“A new CNN poll shows that Donald Trump is within six points of Hillary Clinton. It’s the closest Trump has ever gotten to a woman over 40.”–Seth Meyers
Jimmy Kimmel Live! presents their take on Donald Trump’s first ad will be, making fun of the fact that we really don’t know what Trump plans to do as president other than building that wall.
The biggest problem I see with Trump building a wall on the border is that it might get in the way of people trying to escape a United States under the rule of Donald Trump.
Maybe we will learn more about Trump’s ideas. Sarah Palin is interviewing Donald Trump tonight. I can imagine the first two question:
Question #1. Why are you so awesome?
Question #2. Will I be able to see the wall from my house?
And coming soon, something big from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), also a GOP candidate, are joining forces to do “something very big over the next two weeks in Washington.”
Speaking to reporters following a campaign rally in South Carolina, Trump said the event will essentially be a “protest” of the Obama administration’s “totally incompetent” nuclear deal with Iran. He also called Cruz a “friend of mine” and a good guy.”
Those who believe “it can’t happen here” have never heard of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or Sarah Palin.
The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows Donald Trump dominating the Republicans and Clinton’s support eroding among Democrats. Clinton still has the lead, but it is down from 55 percent on June 30 to 45 percent at present. More disturbing for Democrats, this poll shows what other polls have shown–Americans know better than to trust Hillary Clinton. Mediaite summarized:
“What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Hillary Clinton?” Quinnipiac asked. All three of the most popular answers were along the same lines: “liar,” “dishonest,” and “untrustworthy.” After those responses, Clinton nets a few positive responses, such as “experience” and “strong.” But then the negative qualifiers begin again, with responses like “crook,” “untruthful,” “criminal,” and “deceitful.”
The same question was asked of Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. The top three responses for Trump were “arrogant,” “blowhard,” and “idiot,” while the top responses for Bush were “Bush,” “family,” and “honest.”
The same poll found Clinton with low favorables. A majority of voters, 51%, say that they have an unfavorable opinion of Clinton while only 39% says they have a favorable opinion.
Like other recent polls, this poll also shows Joe Biden doing better against Republicans than Clinton does.
It is no wonder that we are seeing headlines such as Hillary Clinton’s Handling of Email Issue Frustrates Democratic Leaders at The New York Times and Inside Democratic Party, growing concerns about Clinton from McClatchy. While Clinton does well among Democratic voters, she does poorly nationally with independents and those in battle ground states.
While Clinton does hold a strong (but diminishing ) lead in the Democratic race, Sanders is posing a serious threat. Recent polls show him leading in New Hampshire. He is even within four points of Clinton in West Virginia, where she leads 36 percent to 32 percent. Apparently without the race issue, Clinton is not able to win there as easily as eight years ago.
After amazing most observers with how much support he is generating among Democrats, Sanders is preparing for phase 2 of his campaign.
Sanders huddled with advisers at his home here Wednesday to chart what he describes as the second phase of a campaign that has exceeded all expectations but still lacks the infrastructure and support from the party elites that could help him compete with Clinton on a national level.
He said he will issue a slew of detailed policy proposals, including for a tax system under which corporations and the wealthy would pay significantly more for initiatives that would benefit the poor and middle class, and will pour resources into voter outreach in early nominating states.
The senator also will appear with other White House hopefuls this week at a meeting of the Democratic National Committee and will urge party leaders to embrace him as a candidate who can attract new voters and energy, just as President Obama did eight years ago.
“Smart members of the establishment will perceive where the excitement is, where the energy is, where the enthusiasm is, where the potential voter turnout is,” Sanders said in an interview…
Roughly one-fifth of the delegates who will pick the nominee at the Democratic convention are superdelegates — elected officials and other party leaders who are not bound by voting in their states. So far, those superdelegates have sided overwhelmingly with Clinton.
