Wisconsin, the Race Going Forward, and Hillary Clinton’s Patience

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Obama Administration

According to ABC News, Sanders won these demographics in Wisconsin:

  • He won 63 percent of men and 50 percent of women
  • He won liberals by 18 points
  • He won 78 percent of whites under age 45
  • He won 56 percent of nonwhites under age 45

Although you don’t hear this anywhere, he’s been winning a small majority of nonwhites age 29 and under just about everywhere except maybe the Deep South.  He also tends to do better than Clinton with younger women. He’s not so much the white man’s candidate as he is the younger people’s candidate.

You’ll hear over and over that he can’t win, but if you don’t count the superdelegates he’s only 250 delegates behind right now.  (By my count, Clinton has 1280 pledged delegates and Sanders has 1030.)  And that’s a lot, but making up that difference is not impossible, I don’t think, especially with several big states — New York, Pennsylvania, California — yet to be heard from. The most recent McClatchy poll has Sanders slightly ahead of Clinton nationally. But it’s going to be an uphill slog, no question.

Clinton is reacting to this as Clinton does, by going even more negative against Sanders than she was already.

One of her talking points is that Sanders isn’t a real Democrat. Like that matters, at a time when party identification is at a historic low.  Eric Levitz wrote,

It makes sense that Clinton isn’t sure if Sanders is a Democrat. But she needs to do everything in her power to make sure that he is one. Despite his independent label, Sanders has been a member of the Democratic caucus and a reliable vote for the Democrats throughout his time in Congress. He likens his political philosophy to that of Franklin Roosevelt. Ideologically, there is little distinguishing Sanders from Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown: He should feel comfortable in today’s Democratic Party. More critically for Clinton, his supporters should. In Wisconsin last night, Sanders once again notched a double-digit victory on the strength of his support among independents. Clinton needs to keep those left-leaning voters in the Democratic fold.

I hear from Clinton supporters that the PUMAs, or enough of ’em anyway, eventually made peace with Clinton’s loss and voted for Obama in 2008. But Obama didn’t treat the PUMAs the way Clinton treats Sanders supporters. For example, after the recent flap about accepting money from the fossil fuel industry, she said, ““I feel sorry sometimes for the young people who, you know, believe this. They don’t do their own research.” Yes, sneering condescension is a sure way to win people over.

This is from the Washington Times, but I’ve seen the quote elsewhere:

The Hillary Clinton campaign has “lost patience” and will start going after Sen. Bernard Sanders much harder and hoping to destroy his campaign, CNN reported Tuesday night.

In a report after Mrs. Clinton’s latest defeat at the hands of the Vermont socialist, reporter Jeff Zeleny said the Clinton campaign has decided that party unity can come later.

In the meantime, she will go after Mr. Sanders hard on issues such as gun control in the next two weeks before the New York primary, Mr. Zeleny said.

The question is, can Clinton win the nomination without doing it in such a scorched-earth way that it will hurt her chances in November? She needs those Sanders supporters she is alienating. Does she assume they’ll all be struck with amnesia? Some will vote blue no matter who, but a lot probably won’t (especially the independents and young voters) unless Clinton can give them a reason to do so.

Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver warned against such a strategy, noting that their primary has been much less personal than the Republican race.

“Do not destroy the Democratic Party to satisfy the secretary’s ambitions to be president,” he said on CNN.

If she wins the nomination the Dem Party may never recover.

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 6, 2016 @7:40 pm

    After a long and tough primay battle, Obama gave PUMAS’s more than just a few reasons to vote for him, besides not treating Hillary lIke she treated him then – and Sanders now.

    Clinton needs to do more than appeal to the obvious:
    ‘Hillary will be far better than any Republican.’
    Sure she will be.

    But she needs to figure out how to appeal to younger voters. Not just for her sake this year, but for the Democratic party, since statistics show that the party you first identify with, is the party you’ll stick with.

    Despite her intelligence and experience, she’s a lousy retail politician.
    I wasn’t in NY during her two Senate runs, since I was in NC, but I don’t remember reading she was this bad.
    Can anyone enlighten me?

    The question this year with her, is not whether she will do enough to win.
    It’s whether she doesn’t do too much to lose.

    This should be an easy Presidential victory.
    But the Democratic Party found in Hillary, the one leading candidate who not only is a lousy retail politician, but the one that the whole Reich Wing can, and is desperate to, unify to try to stop.

    Her plus side is that she’s tough, and has withstood 25 years of hateful and misogynistic attacks.

    If she’s the eventual candidate, and not Bernie, I’ll work like a dog to GOTV for her.
    Hopefully, many, many others will too.

  2. maha  •  Apr 6, 2016 @8:41 pm

    I don’t remember Hillary Clinton running negative campaigns when she was running for Senate, but the first time she ran against a nobody congressman named Rick Lazio who was a worse campaigner than she was. If she had run a dirty campaign against Lazio I’m not sure I would have noticed. The second time she was, in effect, unopposed. There was a Republican senate nominee on the ballot, a former mayor of Yonkers, but he was invisible.

    http://www.mahablog.com/2016/02/17/lets-talk-about-hillary-clintons-electability/

    In the Senate she is said to have bent over backwards to get along with everybody, Republicans included.

