Clinton Apologists Distort Poll Data To Make False Claim That Sanders Supporters Cost Clinton The Election

Hillary Clinton and her supporters have the irrational view that it makes sense to blame those who did not vote for her for her loss, failing to understand that this is how politics works. Any candidate can claim they would have won if enough people who did not vote for them had decided to vote for them, and it is the fault of the Democrats if they ran a candidate so terrible that she could not even beat Donald Trump. Clinton supporters are now twisting recently released polling data to blame supporters of Bernie Sanders for Clinton’s inability to beat Trump.

Some like Newsweek are running the data under the unsupported headline, Bernie Sanders Voter Helped Trump Win And Here’s Proof.  The Washington Post looks at the data more objectively under the title Did enough Bernie Sanders supporters vote for Trump to cost Clinton the election? They report that, “Two surveys estimate that 12 percent of Sanders voters voted for Trump. A third survey suggests it was 6 percent.”

The article further states, “the most important feature of Sanders-Trump voters is this: They weren’t really Democrats to begin with.” In other words, Bernie Sanders brought in non-Democratic voters, while Hillary Clinton could not win the support of these voters. This is a difference between Sanders and Clinton which we were well aware of during the primaries.

In looking at the voters who went from Sanders to Trump, also remember the PUMAs. This six to twelve percent of Sanders voters is rather small compared to the number of Clinton voters who voted for John McCain in the 2008 general election:

Another useful comparison is to 2008, when the question was whether Clinton supporters would vote for Barack Obama or John McCain (R-Ariz.) Based on data from the 2008 Cooperative Campaign Analysis Project, a YouGov survey that also interviewed respondents multiple times during the campaign, 24 percent of people who supported Clinton in the primary as of March 2008 then reported voting for McCain in the general election.

An analysis of a different 2008 survey by the political scientists Michael Henderson, Sunshine Hillygus and Trevor Thompson produced a similar estimate: 25 percent. (Unsurprisingly, Clinton voters who supported McCain were more likely to have negative views of African Americans, relative to those who supported Obama.)

Thus, the 6 percent or 12 percent of Sanders supporters who may have supported Trump does not look especially large in comparison with these other examples.

This certainly blows up the arguments of Clinton supporters based upon some expectation of party loyalty with more Clinton supporters than Sanders supporters going over to the Republicans.

I am actually not surprised by this. After all, Hillary Clinton’s views are far more in line with the Republicans than liberal/progressive Democrats. Many backed her based upon gender without any serious understanding of her views. Therefore a Republican ticket like McCain/Palin wouldn’t be very far from Clinton ideologically, and would allow them to vote for a female candidate. Core Sanders supporters are far more progressive than Clinton and those voting for a non-Democrat might  consider  candidates such as Jill Stein, but did not have a major party candidate who was similar to them ideologically as Clinton supporters did. This left a smaller number who would vote Republican in 2016.

On the other hand, the left/right political spectrum does not explain the choices of all voters. Again, this data shows that there were voters who Bernie Bernie Sanders could win away from the Republicans, but Hillary Clinton could not. This was one of the reasons Sanders would have made a better general election candidate.

The data in this poll alone does not prove that Sanders would have beaten Trump, but other data available does suggest this. Sanders typically polled about ten points better than Clinton in head to head polls against Republicans. Sanders did better in the rust belt states which cost Clinton the election in the electoral college. Sanders was not involved in scandals as Clinton was, and there were no emails which showed matters comparable to what was released about Clinton by Wikileaks. It makes no sense for Clinton supporters to blame James Comey, Wikileaks, and Russia for Clinton losing, but deny that not being affected by these matters would make Sanders a stronger general election candidate.

In an election this close, virtually any difference might have changed the election result–including perhaps Clinton not making the many mistakes she made throughout the campaign. If all the Sanders voters who voted for Trump had voted for Clinton she theoretically could have won. On the other hand, there  were even more people who voted for Obama in the previous election but voted for Trump.

As with the vast majority of election analyses I have read, they did not even look at the degree to which being a neoconservative war monger might have affected the actions of voters, with one study earlier this summer suggesting that it was her support for endless war which cost her the election. Despite his many faults, Trump did outflank Clinton on the left on both trade and foreign policy (although Trump was far too incoherent on foreign policy for many of us to consider backing him based upon this, even if we could have overlooked his racism and xenophobia).

The key factor in any analysis is not that something different might have allowed Clinton to win, but that running against a candidate as terrible as Donald Trump, Clinton was so close that these factors allowed her to lose. If Clinton was running ten points better against Trump (as Sanders had), then Russia, James Comey, and even the loss of some votes to Trump would not have cost her the election. Barack Obama was able to win despite losing far more Clinton voters to Republicans because he was a stronger candidate to begin with.

Donald Trump is president because the Democrats picked a horrible candidate who then went on to run a terrible campaign. No amount of spinning poll results will change this.