Longtime Democratic strategist Tad Devine, who was among the participants in Wednesday’s meeting here, said Sanders has the potential to assemble “not necessarily the same coalition, but the same kind of coalition” as Obama did in 2008. Sanders’s huge campaign rallies have been heavily attended by younger voters, and during his long political career in Vermont, he has demonstrated an appeal to lower-income voters from both parties…
Campaign manager Jeff Weaver said the senator will continue to hold rallies but “phase two will be a more focused effort to reach out to undecided voters” in early nominating states. The campaign is spending heavily in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — all of which have contests in February — and starting to evaluate strategies for a dozen states that have primaries or caucuses on March 1.
To date, Sanders has deployed 41 staffers to Iowa, 23 to New Hampshire and nine to South Carolina, aides said.
Another focus of “phase two,” according to Sanders and his aides, will be a series of detailed position papers and policy speeches that go well beyond his hour-long stump speech.
Sanders said he plans a major address on Wall Street reforms and to add more specifics to many of his ideas, including revamping the tax system. He has pledged to reverse the growing income inequality in the country and has laid out a set of costly priorities — including free tuition at public colleges and universities, a massive infrastructure program and a large youth jobs program — much of which would be paid for by taxing businesses and the wealthy.
“It’s easy to say we’re going to make the corporations and wealthy pay their fair share,” Sanders said. “What does that mean, exactly?”
He plans, too, to speak out more about foreign policy, a subject that gets relatively little attention in his stump speech.
Aides acknowledge that Sanders could open himself up to criticism by detailing plans that are considered outside the political mainstream. But the candidate said he owes it to voters to lay out what he would do as president: “These are terribly serious times, and the American people deserve to be treated as intelligent people.”
As I have said before, Sanders is the future of the Democratic Party.
Martin O’Malley is also going on the offensive, criticizing the DNC for its preferential treatment of Hillary Clinton, despite her scandals, and limiting the campaign to only six debates:
Martin O’Malley took one of the hardest swings of any Democrat yet at Hillary Clinton on Thursday, saying the party shouldn’t be “circling the wagons” around the former secretary of state and questioning her viability against Republicans.
The former Maryland governor — struggling to climb out of low single digits in national Democratic primary polls — said Clinton will continue to be dogged by her use of a personal email address on a private server during her tenure as America’s top diplomat.
“Until we start having debates, our party’s going to be defined and branded by questions like: What did Secretary Clinton know, when did she know it, and when will the FBI conclude its investigation?” O’Malley told reporters in New Hampshire. “That’s not a formula for success in the fall.”
O’Malley went further than other Democratic presidential candidates have. Clinton’s top-polling challenger, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, has avoided direct intra-party attacks and instead trained his fire on Wall Street and Republicans.
He also criticized the Democratic National Committee for scheduling only six debates, saying those nationally-televised events are opportunities for the party to focus on big ideas, rather than Clinton’s email drama.
“I think it’s a big mistake for us as a party to circle the wagons around the inevitable frontrunner,” O’Malley said Thursday…
O’Malley had also criticized Clinton in an interview with the New Hampshire radio station WGIR earlier Thursday.
He called the email probe “very serious” and said that there are “legitimate questions” about whether she handled classified material on a non-government server.
“These are serious and legitimate questions and Hillary Clinton and her lawyers will have to answer them,” he said.
Things sure aren’t working out as a lot of Democratic leaders had anticipated. The whole point in an “establishment candidate” is to have a candidate who is well vetted and safe, not one embroiled in scandal and whose activities are under investigation by the Justice Department, is distrusted by a solid majority of voters, and is running a terrible campaign. This is leading to increased speculation, and hope, that someone other than Clinton might win the Democratic nomination, as opposed to risking disaster in 2016 with Clinton heading the ticket.
At the Huffington Post support for the presumptive Democratic nominee is not automatic. H.A. Goodman argues that With the FBI Investigating Clinton’s Emails, Bernie Sanders Should Be Considered the Democratic Frontrunner.