  3. Boatman1976  •  Apr 6, 2016 @9:15 pm

    Every 40-50 years or so there is a realignment in the party system. The Clinton’s neoliberal shift characterized the last stable phase for the Democrats. When the Republicans realigned with their “Southern Strategy” Bill saw an opportunity to capture Wall Street and the emerging tech business. His neoliberal strategy has completely displaced the Republicans as the party of big business, but also abandoned all the progressives on the left.

    For decades the Democrats have been telling the progressives, “not now, we’re busy pushing back against the Republicans.” After 40 years this strategy has played itself out. The Republicans are a shell of their former selves – just frustrated evangelicals and angry working class white folks.

    Just as the Republican elites have discovered that what’s left of their party doesn’t care about capital gains taxes or union busting, the Progressive base of the Democratic party has discovered that their leaders weren’t serious about tackling progressive issues. The progressives feel betrayed, and they are angry too.

    The Democratic party isn’t imploding, it’s split. The older half is very comfortable in the neoliberal Business Center that the Clintons and Obama have set up. The rest see a very bleak future without some major changes. Sanders isn’t a charismatic leader, he’s just a guy in the right place at the right time to catalyze a reaction that was going to take place anyway.

    Hillary may find herself on the wrong side of history. She’s likely to be little more than the poster-girl for a hardening of the Democratic party as the neoliberal/ neocon “establishment” party.

    The Republican party looks finished to me. I predict that thee groups will split off leaving only the former Confederacy constituent. They may manage to keep the lights on a while, but the Republican party won’t be a major force in politics.

    I predict that the Democratic party will move further right as the neocons from the former Republican party join. They like Hillary, and she likes them.

    I suspect a new party will form from the other two Republican splinters – enlightened angry blue collar folks (yes, there are quite a few) and evangelicals. They are likely to bond with Sander’s progressives to form a labor/peoples party determined to help the poor and disadvantaged. Ironically, this new party will be the natural home for the immigrant and BLM folks, as the neocon/neoliberal Democratic party is almost certain to try to maintain the status quo.

    So it’s a lot more ominous than “25% of Sanders supporters won’t vote for Hillary” The real problem is that ALL of Sanders’s voters might jump ship over the next few years as the parties realign.

    my 2 cents.

  4. maha  •  Apr 6, 2016 @10:13 pm

    “The Democratic party isn’t imploding, it’s split. The older half is very comfortable in the neoliberal Business Center that the Clintons and Obama have set up. The rest see a very bleak future without some major changes. Sanders isn’t a charismatic leader, he’s just a guy in the right place at the right time to catalyze a reaction that was going to take place anyway.” Agree entirely. And I think your ideas about party realignment are plausible. IMO both parties could break apart in the next few years.

    Nice analysis; thanks!

  5. Swami  •  Apr 6, 2016 @9:41 pm

    Hillary lost patience?… You mean like just put the fucking crown on my head type of lost patience?

  6. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 6, 2016 @9:44 pm

    Thanks, maha.

    I remember on some MSNBC show, that during a debate, Lazio looked like a threatening asshole by leaving his podium, and walking towards her.
    But that’s about it.

  7. maha  •  Apr 6, 2016 @10:06 pm

    gulag — that’s all I remember, too.

  8. priscianus jr  •  Apr 6, 2016 @10:17 pm

    When Hillary Clitnon was running for the senate, she was primaried by Jonathan Tasini (now a Sanders supporter). I don’t know that you could call it a dirty campaign, because her main tactic was just to ignore him. But the experience was interesting enough that New Politics did an interview with him, “Running against Hillary.” After all, he’s one of the few people who ever has run against her.
    http://nova.wpunj.edu/newpolitics/issue42/Tasini42.htm

  9. maha  •  Apr 6, 2016 @10:29 pm

    I believe I remember Jonathan Tasini.

  10. MilitantlyAardvark  •  Apr 6, 2016 @11:44 pm

    The Democrats have been effectively split for decades now, but were forced to paper over the cracks by the unified extremism of the GOP. Now that the GOP seems to be cracking up, that external pressure no longer holds the Democrats together and I think this primary may well be the first significant sign of a longer term fracturing of the Democratic coalition as well.

  11. atb23  •  Apr 7, 2016 @7:39 am

    Hillary is the most experienced, qualified candidate the Dem party has had in ages. I welcome that experience when the world is such a complicated mess. Bernie is great on income inequality, but what about issues beyond that? His discussion with the NY Daily News editorial board shows he is just not prepared on other issues beyond Wall St greed. He needs to offer more to get my vote.

  12. moonbat  •  Apr 7, 2016 @9:19 am

    OT, Why that woman who yelled at Florida governor Rick Scott should be your hero. Video included. He just drips with smarmy condescension.

  13. BlueLoom  •  Apr 7, 2016 @9:22 am

    Someone needs to tell Hillary that you don’t need to shout when you have a mic. She desperately needs a good voice coach.

