Bernie and Beyond Bernie, Candidate or Movement?

by Greg Dworkin –

                                     PredictWise markets think we have a nominee

Steve Schale with more Dem primary analysis (Steve ran the 2008 FL campaign for O):

The commanding win tonight by Secretary Clinton should bring an end to the nomination fight.  Going into tonight, her delegate lead was over 200, and her popular vote lead was over 2.4 million.  We’ll see how the delegates get allocated, but her lead will significantly grown tonight, and she will add another 200,000 or more her popular vote lead.  This in a state that Sanders’ top advisor has said was one they needed to win, and one where Sanders himself, as recently as last week said: “We will win a major victory here in New York next Tuesday.”

The facts on this are no longer disputable:

After tonight, Sanders will need to win 59% of the remaining delegates to get to the nomination.

And if we look ahead to next week, based simply on the public polling available for the April 26th primaries & assuming Clinton gets no bump from tonight’s win, after next Tuesday Sanders will need to win roughly 65% of the delegates in the remaining 14 contests (of which only two: Guam and North Dakota are caucuses).

To put it in clearer terms, after April 26th, she will only need to win about 350 of the remaining 1,000 or so delegates to secure a majority of pledged delegates.  It is over.

In addition, after April 26th, she will almost certainly lead the popular vote by more than 3 million votes.   There will also be no viable path for him to win a majority of the popular vote.

For those who point to 2008, let’s compare the race at the same point:

If you go back to the week after Pennsylvania – Obama had a less than 100 delegate lead in pledged delegates, compared to Clinton’s, which will likely be over 300.  And yes, California was earlier last time, but even if you take California out of the 08 map, she has more than twice the delegate lead that Obama had in 08.

Or compare the popular vote: less than 200,000 votes separated Clinton and Obama at this point in 2008.   This election, outside of the media narrative, has not been, nor today is anything like 2008.

Philip Bump:

Bernie Sanders’s campaign manager tried to argue delegate math on MSNBC. It didn’t go well.

The delegate math is cruel.


In CT right now, Bernie has a positive, wholesome ad running about supporting the middle class featuring a VT dairy farmer, and Hillary has a powerful ad featuring a Sandy Hook School relative, Erica Smegielski, talking about gun safety. Go for it, teams!

Charles Blow with the darker side of staying in the race:

But Tuesday, Sanders’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, told MSNBC that if Clinton doesn’t clinch the nomination by pledged delegates alone, even if she has won the most popular votes, pledged delegates and states, Sanders will still take his fight to the convention. Sanders will “absolutely” try to turn superdelegates, who overwhelmingly support Clinton, and win the nomination that way.

First, barring something unforeseen and unimaginable, there is no way I can see that this strategy stands a gnat’s chance in hell of coming to fruition. It’s a fairy tale written in pixie dust.

But still, stop and consider what this means: The purist-of-principle, anti-establishment Sanders campaign would ask the superdelegates — the Democratic Party establishment — to overturn the will of the majority of participants in the Democrats’ nominating process.

The whole idea is outrageous coming from anyone, but coming from Sanders it seems to undermine the very virtues that make him attractive.

Power — even the proximity to it and the potential to wield it — is truly an intoxicant that blurs the vision and the lines.

I’ve talked about wanting to focus on Bernie’s issues, not Bernie. Last week we looked at superdelegates and primary reforms. This week, let’s look at whether Bernie is a candidate or a movement.

Tony Karon:

Why Bernie Sanders’ movement is much larger than this election

Sanders’ campaign looks more like an extension of the extra-electoral politics of phenomena like the Occupy, Black Lives Matter, Fight for $15 and Dreamer movements, small-d democratic citizen activism bypassing political institutions beholden to narrow, moneyed interests. Those movements are based outside the Democratic party – as was Sanders himself before he decided to seek its nomination – but through grassroots activism they have forced their issues on to the party’s agenda. Sanders has taken that same disruptive spirit into a national campaign to restore the Democrats’ New Deal values, and reverse their capitulation to the Republican fiscal agenda that began with the presidency of Bill Clinton.

And counterpoint from Jamelle Bouie:

There Is No Bernie Sanders Movement

Almost every modern Democratic primary has had a progressive insurgency. Bernie’s isn’t anything new. But it can be.

And within that space, they [Bill Bradley, Howard Dean, Jerry Brown] appealed to a narrow slice of the Democratic electorate. Predominantly white and disproportionately college-educated, these voters formed (and still form) the core of ideological liberalism within mainstream politics. Take the Dean campaign. In a 2005 survey, the Pew Research Center compared the demographics of Dean’s effort with those of the Democratic Party at large. The results don’t surprise. Just 25 percent of Democrats nationwide held college or postgraduate degrees, compared with 79 percent of Dean activists. And 92 percent were white, compared with 68 percent of all Democrats.