Up until now, the view that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic frontrunner was bolstered by an ever-dwindling poll among Democratic voters between the former Secretary of State and the Vermont Senator. However, with major polls today showing Sanders challenging or defeating Clinton and Republican, conventional wisdom has allowed the possibility of Clinton possibly losing a second run at the presidency. Furthermore, the momentum generated by the Sanders campaign is genuine and will only increase (among all demographics) with greater name recognition across the country.
Most importantly, Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat gaining attention nationwide who isn’t linked to an FBI investigation. Why some Democrats still continue to believe a candidate can win the White House with the Justice Department, FBI, and other intelligence agencies investigating this candidate’s email practices, seems to overlook one obvious fact. Nobody has ever won the White House with an ongoing FBI and Justice Department investigation, and it doesn’t seem that the FBI or Justice Department will cease investigating Clinton’s email saga by Election Day; 444 days away.
… trust will be a key aspect of the 2016 presidential race, and it’s difficult to earn the trust of voters when the FBI or a federal judge has linked your actions to improper protocol. On July 22, Quinnipiac University came out with a poll that reads, Clinton In Trouble In Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds. Within the poll, Quinnipiac found that “Colorado voters say 62 – 34 percent that Hillary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy” and other states mirrored Colorado voters in this regard. Also within that same poll, Quinnipiac found that “U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, runs as well as, or better than Clinton against Rubio, Bush and Walker.”
Sanders is already doing far better than expected, and is further working to broaden his appeal. Despite his successes, there is still talk of a more establishment candidate getting into the race to challenge Clinton, or be there should her campaign totally collapse. While I doubt there would be an indictment of a major contender in the midst of a campaign, many people have been prosecuted (and convicted) for less wrongdoing than the evidence shows has been done by Clinton.
There have been multiple articles in the mainstream media this week speculating on Biden running–which probably increases the distrust of the mainstream media even more than has been seen from many Clinton supporters the last few months. The New York Times wrote on Friday, Hillary Clinton’s Woes Pushing Joe Biden to Reach Out to Those Who Could Back a Campaign. I find it particularly interesting that this, and other articles, are now mentioning Clinton backers who might be ready to switch to Biden:
… some Democrats supporting Mrs. Clinton have quietly signaled that they would re-evaluate their support if Mr. Biden joined the race. For example, Tom Daschle, an influential former Senate Democratic leader who has given the maximum amount allowable to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, has indicated that he would reassess his position if Mr. Biden entered the race, according to people who have been in contact with him in recent days.
In addition, a “Draft Biden” group has started to build an infrastructure to use if the vice president enters the race. After initially focusing on raising money for their effort, they have begun to hire field organizers.
“Over the next few weeks we hope to expand our operations so we can communicate with more voters about Vice President Biden’s record,” said Josh Alcorn, a Biden family friend working for the group.
Mr. Biden’s supporters have, in private conversations, signaled that if he does enter the race he will portray himself as the rightful heir to Mr. Obama’s legacy, given his loyalty to the president. They also argue that given the unpredictability of a campaign season in which both Bernie Sanders and Donald J. Trump have won a following, it is folly to dismiss Mr. Biden’s chances.
Only Joe Biden really knows how likely it is he will enter the race. He is certain to make his own decision, considering what he thinks his chances of winning are. This might be improved as Democrats consider a recent poll showing Biden to be more competitive in battleground states where Clinton has been struggling in general election match-ups. I see it as a positive move if Biden enters the race as I see running with a ticket led by Hillary Clinton being far too risky. Possibly Biden will divide the establishment vote and make it easier for Sanders to win. I also fear the system might be too rigged to support an establishment candidate for the nomination, and if that is the case I would much rather it be Joe Biden than Hillary Clinton.
An updated version of this article has been posted at The Moderate Voice
The campaign is not going the way Martin O’Malley must have hoped. Bernie Sanders emerged as the major opponent to Hillary Clinton. Making matters worse, when people fearing the collapse of Clinton’s campaign due to scandals and desiring a more mainstream candidate the talk centers on Joe Biden entering the race.
