it translated, he would still be likely to lose.

                It seems probable that HRC will get a “nomination secured”/consolidation and a “convention” bounce in favorability, but I don’t see that that would necessarily get her back up to, say, positive favorability (even among Dems). I sure *hope* so, but it’s such a weird situation, I find it hard to be confident on what’s going to happen.

                (Well, it seems clear that the general is HRC vs. Trump, and that HRC wins, but the latter is more certain than the former, as Trump might not make the first ballot. But what the shape of the favorability landscape is going to be is a damn mystery!

                This is one reason to be concerned about HRC in the general. People (including me!) have causally said, “Oh well, she’s been attacked for forever. Whatever damage it could do is already priced in.” But…maybe not! *Something* is different this time around and maybe it’s attacks? Or maybe it’s something else right now but that indicates vulnerability to attacks?!)

  • ASV

    Yeah, but I mean, obviously all those polls are skewed.

  • JG

    I think the criticism of New York’s voting system is overblown. Yes, the switching deadline is ridiculously early but it is fairly easy to vote in NY (at least the city).

  • wjts

    But what about the coin flips, Erik? WHAT ABOUT THE COIN FLIPS?

    • kped

      Man, this primary is so long, I’d completely forgotten those! Good times…

  • witlesschum

    (I do not believe that non-Democrats should have the right to choose the Democratic Party nominee)

    I disagree with this. I think the Michigan system where everyone has one primary vote and can use it in either party but not both is fine. The results have been mixed, generally, it’s not always the moderate candidate who wins our primaries with crossover votes, though that’s certainly how we got Rick Snyder. (Yes, he really was the moderate in that GOP primary, so consider that.)

    • Hogan

      Should Yankees fans get to vote on the Red Sox starting lineup?

      • Rob in CT

        If I recall correctly (and I may not), CT has a mostly closed primary. You have to be a Dem or a Rep to vote in the primaries. In addition, there’s a waiting period so you can just wander in that day and switch from Rep to Dem and vote in the Dem primary. However, I think unaffiliated voters can pick a party right before the primary. So Rep->Dem/Dem->Rep you have to wait (a year?), but Indy->Dem/GOP can happen.

        This strikes me as reasonable.

        • Rob in CT

          Ah, How to Vote for Bernie to the rescue:

          Unaffiliated voters for Bernie must change their party to Democrat by April 25th at 12:00pm

          The day before the primary for Indies.

          Looks like January 26th for people switching from one party to another, so it’s actually not THAT much of a wait: 4 months.

          I think MA’s system of indies get to pick a ballot is also reasonable. Not sure which I prefer…

      • In Massachusetts, independents but not registered Republicans can choose a Democratic primary ballot. I think that’s a good system.

        In that situation, the analogy to “Yankees fans” would be “Republicans,” not “independents.”

        In your metaphor, it would be “baseball fans without a home team,” not “Republicans,” helping to set the Red Sox lineup.

        • Hogan

          Right. And agreed about independents.

          • One (non-presidential) year when I working the polls, independents were allowed to choose the Democratic primary ballot, the Republican, or the Libertarian.

            One guy chose the LP ballot, which had one uncontested race.

            Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is party loyalty.

        • efgoldman

          In Massachusetts, independents but not registered Republicans can choose a Democratic primary ballot.

          If you are registered independent, but vote in a party’s primary, are you henceforth registered in that party? That’s the way RI works.

          • No, you don’t. You remain an independent (which I think is officially called unenrolled.)

      • efgoldman

        Should Yankees fans get to vote on the Red Sox starting lineup?

        They couldn’t do any worse.

    • Alex.S

      There’s good arguments for and against open primaries.

      My preference is that it’s the same for all the parties in a state, to avoid the situation where it’s open for one party and closed for the other.

      Otherwise… eh whatever. It’s probably the thing I’m least concerned about when it comes to voting. I suspect that’s true for most people concerned about voting issues — in the primaries, caucuses are much bigger ways to suppress the votes. In general (general election and primaries), early voting, voter registration, ease of voting etc. matter a lot more than closed vs open.

    • Chester Allman

      I think it’s silly to be indignant that independents can’t vote in a party primary, for more or less the reason implied by Hogan’s analogy, but at the same time I like the approach of the Michigan system (and I think they have the same approach in Washington?), because I think it would be a step toward acknowledging what is essentially a multiparty system hidden within the formal American two-party system.

