Democrats Can’t Win Without The Left
Establishment Democrats seem to live in terror of reliving the 1972 presidential election, when a triangulating Richard Nixon crushed lefty George McGovern. But two much more recent nightmares 2000 and 2016 are far more instructive. When Democrats fail to bring their left-most flank into the fold, Republicans are able to swipe elections.
Beyond his ability to woo the partys most reluctant supporters, the best case for the strength of Sanders’ candidacy is that pretty much every argument against him ends up pointing to why he might be uniquely electable.
Claims that nobody likes him in Washington, or that he cant overcome his socialist branding, ignore what sets him apart from others. Brian Fallon, former spokesperson for the Hillary Clinton campaign, calls it an authenticity factor.
Nobody likes politicians this is why they play the foil in ad after ad, even in ads for career politicians. Bernie may be a lot of things, but hes no ones idea of a Capitol Hill slick.
Yes, Sanders is not a Democrat. Neither are most voters. Independent is the most popular party affiliation in America by far.
Last year, Pete Buttigieg himself made a solid yet obvious point. If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they’re going to do? he said. Republicans will say “were a bunch of crazy socialists. So lets stand up for the right policy, go up there and defend it.
Perhaps the most ridiculous claim is that Bernie hasnt accomplished enough.
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But as Bidens case for his superior electability collapses, it makes sense that voters would take a second look at Sanders, who, in addition to polling well against Trump, aligns more closely with the Democratic Party base particularly, according to some polls, black and Hispanic voters on key policy issues like immigration and “Medicare for All.”
Are voters right to believe in Bernie? While polls can only tell us so much at this juncture, the latest one from Quinnipiac University surveying all registered voters shows him doing well in a head-to-head against Trump, beating him 51-43 percent in the same poll, Biden bests Trump 50-43 and Bloomberg does so 51-42. Sanders, however, polls the best against Trump with independents which makes sense, as hes the longest-serving independent member of Congress in U.S. history.
Bernie Sanders Isn’t Even My Favorite Senator Running For The 2020 Nomination But I See His Potential To Unite The Democratic Party And Oust Trump
If moderate Democrats are serious when they say their only concern is beating President Donald Trump, they should get used to the thought of backing Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
If you believe in saving democracy, the courts and the planet, and reversing the unrepentant cruelty, corruption and carelessness that define the current administration, you have a duty to at least consider the candidacy of the most popular senator in America, the top fundraiser in the Democratic primaries, and the man who has generally beaten Trump in head-to-head polls for five years now.
Sure, you cant ignore a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that shows socialism half of Sanders democratic socialist brand about as unpopular as capitalism is popular. Conventional wisdom suggests Republicans would love to run against a socialist as the stock market continually hits new highs, raising all boats that happen to float on a sea of 401s.
But every expert in conventional wisdom has one thing in common: Not one of them has ever beaten Trump.
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Clinton Sounds Off On ‘loose Cannon’ Trump
Hillary Clinton holds a 12-point lead over Bernie Sanders nationally, but in a hypothetical match-up against Donald Trump, Sanders does much better than the current Democratic front-runner.
As Ted Cruz and John Kasich exited the Republican primary race last week making Trump the partys presumptive nominee Clinton and Sanders have used Trumps candidacy to argue that they would be in the best position to defeat him in the general election in November.
When respondents in our NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll were asked whether they would cast a vote for Trump or either of the Democratic candidates still in the race, Sanders is the favorite over Trump by 13 points.
Clinton also beats Trump, but the race is decidedly closer 49 percent to 44 percent. These results are according to the latest from the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll conducted online from May 2 through May 8 of 12,714 adults including 11,089 registered voters.
Though about a month remains until the last Democratic primary in June, Sanders trails Clinton by a significant number of delegates, making Clinton the strong favorite to win the nomination. The data from the hypothetical head-to-heads thus provides a window into which groups Clinton needs to sway in order to defeat Trump in the general election in November.
Bernie Is Too Divisive To Be President
Bernie Sanders can absolutely defeat Donald Trump, write Meagan Day and Matt Karp of Jacobin Magazine. Americans chose Trump over Hillary Clinton, a centrist from the Democratic establishment who was correctly seen as someone who would maintain the status quo. Her inability to motivate voters resulted in low turnouts among Democrats, handing Trump victory. Sanders is creating a huge surge of enthusiasm across the country, crucially so in the Obama-voting counties that chose Trump in 2016. His ability to motivate groups, like young people and minorities, is unmatched. Coming from the outside, he offers a refreshing message that resonates with voters.
Bernie Sanders is too risky of a candidate to beat Donald Trump, asserts Timothy Egan of the New York Times. While his ideas have fuelled a much-needed national conversation on healthcare and income inequality, Americans are uneasy about a democratic socialist in the White House. Whether he can replicate his popularity among young people with the rest of the population in a general election is doubtful. Additionally, his politics will make him a major target for Republicans, who will go after him with everything they have. The socialism label will hurt him here and give Trump a major advantage. Democrats need to choose a more unifying candidate.