Maybe the debates will help get O’Malley’s campaign on track, but he will have to wait until October for that opportunity thanks to the Democratic National Committe’s decision to protect Hillary Clinton. OMalley did receive some unexpected attention–an attack from Donald Trump for apologizing after offending black lives matters activists. Politco reports:
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley apologized “like a disgusting, little, weak, pathetic baby” for his remark that “all lives matter,” Donald Trump said in an excerpt of a new interview aired Friday on Fox News.
In an interview with Jeanine Pirro for her program “Justice” set to air Saturday night, Trump said that the former Maryland governor did not need to say he was sorry.
“And then he apologized like a little baby, like a disgusting, little, weak, pathetic baby. And that’s the problem with our country,” Trump said, according to a clip aired on “Fox and Friends.”
“Governor O’Malley stands with those who have the guts to stand up to Donald Trump’s hate speech,” O’Malley spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement provided to POLITICO that included a link to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow praising the governor for meeting with employees of Trump’s Las Vegas hotel seeking to form a union earlier this week.
“It speaks volumes about the Republican Party today that this is their front-runner. Unlike the rest of the Republican field, we’re not interested in engaging in a race to the bottom with Mr. Trump,” Smith said.
Those who either thought that Hillary Clinton could easily beat him, or that there was no chance of Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination, received some information to counter such beliefs in the latest CNN poll. Despite all the reports that Trump’s campaign would go on the decline, such as after his attacks on John McCain’s military service or after the Republican debate, Trump continues to lead the GOP field. Even worse, he is now only six points behind Hillary Clinton in the latest CNN poll. While I am not predicting that Trump will win either the nomination or general election, neither of these possibilities looks impossible anymore.
Bernie Sanders is also closing the gap with Hillary Clinton in the same poll:
Hillary Clinton’s advantage against Bernie Sanders among Democratic voters continues to evaporate, according to the latest CNN/ORC national poll released Wednesday morning. And in a general election matchup with Donald Trump, who has led GOP polling for the last month, Clinton leads by just six points.
Among 358 registered voters who identified as Democrats or leaning Democratic, 47 percent said they would vote for Clinton in a primary, while Sanders picked up 29 percent. Vice President Joe Biden, who has not made his intentions known about a run, grabbed 14 percent. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley received 2 percent, and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb earned 1 percent.
In the same poll last month, Clinton picked up 56 percent to Sanders’ 19 percent, another indication that the “drip, drip, drip” of the email scandal is taking a toll on her presidential campaign.
Sanders is generating considerable enthusiasm and support independent of Clinton’s failings, but Clinton is certainly helping in the crumbling of her campaign. There are recent headlines such as Clinton pulls plug on testy presser over server questions, Hillary Clinton gets testy when pressed on email, Allies fault Hillary Clinton’s response on emails and Some Hillary Clinton supporters in South Carolina are starting to get nervous.
Hardly the type of headline Democrats should want to see throughout the campaign, and First Read warns that this will continue:
For Hillary, that email story isn’t going away
After watching Hillary Clinton’s testy news conference yesterday over her emails and server, here is this stark reality for the Clinton campaign: This issue isn’t going away — at least for a couple of more months (when Clinton testifies before the Benghazi committee in October). And there’s just no other way to look at this story but to conclude she has done it to herself. She tried to conflate the private server issue a bit, claiming that we’d have the same questions for her regarding classified information if her emails were on a state.gov server or her own. But that ignores a few facts, including: the existence of the private server only came to light via congressional investigation and the fact that she doesn’t yet have a good explanation of why she decided to have a private server in the first place. Convenience is a tough one for the public to buy, given that the private server conveniently made FOIA requests and Congressional oversight of her email nearly impossible.
One reason this will not go away is that reputable fact checkers have demonstrated that virtually everything Clinton has said in her public statements about the email scandals have been false. This includes the false claim she repeated this week her use of the private server was permitted under the rules in effect in 2009. USA Today further debunked the more recent claims from Clinton:
Hillary Clinton gave an odd — and factually inaccurate — account of how the controversy over her email habits as secretary of State mushroomed into a public spectacle.