    Yeah, that’s probably a sexist comment (note: I’m of the female persuasion, too), but this aspect of her performance really bothers me. I understand there are bigger issues in this race: Wall Street, neo-liberal philosophy, support for wars, income inequality, etc. But running for political office is a performance, and Ms. Clinton’s needs improvement.

  14. uncledad  •  Apr 7, 2016 @10:36 am

    “If she wins the nomination the Dem Party may never recover”

    I’m not convinced we are there yet? I’m no huge fan of Clinton and have decided to vote for Bernie in my primary (Indiana, maybe it could matter this time?), but I think this dust up is relatively minor. Clinton is doing what Clinton’s do and I for one am not gonna sit out the general and I sure as hell aint going to vote for Trump or Cruzader! Hillary’s “getting nervous” as Bernie says but I must admit Bernie seems a bit thin skinned in this as well. Maybe a little negative campaigning is good, they need to develop some anti-bodies for the general. Maybe it just seems minor compared to the giant cluster-fuck in the GOP but I’m confident all this nastiness will be forgotten once a nominee is picked.

  15. maha  •  Apr 7, 2016 @10:43 am

    uncledad — you are more confident than I am. If Clinton is the nominee the Dem party establishment will forget the nastiness, as will Clinton supporters. But the young folks are not going to forget how the Dem party establishment rolled over them like a bulldozer.

  16. Joel Dan Walls  •  Apr 7, 2016 @4:10 pm

    “I suspect a new party will form from the other two Republican splinters – enlightened angry blue collar folks (yes, there are quite a few) and evangelicals. They are likely to bond with Sander’s progressives to form a labor/peoples party determined to help the poor and disadvantage”–Boatman1976

    Seriously? Sanders voters are going to find a happy marriage with people who oppose LGBT rights & oppose reproductive freedom, for example?

    One more thing:

    Neither the Democratic Party nor the GOP is going to choose it’s presidential candidate on the basis of opinion polls.

  17. maha  •  Apr 7, 2016 @10:18 pm

    Joel Dan Walls: //Seriously? Sanders voters are going to find a happy marriage with people who oppose LGBT rights & oppose reproductive freedom, for example?// No, of course not. He said “enlightened” angry blue collar folks. Believe it or not, not all working-class people, even the white ones, are drooling idiot bigots.

    //Neither the Democratic Party nor the GOP is going to choose it’s presidential candidate on the basis of opinion polls.//

    Nobody said they were. But all things come to an end, including parties. Pressures are building up in both parties that are going to make the status quo impossible to sustain. http://www.salon.com/2016/03/05/stop_laughing_democrats_as_the_gop_goes_down_in_flames_your_post_bernie_civil_war_is_almost_here/

  18. Joel Dan Walls  •  Apr 7, 2016 @4:14 pm

    ….its presidential candidate. Sorry.

  19. Joel Dan Walls  •  Apr 7, 2016 @4:18 pm

    Unpleasantness about Hillary Clinton coming from Bernie Sanders

    Josh Marshall’s headline to this story is “Not Good. Not Good At All.”

  20. Porlock Junior  •  Apr 8, 2016 @2:47 am

    @Joel Dan Walls

    I guess this Marshall guy hasn’t been around very long. /sarc For my part, I have been around for some years (same as Sanders, just for reference and not per se an endorsement).

    Just 8 years ago there were 2 leading candidates for the Demo nomination. One of them made a campaign theme that the other was not experienced enough for the job. You know, same as the Republicans were saying. More than that, this candidate said, up front, in public, specifically that the other was *less qualified* than the leading Republican!

    Now THAT stuck in my craw and has been stuck ever since. You do not DO that to your own party. The person who endorses the qualification of the Republican is not a Democrat; not even if she claims that a later opponent is not a Real Democrat. Pfaugh.

    Perhaps someone knows or can guess who said that of whom. Anyway, after the election the winner made his former attacker Secretary of State (a good move, IMO at the time). I’d like very much to see, if Clinton wins the nomination, as is probable, what a fine job she does working to enlist and keep the support of the Democrats who preferred Sanders. Tell me I should be optimistic.

    Then again, maybe CBS was making it up.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/clinton-says-she-and-mccain-offer-experience-obama-offers-speeches/

  21. Porlock Junior  •  Apr 8, 2016 @2:58 am

    @Priscianus Jr — (Hi, Junior)
    Thanks for the link. All new to me.

    @Swami
    “You mean like just put the fucking crown on my head type of lost patience?”
    Yes. SATSQ

  22. Tim L Howe  •  Apr 12, 2016 @6:03 pm

    Once upon a time, Maha here was pretty sharp – but that was ten or fifteen years ago. Nonsense like this notion that Bernie really really really has a chance to bounce back with smashing victories in NY and CA, that’s just self deception on a massive scale and that’s the reason I don’t come here anymore for enlightened commentary. Tragic, really, what people do to themselves, like finding your old philosophy prof drunk in the gutter.

  23. maha  •  Apr 12, 2016 @7:14 pm

    Tim Howe — When did I ever predict “smashing victories” for Sanders in NY and CA? Apparently your ability to read has deteriorated considerably. Good bye.



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