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8 Comments

  1. 1
    Maerzie says:

    Hillary, and her girlfriend, Debbie Wasserman SNAKE kept Bernie Sanders OFF the ballot, by all their vile, selfish, crookedness, including Donna Brazile's feeding Hillary the debate questions AHEAD of the debates, as they could all see that Bernie had the majority of supporters.  If the Hillary losers did't pay attention to facts, that's their failing.  Actually, they should be THANKING Bernie supporters for all their votes, which made it LOOK as if Hillary had much more support than any DINO (democrat in name only) would EVER  get, any time!  I, myself, and many other Bernie voters, voted for Hillary, by default, to prevent Trump from  winning, since my majority candidate wasn't even allowed on the ballot.  Bernie had been predicted to beat Trump, while Hillary, rightfully, had been predicted to LOSE to Trump.  The predictions were all correct.  Hillary is a very disliked human being because of her coldness and hypocrisies.

  2. 2
    Cecil Young says:

    I have seen this crap repeated ad nauseum since the election. Hillary Clinton has exactly ONE thing she can blame for her loss. 

    HERSELF. 

    How badly was her campaign ran? She lost to DONALD TRUMP. I don't know why we are still talking about this stupidity a year later…

    Oh right because Hillary is utterly incapable of self reflection. So incapable in fact she lost in a campaign against DONALD TRUMP.

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    Not only did she lose the Presidency but by screwing over Sanders, she lost the Senate and House too. Just go away Hillary. I think it"s been shown that we don"t want you.

     

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, polling data has also shown that, in response to all the predictions that Clinton would certainly win, some people voted Republican down ticket to balance Clinton. It is questionable if the Democrats could have taken the House in 2016, but with a popular candidate heading the ticket they could have made it closer, and had an excellent shot at taking the Senate.

  5. 5
    George Ripley says:

    Is this being inserted into the media stream by Establishment Dems to create fear that not voting for them will give us more of Trump? Seems likely, but no cigar. I am totally opposed to Establishment Dems. Their paradigm is over! Done! Here's a statistic – 80% of millennials who voted in the primaries voted for Sander's! 80%! and that is a demographic that is only getting more and more involved. Establishment Dems must be terrified! They have lost 100's of elections nationwide and Perez is having no luck raising any money. The Establishment Dems are the walking dead and refuse to be helpful in the transition of power to the new Democratic vision.

    Like

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  6. 6
    Hermit Barber says:

    If the oligarchs had permitted Sanders to be nominated, the Democrats would have won in a heart beat. As it is, they have become irrelevant with the support of less than 20% of Americans, and most over their supporters over 45.

    As it is, with the economy, media, government and elections under the control of the oligarchs running the country, society and the biosphere into the ground, love them or hate them, we are either going to vote for the Green Party, the only non-oligarch controlled party with the ballot presence required to win an election in the short time left to us before disaster overtakes us, or we are probably going to become extinct in the near future.

  7. 7
    Elsie Collins says:

    HILLARY and her sidekick DWS are responsible for why we ended up with Trump!!!  Bernie was poised to beat Trump by double digits in every poll across the country.  BUT Hillary and her political machine were having none of Bernie!! Stinking bitch even had the audacity to PLAGIARIZE his progressive platform when she had NONE of her own!!!  We can thank Trump's connections to Russia, and Hillary's all but hand written invitation to hack her unsecured email server, which she wanted to be private so as not to allow her Clinton Foundation web of deceit to fall into the glare of the public information act!! She started the hacking at the very beginning of the primaries, by setting Bernie up with that firewall glitch, then used his voter base data for two weeks!! Are people forgetting that Bernie had to SUE the DNC to get his data base back?  Plenty of time for the DNC to sabotage his campaign with bogus mailings of voter information, laser focus on his strongholds and purging voter roles, papering CA and anywhere else they could with provisional ass wipe ballots, and not to mention the extortion of Bernie's platform in Florida!!!!!!  So, to this day, she refuses to take responsibility for the truth, and she has cost us untold damage to our democracy, untold damage to national security, and has saddled us with a mentally ill, neo-Nazi maniac, who I pray they gave a FAKE nuke code to!!!

    And to think we could have had the sanity, experience, wisdom, fairness, and courage of Bernie Sanders to stand up for what is right, and for the people of America, instead of the piece of excrement that smears the hallowed halls of the White House, while we sit by in horror as he blatantly used the pages of the Constitution as toilet paper, and the American flag as his diaper!!!!!!!!!! I  also pray that Mr. Mueller has a brigade of impenetrable security, because Putin is not nearly done with Trump yet!!! Sorry, I never sugar coat anything!!!  The stakes are just too high!!!

  8. 8
    meg says:

    I was an independent and changed to democrat so I could vote for Bernie in the primary. Many (if not most) of my "republican friends" said they would have to vote for trump if she was the nominee. Sadly, he lost, and I personally felt I had no choice but to vote for Clinton in the general election. Yes,yes..i know the lesser of two evils is still evil…but I couldn't stomach the idea of trump ruining our country. i can't explain WHY i don't care for her..it's just a feeling i always had that she was too "republican" for my liking. Being an older woman, i was expected to prefer her over sanders? no…not at all.

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