Clinton chalked it up to her pride in her work at the State Department and her desire for government transparency. “[I]f I had not asked for my emails all to be made public, none of this would have been in the public arena,” she said during an Aug. 17 radio interview in Iowa.
That’s pure spin…
See the full article, as well as to those linked to above, for the full details. There have been far too many lies from Clinton to address them again here, but we can be certain we will be hearing about them constantly during the general election campaign should the Democratic Party be so foolish as to give Clinton the nomination.
The rise of Bernie Sanders has sometimes called a progression from the Occupy Wall Street movement which drew attention to the dangers of income inequality. Occupy.com recently looked at presidential candidates they consider Unfit To Lead. Their arguments against Hillary Clinton:
As the junior U.S. Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton voted for not only the USA PATRIOT Act that codified some of the U.S. government’s most intrusive and unconstitutional surveillance programs, but for the Iraq War resolution that led our nation into the bloodiest boondoggle of the 21st century. As a result of Clinton’s vote and the resulting destabilization of Iraq, thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died – and Iraq is now one of the most dangerous countries in the world, overrun by Daesh (ISIS) terrorists who have destroyed cultural icons, forced children to become soldiers, raped thousands of women, and committed genocide upon the Yazidi population. Even after the Iraq vote, Clinton still hadn’t backed down from her hawkishness. In 2008, Clinton was quoted saying, “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran… we would be able to totally obliterate them.”
As President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, Clinton created a culture of corruption within the agency, allowing corporations who donated to her family foundation to benefit from State Department contracts and projects. Clinton propagated fracking in a number of Eastern European countries, allowing Clinton Foundation donors ExxonMobil and Chevron to have a foothold into new markets. Meanwhile, a recent report by David Sirota exposed how Clinton’s State Department approved $165 billion in arms sales to 20 countries whose governments donated millions of dollars to her foundation. Many of those countries, like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, have reputations of trampling on human rights.
Hillary Clinton has remained ambiguous about how she would handle a future financial crisis as president. While Bernie Sanders has made his positions clear on breaking up the big banks, jailing the bankers responsible for reckless behavior that crashed the economy, and implementing a financial transactions tax to fund jobs creation, Clinton has only chastised Wall Street for “risky behavior” in public. In private, Clinton gave two closed-door speeches to Goldman Sachs, each paying $200,000. So far, the Clinton campaign has raked in at least $46 million from Wall Street, and there’s still a year and a half to go.
Ed Schultz also has pointed out how Clinton has avoided answering questions in contrast to Sanders:
When you ask Bernie Sanders about [the Keystone pipeline], you get an answer. When you ask Bernie Sanders a question about the Trans Pacific Partnership… you get an answer. When you ask Bernie Sanders what he would do to the big banks on Wall Street, you get an answer. When you ask Bernie Sanders about, ‘Do you think that the oil companies should pay their fair share – and continue to get billions in dollars of subsidies from the United States Treasury?’ you get a direct answer.
While economic policy has dominated the campaign, as would be expected with the state of the economy, I am glad Occupy did also discuss some of the non-economic reasons to oppose Clinton, including her support for the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, and the environment.
The same post is critical of Martin O’Malley for his “zero-tolerance” policies. Bernie Sanders has frequently received favorable coverage from them. Six of the Republican candidates are also discussed, and it seems a safe bet that similar objections apply to the rest. I wonder if the article left out Donald Trump due to not taking his campaign seriously, but that could be a mistake considering how his views resonate with the base, as opposed to Jeb Bush, who the Republicans show no excitement for.
An updated version of this has been posted at The Moderate Voice
Jack and Alana showed again that they do not really understand Hannibal, thinking he would assist them in tracking a call to Dolarhyde. Hannibal played with them, and then tipped off Dolarhyde with the warning that they were listening. Hannibal had previously given Alana the ominous warning, “I always keep my promises.” Now it was Alana’s turn: “You’re not the only one who keeps their promises, Hannibal.” In response to this latest betrayal. She had all the amenities removed which kept Hannibal so comfortable, “The toilet, too.” As these were removed from the cell, the mask was placed on Hannibal for the safety of those in there.
