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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #36)

Wed Jan 18, 2017, 12:05 PM

60. Bernie Sanders was on the ballot and unperformed Clinton

Actually, sanders was on the ballot and preformed poorly. https://extranewsfeed.com/bernie-sanders-was-on-the-2016-ballot-and-he-underperformed-hillary-clinton-3b561e8cb779#.jbtsa3epl

Of course, this narrative ignores the facts ó that despite Clintonís 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 ďhate for corporate interestsĒ led them to vote for Trump? They donít seem upset that Trump has installed three Goldman Sachs executives in his administration. They donít seem to be angry that Trumpís cabinet is the wealthiest in US history. And we havenít heard any discontent from the white working class over Trump choosing an Exxon Mobil CEO for Secretary of State.

The devil is in the details, and at first glance, it is easy to see why so many people can believe that Bernie actually would have won. He got a great deal of positive media coverage as the underdog early on, especially with Republicans deliberately eschewing attacks on him in favor of attacks on Clinton. His supporters also trended younger and whiter, demographics that tend to be more visible in the media around election time. A highly energized and vocal minority of Sanders supporters dominated social media, helping him win online polls by huge margins.

But at some point, you have to put away the narrative and actually evaluate performance. This happens in sports all the time, especially with hyped up amateur college prospects before they go pro. Big time college players are often surrounded by an aura, a narrative of sorts, which pushes many casual observers to believe their college skills will translate to success on the next level. But professional teams have to evaluate the performance of these amateur players to determine if they can have success as professionals, regardless what the narrative surrounding them in college was. A college player with a lot of hype isnít necessarily going to succeed professionally. In fact, some of the most hyped up prospects have the most underwhelming performances at the next level. In the same vein, we can evaluate Sandersí performance in 2016 and determine whether his platform is ready for the next level. Sanders endorsed a plethora of candidates and initiatives across the country, in coastal states and Rust Belt states. He campaigned for these candidates and initiatives because they represented his platform and his vision for the future of the Democratic Party. In essence, Bernie Sanders was on the 2016 ballot. Letís take a look at how he performed.

After looking at a number of races where sanders supported candidates under perform Hillary Clinton, that author makes a strong closing
If Sanders is so clearly the future of the Democratic Party, then why is his platform not resonating in diverse blue states like California and Colorado, where the Democratic base resides? Why are his candidates losing in the Rust Belt, where displaced white factory workers are supposed to be sympathetic to his message on trade? The key implication Sanders backers usually point to is that his agenda is supposed to not only energize the Democratic base, but bring over the white working class, which largely skews Republican. Universal healthcare, free college, a national $15 minimum wage, and government controlled prescription drug costs are supposed to be the policies that bring back a white working class that has gone conservative since Democrats passed Civil Rights. Sanders spent $40 million a month during the primary, and was largely visible during the general, pushing his candidates and his agenda across the country. The results were not good ó specifically in regards to the white working class. The white working class did not turnout for Feingold in Wisconsin, or for universal healthcare in Colorado. Instead, they voted against Bernieís platform, and voted for regular big business Republicans.

Why did Sanders underperform Clinton significantly throughout 2016 ó first in the primaries, and then with his candidates and initiatives in the general? If Sandersí platform and candidates had lost, but performed better than Clinton, than that would be an indicator that perhaps he was on to something. If they had actually won, then he could really claim to have momentum. But instead, we saw the opposite result: Sandersí platform lost, and lost by much bigger margins than Clinton did. It even lost in states Clinton won big. What does that tell us about the future of the Democratic Party? Well, perhaps we need to acknowledge that the Bernie Sanders platform just isnít as popular as itís made out to be.

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