      Which is a whole long analysis, but the short version is: the move toward mass primaries helped shift American elections toward something vaguely similar to the French two-ballot approach. On your first ballot (the primary), you vote for the candidate closest to your own ideological commitments (or other interests), and on the second ballot (the general election), you select the better of two options in a run-off election. The Michigan system essentially moves closer toward an open version of this approach.

      Despite all the ideological sorting and cohesion within each of the two parties over the past decade or so, each party is still a coalition. There are factions within each party – sometimes indicated by caucus (e.g., Progressive Caucus, Blue Dog, Tea Party), sometimes defined – on a temporary basis – by the differences among primary election campaigns (e.g. Hillary vs. Bernie, Bill Clinton vs. Jerry Brown, Trump vs. Jeb vs. Cruz). As you open up the primary process, an election becomes a clearer process of voting for a faction (essentially a quasi-party) in the first round, and a coalition in the second round. From there, it’s not a big step to something like Instant Runoff voting, which basically accomplishes the same thing but in a single ballot.

      There are all kinds of complications and other factors at play, but I think that fully open primaries would be an interesting move in the direction of something that starts to look more like a multiparty system, even if it’s still embedded within a system where the coalitions exist as formal, pre-election parties rather than as the result of post-election negotiations.

    • djw

      I have a preference for open primaries, but I also agree with that statement that non-Democrats have no “right” to expect them. It’s a better policy, but if a party prefers to limit primary voting to those who are already members, where membership is free and little more than a matter of previous declaration, that certainly should be their prerogative.

      If I were in charge, I’d probably seek to end both election practices that suppress participation, closed primaries and caucuses. (Or, perhaps allow closed primaries but allow same day registration-switches to the Democrats.) Killing caucuses is a much more urgent change, and getting rid of closed caucuses is a closer call, with costs and benefits to be weighed, and as such would be a much lower priority.

  • petesh

    Anyone care to make an argument about open voting in the primaries? Evidently Hillary is winning the registered Democrats substantially, but Bernie is winning the Independents in states where they are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary. I value promoting the party and I also value outreach, so I am somewhat conflicted. I don’t think that ratfvck votes by Republicans (for either H or B) are significant, but I lean to thinking that registered party members should have the right to choose the nominee. Anyone care to persuade me otherwise?
    ETA: I see the discussion started while I was distracted.

    • It’s often been pointed out that most independent-registered voters are, in their voting behavior, loyalists of one or the other party. This observation has been used to formulate all sorts of political strategy – about turnout being more important than reaching for swing voters, for example.

      I think voting in primaries helps cement those people into the coalition.

      • Rob in CT

        The question, I guess, is whether it’s just voting in the primaries or actually switching your registration that does this (or rather to what degree does each happen). In MA, they can vote in primaries and still be registered Indies. In CT you have to take that extra step of saying “yeah, I’m a Democrat.” I’m sure fewer people take that step. But maybe those who do really do become a part of the coalition (certain was the case for me).

      • petesh

        It does, presumably, get them used to voting Dem (let’s stay away from the other side) but does it also make them less likely to vote Dem in the general if their preferred candidate loses the primary? Do you know of any data on the “Bernie or bust” minority’s registration?

        • I don’t have any data.

          Trying to put myself in the shoes of a Democratic-leaning independent:

          I would expect them to be more accepting of the party’s choice if they feel that they were welcomed into a fair process than if they were shut out of what they feel is an unfair process.

          • petesh

            Nice piece by Booman today (also here) on the conundrums:

            It’s one thing to debate how the rules that currently exist help or hurt each candidate, but it should be clear by now that the undemocratic aspects of the system cut in multiple ways, sometimes giving Sanders a big boost and sometimes tilting the scales heavily to Clinton.

            • kped

              Sadly, this gets noted every election, and people say “something must be done!” and then…the next election comes around and nothing is done.

              But you are right, this cuts both ways, helping both sides, and it really should be fixed going forward. Caucuses suck. Not allowing people to register as a party member around election time sucks. There are many things that need fixing.

              • Murc

                Sadly, this gets noted every election, and people say “something must be done!” and then…the next election comes around and nothing is done.

                This isn’t true. Our candidate selection processes have been getting gradually better for a good fifty or sixty years now.

                It’s just very, very slow going, with long periods of inaction followed by a lot of two steps forward, one step back.

                • ChrisTS

                  Murc: Do you think there is any truth to the claim that many ‘fixes’ are too reactive to a single election cycle?

                • Murc

                  Do you think there is any truth to the claim that many ‘fixes’ are too reactive to a single election cycle?

                  Gonna be honest; don’t feel like I’m well-informed enough to judge.