On Mr. Robot, Elliot had a brief meeting with the time-obsessed White Rose, but it was the meetings and surprise interactions between older characters on the show which were of greater interest. There is a major spoiler ahead for those who have not seen this episode yet.
The first big surprise was that Angela and Darlene not only knew each other, but at yoga class both talked about Elliot, showing concern for him. Later there was the meeting between Tyrell Wellick and Mr. Robot, with the two apparently working together, even if not entirely comfortably. This seems to confirm that Mr. Robot is real, but raises major questions, especially for those who think that Mr. Robot and Elliot are the same person.
The biggest scene was when Darlene told Elliot that she loves him, Elliot kissed her, and Darlene recoiled in horror asking, “Did you forget who I am?” Soon it was revealed that Darlene is Elliot’s sister. It was as if Luke had kissed Lea, but is Mr. Robot now Darth Vader?
This led to memories flooding into Elliot’s head. Going meta, Elliot looked at the camera and asked us viewers, “Were you in on this the whole time?” and then“Were you?” Maybe to some degree we are in on it, but we are also quite confused at the moment, also looking for answers.
There was the suggestion that Mr. Robot is Elliot’s father, previously said to be dead. This has been interpreted differently by fans who think that Mr. Robot and Elliot are different manifestations of the same person, and those who think he is a separate and real individual. Mr. Robot showed up at Elliot’s apartment to supposedly explain, so maybe we will learn the answer next week. I wonder if the show will move onto a quite different path as it heads toward its second season.
Indiewire reports that Jessica Jones will be a psychological thriller, reporting statements from executive producer Jeph Loeb and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg at the TCA Press Tour. They also discussed a major role for David Tennant:
“When we first sat down and started talking about ‘Daredevil,’ what we said was, for all intents and purposes, it was a crime drama first and a superhero show second,” Loeb told the room. “One of the things we’ve talked a lot about is that ‘Jessica’ is in many ways a psychological thriller first and then a superhero show second.”
…Loeb then went on to say that Tennant’s role in the show would be a key part of what differentiates “Jessica Jones” from other superhero series: “What you get out of ‘Jessica’ is a sort of hold-your-breath tension as to what’s going to happen. When you see the dynamic between Krysten Ritter and David Tennant… that question of ‘What’s going to happen next?’ and ‘What could happen next?’ and how that’s driven by character is something that is so important to not just the scripts but also the way the show is shot, and the way that everyone reacts, and the way those two react with each other.”
Elsewhere in the Marvel universe, Professor X (Patrick Stuart) will have a substantial role in the third Wolverine movie.
Moving on to DC, next season we will see the return of Sarah Lance on Arrow. Ausiello discussed how Lance responds to the return of Sarah:
Frankly, it could be the last thing Sara’s family needs! “Thanks to Laurel helping him see the light at the end of last season, Lance is back on the wagon for now, trying to keep on the straight and narrow,” Paul Blackthorne previews. “But that will of course be tested when Sara comes back from the dead. Because I think when your daughter’s coming back from the dead, she may not necessarily come back as quite the same person. Yeah, that’s going to be an issue for the family to deal with!’
Her return will also be in an episode with a cross over from Constantine, who assists with her return to life, which in turn leads into the origins of Legends of Tomorrow.
Despite previous reports to the contrary, CBS is now saying there will not be crossovers between Supergirl and Arrow or The Flash. Reportedly they are in the same universe, so this might be open to reconsideration if the right story is presented.
Disney has always provided synergy between their films, theme parks, and merchandise. Therefore it was no surprise to find that, with Star Wars expected to be a huge blockbuster film this December, there will be a fourteen acre expansion based upon Star Wars at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
TNT has renewed The Last ship for a third season.