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Nonvoters Are No Monolith
Expanding turnout is the core of the electability argument that Sanders offers in his campaign appearances. At last weeks contentious debate in Nevada, he said, In order to beat Donald Trump, were going to need the largest voter turnout in the history of the United States, and at Tuesday nights debate in South Carolina he promised to keep working toward that historic turnout. We need to bring working people back into the Democratic Party, he said. We need to get young people voting in a way that they never have before. That is what our campaign is about.
During a campaign rally in Iowa last month, Sanders argued at length that hes best suited among the Democratic candidates to inspire such a surge in voting. So I would hope the people of Iowa, people of America, ask themselves: Which campaign is the campaign of energy and excitement? he insisted in Des Moines on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Which is the campaign that is reaching out to working class people, many of whom are disillusioned with the political process and too often do not vote? simple truth is that young people have not voted at the kind of rate that they should have. Which campaign is capable of bringing in millions of young people into the political process?
This is why the whole Sanders theory of the case is so suspect, says Teixeira. Its not like we dont know about nonvoters and, given what we know, its not at all clear that his case makes much sense.
Bernie Is The Candidate Who Can Beat Trump Heres Why
Do you want to see Donald Trump defeated in 2020? Of course you do. The candidate who is best positioned to do exactly that: Bernie Sanders.
David McNew / Getty Images
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In the race for the Democratic nomination, one figure towers above the field: the large, misshapen form of President Donald Trump. The trauma of Trumps shock victory in November 2016, and the reign of greed, brutality, and arrogance that has followed seemingly impervious to organized opposition has given Trump a special standing among Democrats.
The polls are unanimous: a healthy majority of Democratic primary voters say that it is more important to find a candidate who can beat Trump than one who they agree with on the issues. This is not a standard view for voters opposed to an incumbent president. On the eve of his 2004 re-election campaign, for instance, fewer than half of all Democrats said the same about George W. Bush.
Across the primary campaign, Bernie Sanders and many of his supporters have argued that it is not enough to defeat Trump: we need to organize to transform the abysmal economic conditions that produced Trump, too. This is all very true.
But this primary season, anxious Democrats should trust their guts. It turns out that the candidate they like best, Bernie Sanders, is also the candidate with the best chance to knock Trump out of the White House.
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Aoc Is The Democrats Best Shot Against Trump In 2024
When Barack Obama came out of nowhere to win his Senate seat in 2004, it almost felt preordained. As if he was the person we had been waiting for to breathe fresh air into the Democratic Party.
Flash forward to 2018, and the meteoric rise of a 29-year-old bartender from Queens feels eerily similar. She has been unafraid, unapologetic and unwilling to bend to the will of Washington. She is a force to be reckoned with, and in 2024 Democrats are going to need her force to reckon with Republicans.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is less of a personality and more of a movement. Yes, the smart, photogenic congresswoman is the face of the rising progressive movement, but she is also the future of the Democratic Party. AOC has cultivated a following beyond politics. Shes an influencer in its purest form. Her ability to relate to her supporters and allow them a glimpse into her private life is a blueprint for Democrats trying to act less like mannequins and more like humans.
Shes the voice of a movement that began after the banks were bailed out by the government, while homeowners were left to default. The simplicity with which she talks about everyday struggles hints that shes not just a persona for consumption. She isnt beholden to corporations, is a prodigious small-dollar fundraiser, and could out-Trump Trump like no other politician has been able to.
Michael Starr Hopkins is a founding partner at Northern Starr Strategies.
Bernie Started Winning Until He Didnt
The first two primary contests in Iowa and New Hampshire were messy, but Sanders walked away a winner in both.
He defied expectations in the third, Nevada, by securing the normally-moderate Latino vote in overwhelming numbers. Turnout in the state broke records, in part thanks to Sanders appeal.
Everything changed with the fourth state, South Carolina, where 40 per cent of the Democratic electorate is African American. An overwhelming majority of that demographic coalesced around Joe Biden.
The win was so secure it was announced within the first two minutes of votes being counted.
Itd be tough to overstate how critical this vote looked to US politics watchers.
African American voters are among the most consistently Democratic, and a group historically shown to be harmed by a Republican president.
With Sanders still preaching his big policies, Bidens win in South Carolina revealed that the voters at the core of the Democratic Party still had their minds set on one question: who would beat Trump?
Jason Johnson, former politics editor for the African American-focused publication The Root, put it this way:
Voting for Bernie Sanders requires that black people believe that white people will do something theyve never done: willingly and openly share the economic bounty of the United States.