  • mkadel

    Yes, rubes. If the removal of 120,000 names from the Brooklyn voter rolls raises an eyebrow, please lower it. Please, just do. Moreover, the misleading BOE postcard — in what world would such a thing be done intentionally? Not ours, surely. Yes, Republicans may conspire to suppress the vote; but Democratic Party Exceptionalism, close cousin to the American variant, means that Democrats don’t/can’t/would never. Erik knows; he’s a historian.

    • brad

      And when I tried to vote for Teachout in the primary at the polling station I’d used from 08-12, and was told to go to by a mailer, they couldn’t find me, told me not to go to what turned out to be my actual polling station, and had me vote provisionally. And that vote ended up being rejected because whatever.
      All because Cuomo’s dastardly agents knew based on my vote for Nader in 96 that….

    • JG

      Did you actually read the article about the voter roll? If it is accurate then all of those people are either inactive or moved from Brooklyn and the BOE just took a while to get to it (no shocker there). No Clintonite conspiracy.

      • mkadel

        Yes, the BOE director has an explanation.

        • ColBatGuano

          Obviously Hillary bought them off. Or threatened to put them on the Clinton Death list.

          • mkadel

            What’s this responsive to?

      • kped

        And why assume all voters are Sanders supporters? Many in Brooklyn are black, which has been a Clinton strength. So assuming this is a plot against one candidate, instead of a bad system that messes up far too much, is just dumb.

        • mkadel

          “why assume all voters are Sanders supporters?”

          Is that an assumption that has to be made — that if a purge can’t be counted on to eliminate only Sanders supporters and no others, then there’s no compelling reason to do it?

          • ChrisTS

            I think kped was hearing your argument in the context of the OP. So, if Clintonistas are trying to screw over Sanders supporters, this would be a very ham-handed effort.

            • kped

              Correct. I’m saying if this were a “conspiracy”, it’s a terribly executed one given it hurts both sides. it’s far more likely to be incompetence. I mean, there were problems in Arizona, but that was on the Republicans running the election. I doubt they were in on it trying to help Clinton.

              There are always voting problems, voter roll issues, bad voter purges. These are important. Always. Yelling that it’s a conspiracy against one candidate is a pretty good way to get a serious issue ignored.

              • kped

                Also:

                Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan confirmed he had been contacted by the mayor’s staff and he shared with WNYC the same explanation he said he gave them.

                “Brooklyn was a little behind with their list maintenance tasks,” said Ryan, who said the other boroughs update their lists on a rolling basis.

                That backlog meant the Brooklyn voter rolls needed a major clean up. The board can only remove people from its lists at certain times of year. There are blackout periods that exist 90 days before federal elections.

                Ryan said Brooklyn election officials fell 6 months to a year behind updating their voter rolls.

                Asked how the borough could be allowed to lag so far behind the rest of the city and state, Ryan replied, “Because there are other things going on at the same time. For example, when we are doing an election, which we did in November. We’re not doing list maintenance tasks.”

                I mean…he could be lying. But his explanation seems far more reasonable than some back room conspiracy.

                • mkadel

                  I can’t quite bring myself to exercise the same degree of deference to the words of Michael Ryan. Though my status is intact, three of my roommates, all of whom voted in either ’08 or ’12, have been rendered inactive. They voted today via affidavit, and it’s unlikely their votes will be counted (I think a ruling is pending in Federal court). Demographically (or residentially) they fit the Bernie supporter profile in a race whose structure Holland (in the article to which Erik links) calls “remarkably consistent.”

                  Am I certain malfeasance took place? No. Do I think Hillary, comic villain like, issued an order to have the voter rolls purged? No. Does it seem to me prima facie plausible that pressure may have been placed on the patronage-driven BOE to “clean” up the rolls a little too thoroughly — in accordance with a certain criteria — reckoning they’d suppress more potential Bernie supporters than Hillary supporters? Yes. Why thinking so is equivalent to 9/11 trutherism isn’t clear. Is electoral chicanery really so rare in American history?

                • ColBatGuano

                  Stupid conspiracies are like trutherism.

              • humanoid.panda

                This! And to give both campaigns credit: they sued the state of Arizona together.

  • tsam

    It’s simple arithmetic, you guys. If jet beams can’t melt steel fuel, then obviously Bush did 9/11 which naturally leads to the fact that HITLERY is stealing this election because they haven’t counted the 413 million votes for Bernie.

    It’s really time for you neoliberal cowards to wake up.

    • lahtiji

      What about the RAND Corporation, the saucer people, and the reverse vampires?

      https://vimeo.com/48904663

      • tsam

        You really need to copyright the reverse vampire thing. Then find a mopey young lady and a couple of HAWT dudes and make a bunch of movies.