Sarah Shahi is returning to Person of Interest following her maternity leave. She will return early in the season and be present for eight or nine episodes of the upcoming thirteen episode season.
The firth season of Homeland sounds like it might be expanding its story lines, dealing with Edward Snowden, Putin, and ISIS.
Bernie Sanders is creating a tremendous amount of excitement in the Democratic Party, but much of the media is trying to downplay this. Politico showed why it is frequently called Tiger Beat of the Potomac in an article which totally misses the big story of the year. The authors ask, Can Bernie Sanders Win the Love of a Party He Scorns? They miss the point that Sanders’ independence from the Democratic establishment is one of his strengths, not a weakness. This year both parties have a candidate who is outside the mainstream but, unlike Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders can win elections and can make an excellent president.
The support for Sanders can be seen in the crowds who come to see him, such as 28,000 in Portland last weekend. He is pulling in the biggest crowds of any candidate, from either party. Many in the media claim he is unelectable, as if his twenty-five years in Congress still leaves him too far outside the system to be taken seriously, Even the Politico article cited above notes that he was successful at passing amendments in a conservative Congress. National Nurses United recognized his track record in endorsing him on Monday.
Sanders is surging in the polls in some states, including the first contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. He has pulled into a statistical tie in New Hampshire, and we have seen in past elections that the winner of the early contests receives a major bounce in the national polls. General election polling shows him gaining in strength in the battleground states while support for Clinton is dropping.
While anecdotal findings have little predictive value, I cannot help but be impressed by the support for Sanders on social media. One of his comments on the Republican debate became the most retweeted comment of the night. I am amazed that one of my early posts on Sanders entitled Former Clinton Adviser Predicts Bernie Sanders Will Beat Hillary Clinton has received over 16,000 Facebook “Likes” as of this evening, and the number is continuing to grow. When my wife and I wore a Sanders t-shirt while traveling in New Hampshire and Maine last month numerous people came up to me to say how much they love Bernie. It was if I was a celebrity just by wearing the shirt.
Democrats have had a problem in recent years. Polls show a majority supporting Democratic positions but Democrats have been losing elections, except for the two years Barack Obama was on the ballot. Democrats having been losing badly in Congress and many state governments. Returning to the Politico article, the truth of the matter is that many of us who have voted Democratic also scorn the party, and many other potential voters stay home. While some partisan Democrats might oppose Sanders for being an independent, many Democrats, as well as independents, will be more likely to support Sanders because of his independence.
Democratic leaders base their strategy on getting people to vote against the Republicans, not necessarily for the Democrats. They ran Republican-lite candidates in 2014, and were slaughtered in the midterms as many Democratic voters saw no reason to vote. Now the party leadership is pushing the candidacy of another Republican-lite politician for president, hoping that things will be different in a general election than in a midterm. While certainly preferable to the Republicans, Hillary Clinton’s views are far too close to those of the Republicans for many Democratic voters to accept, no matter how much she now tries to copy ideas which Sanders promoted years ago.
Rather than embracing a candidate who is pulling in such popular support, the Democratic National Committee has been trying to rig the contest to favor Hillary Clinton. While Republicans have started debating, the DNC is limiting Democrats to six debates, starting in October, and forcing candidates to agree not to participate in any debates not sponsored by the party. How undemocratic can the Democratic Party be?
People are supporting Sanders because he is seen as honest, and outside the dirty politics we have experienced. Instead of embracing this opportunity, the Democratic leadership is pushing Hillary Clinton, who is involved in one of the biggest scandals since Watergate, placing not only the presidential ticket but all Democrats running in 2016 at an unnecessary risk of defeat. It makes no sense to push for a candidate who is rightly seen as dishonest by a majority of voters , and frequently shown to be dishonest by fact checkers, when there is a far better, and honest, alternative. Initially Clinton supporters claimed that it was necessary to support Clinton in order to avoid a Republican victory. Will they now back Sanders as the polls increasingly show that he would make the stronger candidate in the general election?
Update: Sanders had a crowd of 27,500 in Los Angeles