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No Bernie Sanders Would Not Have Beaten Trump
Freelance Writer and Political Scientist
By now, who hasnt heard a Bernie supporter or surrogate claim that Sanders would have won the election against Donald Trump? The Sanders wing of the Democratic Party has developed a narrative that the Democratic Party was held back by Hillary Clinton. They claim that she was fatally flawed, that the DNC stole the nomination from Sanders, and that the ever so coveted white working class voter dislodged by globalization will never again vote for corporate interests.
Of course, this narrative ignores the factsthat despite Clintons supposed flaws, she easily defeated Sanders in the primary via the pledged delegate count, that Sanders inability to convince minority voters doomed his campaign for the nomination, and that the attempt to use superdelegates to override the popular vote was an undemocratic power grab.
And the white workers whose supposed hate for corporate interests led them to vote for Trump? They dont seem upset that Trump has installed three Goldman Sachs executives in his administration. They dont seem to be angry that Trumps cabinet is the wealthiest in US history. And we havent heard any discontent from the white working class over Trump choosing an Exxon Mobil CEO for Secretary of State.
The Performance of Bernies 2016 Candidates and Initiatives
Russ Feingold, Wisconsin
Amendment 69, Colorado
Zephyr Teachout, New York
Prop 61, California
Rousing The Slumbering Giant
But perhaps the strongest argument for Bernie Sanders concerns a much larger group than any slice of disaffected Obama voters: the tens of millions of people, over 40 percent of the country, who typically do not vote in presidential elections.
American nonvoters, including nonvoters in the battleground states, are disproportionately young, non-white, and working-class. Bernie is distinctly popular with all of these groups, suggesting that he is by far our best shot to mobilize this vast slumbering army in a general election against Trump.
In the 2016 primaries, more people under thirty voted for Sanders than Trump and Clinton combined. Today, Sanders is the overwhelming favorite in the Democratic Party primary among young people. Trumps approval rating among people under thirty is pathetic, but as we learned four years ago, thats no guarantee that every young person who scorns Trump will show up to vote against him.
Democrats have a choice: either nominate a challenger who excites young people and can turn them out en masse, or hand the nomination to someone who doesnt motivate them, greasing the wheels for a Trump victory.
And finally, an umbrella category: Sanders is the candidate of the working class, which encompasses most young and non-white people but also plenty of older white people too.
Bernie Sanders can draw people who dont normally vote out of the woodwork. Nobody else can.
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Opinionbernie Sanders Must Drop Out Now Heres What Happens To Progressives If He Wont
Its been clear for some time that Sanders has very steadfast supporters, and their loyalty often tends to be to the man rather than his ideas, regardless of his slogan. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that, if Biden were to become the nominee, 15 percent of Sanders supporters would vote for Trump. By dropping out of the race now and enthusiastically stumping for Biden, Sanders would have an opportunity to help change that.
More importantly, the same ABC-Washington Post poll showed that, right now, 80 percent of Sanders supporters would back Biden in the general election if he were to be the nominee. And, at this point, Biden has a more than 300 delegate lead over Sanders, while a Washington Post-ABC News poll last week of Democratic leaning voters shows him with a 16 percent lead ahead of Sanders .
Meanwhile, two Democratic powerhouse organizations American Bridge and Unite the Country are joining forces to support Biden. Unite the Country already has ads running to highlight Trumps initial lackadaisical response to the coronavirus outbreak. Both groups plan to provide the resources Biden will need in a general election, because its evident that, in order for the Democrats to beat Trump, theyll need to combine all their resources, rather than continue to spend them on a primary fight.
In other words, Democratic groups are consolidating in order to keep the eye on the prize which is, and should be, defeating Trump, full stop.
Bernie Or Bust Wont Beat Trump
None of this is meant to endorse any sort of hostage-taking Bernie or bust mentality.
His followers occasional threats to withhold support for their nonpreferred nominee are as unconscionable as theyd be from anyone who should oppose Trump, given the purposeful damage this president gleefully does to the most vulnerable. This spite along with a sometimes creepy hostility toward normie Democrats and a willingness to traffic in conspiratorial thinking that invests mystical sway in a sometimes comically inept Democratic National Committee offers some evidence that this movement may lack the coalition-building potential necessary to defeat Trump.
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But this divisiveness does not often appear in Sanders himself, who has a proven distaste for distractions like Hillary Clintons damn emails.
Like the vast majority of Sanders supporters in the 2016 election, Id gladly vote for any Democratic nominee over Trump. This senator isnt even my favorite senator running for the nomination. Yet one reason I have to seriously consider Sanders is that he has the clearest path to uniting the Democratic Party and ousting the evil clown in the Oval Office.
And if you only care about winning, you cant ignore that.
Jason Sattler, a writer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a member of USA TODAYs Board of Contributors and host of The GOTMFV Show podcast. Follow him on Twitter:
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