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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

 
Sanders: "Clinton is right, electability is important, and we are the campaign that’s going to win"

by Gaius Publius


A nice reminder: Bernie Sanders' classic 2003 take-down of Alan Greenspan. The phrase to watch from Greenspan is "wealth-creation." He means billionaire wealth, of course.


Last summer I wrote a piece entitled "The Clinton Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign." I could have titled this one, "The Sanders Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign," meaning, publicly points out their own real strength. The news: Bernie Sanders has added something startling to his stump speech — a direct and repeated counter to Clinton's claim of greater "electability."

As we've been pointing out for months — for example, here and here — Sanders is clearly the most electable on all available evidence. One could say that early polls mean nothing, and that may (or may not) be true. But if they mean anything at all, that thing does not favor the Clinton campaign.

John Wagner and David Weigel, writing in the Washington Post:
As Clinton says only she can win, Sanders points to the polls

DES MOINES -- The new ad from Hillary Clinton warns Iowa's Democrats that only she can win a general election. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) begs to differ -- and so does his math.

"My opponent says this is an important issue; she is the person who can win the general election," Sanders said at an American Legion hall here, at an event that largely focused on the city's fast-growing Latino population. "I respectfully disagree. Look at which candidate is doing better against Donald Trump. Look at the last national poll and you find that Bernie Sanders is beating Donald Trump by 13 points, Hillary Clinton by seven points.”

Sanders has been making that argument at almost every Iowa stop this weekend, a head-turning addition to his extremely consistent stump speech. Frustrated by media coverage that has covered Donald Trump's insurgent campaign far more closely than Sanders's -- by one calculation, 23 times more closely -- the candidate and his supporters are starting to ask why his strong poll numbers aren't news.
A "head-turning addition" to his stump speech is a good thing. Some heads need a turning, especially those in the media who the authors say are ignoring the Sanders surge in their coverage of the Trump. More:
At a Friday rally in Toledo, a small city in the state's northeast, Sanders introduced an audience of several hundred voters to the "very respected" Quinnipiac poll, based at the eponymous university in Connecticut. While taking care not to criticize Clinton, he noted that he was leading each Republican by more than she was.

Later that night, in Cedar Rapids, the Vermont senator set up the polling riff with a question.

“We have got to beat right-wing Republican extremism," said Sanders. "So the question is, who is the stronger candidate to do that?”

Members of the 1,600-person crowd yelled out his name before Sanders had a chance to answer. He then shared that a recent national poll had him leading Trump by twice as much as Clinton and that a just-released poll from New Hampshire that had him up by higher margins than Clinton -- several more points, in most cases -- against virtually all of the GOP candidates in hypothetical general-election match-ups. Sanders ticked off his margins and Clinton’s against Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, “our good friend” Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

“And I must confess to you here is my favorite one,” Sanders said before relaying how much he is up over Trump in New Hampshire.
My headline comes from the close: "[Sanders] said, anyone who looks 'objectively' at his campaign and Clinton’s will come to the same conclusion: 'Our campaign is the campaign that has the energy, has the enthusiasm. So Hillary Clinton is right, electability is enormously important, and we are the campaign that’s going to win this election'."

From his lips. And as we speak, this...

Bernie Sanders makes strong showing in new polls

Just out, from Maggie Haberman and the New York Times, more new polls favorable to Sanders:
Hillary Clinton holds a three-point edge over Senator Bernie Sanders in Iowa, a tightening of the race with roughly three weeks until voting begins, according to a new set of surveys of likely voters from NBC/The Wall Street Journal/Marist. ...

In Iowa, Mrs. Clinton has 48 percent of support and Mr. Sanders has 45 percent as the competition between the two has become more contentious. Martin O’Malley, the third Democratic presidential candidate, has 5 percent in Iowa, meaning he will most likely qualify for the next presidential debate.

But in New Hampshire, the survey also found Mr. Sanders at 50 percent, to 46 percent for Mrs. Clinton.

That margin is smaller than a recent Fox News survey, in which Mr. Sanders led Mrs. Clinton by 13 points. An NBC survey last month showed Mr. Sanders ahead by nine points in New Hampshire.
This especially should not be ignored (my emphasis): "The surveys also found Mr. Sanders, buoyed by the support of independent voters, outperforms Mrs. Clinton in hypothetical general-election matchups in both states among registered voters."

That, I would think, might make an interesting head-turning addition to the "head-turning addition" to the campaign speech. Significantly greater support from independents sounds like victory to me. And lack of support from independents sounds, well, risky. If I were a Democratic insider who actually wanted to win, I'd give that some thought.

(Blue America has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. If you'd like to help out, go here; you can adjust the split any way you like at the link. If you'd like to "phone-bank for Bernie," go here. You can volunteer in other ways by going here. And thanks!)

(A version of this piece appeared at Down With Tyranny. GP article archive here.)

GP


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