Thanks in part to the fact that 2016 is a two-person race, the Sanders coalition isn’tthis starkly white and college-educated. But it’s still disproportionate, a fact illustrated by the primary results. The single easiest way to predict a Sanders win in the Democratic contest is to look at the state’s demographics. Where blacks make up a large share of the Democratic electorate—industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, Southern states like North and South Carolina—Hillary Clinton wins. Where whites are the largest share, Bernie Sanders prevails.

Which is to say that, like Dean or Bradley before for him, Sanders is a factional candidate of ideological liberal Democrats, who are largely white Democrats.

If you missed this one, here’s Matt Karp:

The primary campaign between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has produced the most direct ideological battle the Democratic Party has seen in a generation. It’s not just the policy differences that separate Sanders’s blunt social-democratic platform from Clinton’s neoliberal grab bag. The two candidates embody clashing theories of politics — alternative visions of how to achieve progressive goals within the American political system.

The Bernie Sanders model of change has all the subtlety of an index finger raised high above a debate podium. Lay out a bold, unapologetic vision of reform that speaks directly to people’s basic needs. Connect that vision to existing popular struggles, while mobilizing a broad and passionate coalition to support it (#NotMeUs). Ride this wave of democratic energy to overwhelm right-wing opposition and enact major structural reforms.

The Hillary Clinton model of change, on the other hand, begins not with policy or people but with a politician. Choose an experienced, practical leader who explicitly rejects unrealistic goals. Rally around that leader’s personal qualifications, while defending past achievements and stressing the value of party loyalty (#ImWithHer). Draw on the leader’s expertise to grind away at Congress and accumulate incremental victories that add up to significant reform.

For most of the Left, Clinton-style “incrementalism” is just a code word to disguise what is effectively a right-wing retrenchment. Nevertheless many self-identified progressives have backed Clinton’s “theory of politics” as the most realistic path to achieve Sanders’s objectives.

Burke Stansbury:

Bernie Sanders is talking about ambitious, progressive ideas – universal healthcare, free college education, expanding social security, dramatically reining in the power of corporations. His ideas about overhauling our healthcare system are particularly attractive for me, since my six-year-old son has a significant physical disability that requires extensive interaction with our failing insurance-based system.

At the same time, it’s encouraging to see Hillary Clinton tacking left, possibly because of Sanders’ outspoken liberalism, condemning mass incarceration and speaking strongly in support of large public investment in communities – mostly black and brown – that have seen historic disinvestment. That real solutions to our country’s deep-seated problems around income inequality, institutional racism and climate change, among other things, are being put forward in the context of a major party nominating process is as surprising as it is profound.

But we can’t kid ourselves and think that just because some presidential candidates promise to address an issue that it will come to pass. If Barack Obama’s election taught us anything, it is that placing our hopes and dreams in the hands of a charismatic leader is not enough to bring about significant social change; to do that, we need organized people in the streets. We need powerful social movements.

Apparently we are into the fanfic part of the primary season. This entry is from conservative Carl Cannon:

Let’s be honest, though. These are four flawed candidates, which is why when two or more Republicans are in a room the talk turns to Paul Ryan. In a more muted fashion the same worry permeates the Democratic Party, which finds itself choosing between a 74-old senator who called himself a socialist until recently and a familiar face with lots of baggage, mainly about her credibility and character.

But the Democrats also had a knight in shining armor who chose not to run. Unlike Paul Ryan, she could have amassed delegates the old-fashioned way—by winning primaries and caucuses. The 2016 campaign set up perfectly for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. If she’d run, we might not be paying any attention to Tuesday’s New York primary. Warren may well have locked up the Democratic presidential nomination by now.

Michael Brendan Dougherty:

The percentage of remaining delegates that Trump needs to secure the nomination before the Republican convention is plummeting, and it will continue to fall next week, when 100 or so delegates could come his way in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and the mid-Atlantic states. So, yes, Trump can win the nomination ahead of the convention. But it will be tough. It depends on running up wins throughout California’s 53 congressional districts, and persuading the substantial portion of Pennsylvania’s unbound delegates to vote for the candidate who won the state.

Regardless, the basic dynamic of the election is set. Nothing that happened in New York suggests that Trump has made a giant leap out of the tar pit into which his candidacy has sunk. A real frontrunner would be planning his convention, and getting his donors to max out in preparation for the national campaign. Trump is not racking up real endorsements. Nobody is putting pressure on his rivals to drop out and endorse him. He is limping to the finish line. He may cross it. Hey may come so close that the party just gives him a pity-shove over it. He may fail just enough for Cruz to make a convention play. In any case, absent a white knight, the party will nominate Trump or Cruz, both of whom are unpopular sure-losers.

Keep the above in mind before giving us a litany of what’s wrong with Hill-Bern, and their real and perceived flaws. The GOP is still in denial, and their implosion to date is nothing compared to what’s coming.

74% chance of winning for Democrats
                                                  For perspective, come November


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos