Third Party & Independents Archives

Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party's Ship of State

What if Bernie Sanders wins in New Hampshire? Despite a Clinton win in Iowa, which looks like a reasonable prediction at this point, could Sanders upset Clinton’s growing sense of inevitability?

Democratic voters - according to the latest Fox News Poll - are significantly more likely (by about 20 points) to want someone who can get things done in Washington, than GOP voters. Republican voters are much more likely to prefer a candidate who can shake things up in the beltway, once they get to the White House. And this number plays against Sanders, who has been a radical progressive all his political life.

It also points out a clear hypocrisy dividing the grand coalition of money and identity politics behind Hillary's electoral apparatus: the culmination of so much aspiration - finally a president who doesn't wear pants, at least not all the time - is really nothing more ambitious than a caretaker government for the Obama administration. And that seems to be fine for many Democrat voters who desperately want nothing than the current status quo.

But at the same time, the numbers also show that Bernie Sanders' supporters trust him far more than Hillary's. No big surprise there. Sanders has been playing up the Hillary policy flip-flops over the years for all it's worth. Will it be worth it, electorally, to Sanders?

It might be helpful as well to remember that Sanders numbers in New Hampshire were roughly in line with Hillary's a few short weeks ago, and that they have jumped in the last few weeks and days. Could Bernie also surprise in Iowa somehow?

Sanders has steadfastly refused to go negative, and while his condemnation of Bill Clinton's affair with Lewinsky made headlines, it was part of a statement saying he is running against Hillary not Bill. In other words, personal attacks or even innuendos are off limits for the Vermont Senator's campaign strategy. That's noble and perhaps a little ingenuous, especially given the lack of trust in Hillary, and the Clintons more generally.

But Bernie is the guy who sputtered angrily on the debate stage about how sick he was of hearing about Hillary's emails. Can someone like this win in both Iowa and New Hampshire? Are Democratic voters sick enough of scandal, evasion, and betrayal? The younger voters clearly are, but will that be enough to turn a creaking ship sailing for the safe harbor of the status quo? Safe for special interest groups, lobbyists, and unions?

Posted by AllardK at January 11, 2016 9:15 PM
Comment #401925

The far Left embraces Sanders as they believe he, unlike obama, will actually rob the rich to give them the booty.

The SOTU speech was as expected. Self praise and little else.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 13, 2016 6:56 PM
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