        ????
        PROFIT, SEE? PROFIT.

        • ChrisTS

          Wouldn’t we have to figure out what a ‘reverse vampire’ is, first?

          • tsam

            It’s lahtiji’s idea. I’ll wait for the novel to find out.

            Also, this reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw. It said “Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle!”.

          • kped

            Reverse vampire bleeds on you and goes to bed early? So basically a sickly hemophiliac.

            • tsam

              HAHAHAHAHA oh my god that’s funny

          • random

            ‘Reverse vampires’ are just normal adult humans who are also extremely horny.

          • Origami Isopod

            There’s probably an Urban Dictionary entry for it, and reading it will put you off your feed for a few days.

          • Hogan

            Simpsons reference.

            Bart: OK, it’s now painfully clear the adults are definitely paving the way for an invasion by the saucer people.

            Milhouse: You fool! Can’t you see it’s a massive government conspiracy? Or have they gotten to you too?

            Lisa: Hey! Hey, hey, stop it! Stop it! Why are you guys jumping to such ridiculous conclusions? Haven’t you ever heard of Occam’s Razor? “The simplest explanation is probably the correct one.”

            Bart: So what’s the simplest explanation?

            Lisa: I don’t know. Maybe they’re all reverse vampires and they have to get home before dark.

            Everyone: Aah! Reverse vampires! Reverse vampires!

      • EliHawk

        Those neoliberal Clintons are keeping us Sanders people from moving the party to where it belongs: Back, and to the left. Back, and to the left. Back, and to the left. Back, and to the left…

        • tsam

          Ha! Oliver Stone’s best comedy!

  • Yankee

    I used to think Trump could capture the NPR crowd, who have substantial social anxiety, but it turns out he wasn’t hep enough to make the move, Not crazy like a fox after all. So all that energy is seeking outlet through Bernie, tending to swamp his better self. Sometimes he himself even acts as if he thought he could win, like Mitt’s team of lawyers ready to squelch any dasterdly Democratic machines that tried to steal his election.

    Yeats, widening gyre, etc.

    • humanoid.panda

      I used to think Trump could capture the NPR crowd, who have substantial social anxiety

      I’ve heard a lot of silly scenarios about Trump somehow winning the gerneral, but him capturing NPR listeners really takes the cake. Seriously- if one suffers from status anxiety, voting for the walking dictionary definition of nouveau riche, is pretty much the last thing anyone would do.

      • Karen24

        Trump is “tacky” personified. NPR listeners, to which group I proudly confess to belonging, have better taste.

        • humanoid.panda

          Right! I could see some of them falling for Kasich because HRC is just too ambitious and corrupt, and he is a reasonable republican (finally!), but Trump?

  • skeptic

    Why would any campaign, no matter how unprincipled, fix a race that it’s been winning from the start?

    Too bad Richard Nixon is dead, he might have an interesting answer to this question.

    • elm

      I’m trying to remember the last time I heard the phrase “Too bad Richard Nixon is dead” and am drawing a blank.

      • Karen24

        I was at a party the night Nixon died. When we heard the news, the entire crowd spontaneously and simultaneously shouted “we don’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore!” (Also, Nixon’s funeral was a federal holiday which everyone in my office got to take off EXCEPT ME, and I had not only to work a regular day but had to work two hours late for a special assignment. But I’m not still bitter about that. . . . .)

        • Origami Isopod

          I can’t throw stones; I heard about Scalia buying the farm when I was coming out of a movie theatre with a couple of friends, and we had a round of high-fives.

          • sam

            I have noted it before, but Scalia died on my birthday. I’m kind of embarrassed by the literal “it’s my birthday” happy dance I did (alone in my apartment) when I saw the news.

  • wengler

    We could just have a Presidential election with a run off election if the top candidate gets under 50 percent, but that would be too damn rational.

    • Karen24

      I want one single day primary in May or June with all parties holding all their primaries on the same day. Partisan registration has to be a month before the election, so no crossing lines to monkeywrench one’s opponent. The general election stays in the fall.

      • ColBatGuano

        The only thing that worries me about a single primary day is it increase the likelihood of the scariest words in Democratic electoral history: Your 2008 Democratic nominee, John Edwards!

      • A strung-out primary calendar that leads off with some small, individual states allows lesser-known candidates to compete with prominent early frontrunners on a more even playing field.

    • rea

      a Presidential election with a run off election if the top candidate gets under 50 percent

      Does not fit with the electoral college.

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