Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bernie Surging

Bernie Sanders is forecast to win today in Wisconsin. Assuming this is the case, the April 19 primary in New York is shaping up to be a worst case scenario for Hillary and the Democratic Party. As recently as March 29, Clinton was polling 67% to Sanders' 24% in the Empire State; now that has narrowed to 54% to 38%. 

A Wisconsin win for Bernie will maintain momentum from his dominant 70%-30% March 26 weekend victories in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii. That weekend is more and more looking like a turning point. It turns out, based on the results of the Clark County Democratic Convention over the weekend, that Sanders actually won Nevada. If you take into consideration the taint of Coinghazi in Iowa, Sanders won the first three election contests against the Democratic establishment.

No doubt he lost in South Carolina and other Southern Super Tuesday states. Bernie has problems connecting with a majority of the black electorate. In an odd, lengthy, premature frontpage post-mortem in yesterday's paper ("Early Missteps Seen as a Drag on Bernie Sanders’s Campaign" by Patrick Healy and Yamiche Alcindor), none of the undeniable shortcomings of the Bernie 2016 campaign -- the consistent reticence to attack a corrupt Clinton; an initially light travel schedule -- amount to a hill of beans compared to Sanders' poor performance with African Americans.

Bob Kerrey, the ex-senator from Nebraska and Vietnam war criminal, does get in a few good quotes though:
Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and senator who ran for the Democratic nomination in 1992 and who has endorsed Mrs. Clinton in the current race, said Mr. Sanders might be winning now if he had relentlessly pressured Mrs. Clinton since last fall over her closed-door speeches to Wall Street banks, her role in the finances of Clinton Foundation programs, and other vulnerabilities. Mr. Sanders did not raise the paid-speech issue, after long resistance, until late January. 
“Making the transcripts of the Goldman speeches public would have been devastating” to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Kerrey said. “When the G.O.P. gets done telling the Clinton Global Initiative fund-raising and expense story, Bernie supporters will wonder why he didn’t do the same.”
Mr. Sanders also refused to attack Mrs. Clinton over her use of private email as secretary of state, which is now the focus of an F.B.I. investigation. Criticizing her email practices could have played into Democrats’ concerns about Mrs. Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness, and some Sanders allies thought it could be a potent issue. But Mr. Sanders basically took it off the table at their October debate when he said, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” Sanders advisers cheered that line, seeing it as a sign of their candidate’s integrity, but other Democrats said he had misjudged the issue. 
“The email story is not about emails,” Mr. Kerrey said. “It is about wanting to avoid the reach of citizens using FOIA” — the Freedom of Information Act — “to find out what their government is doing, and then not telling the truth about why she did.”
Sanders stumbled in Ohio and Arizona. (Shenanigans in Maricopa County likely padded Clinton's victory in Arizona.) But the torpidity of Hillary, her being held in revulsion by a large plurality if not outright majority of voters, has repeatedly allowed Bernie to concoct new victory narratives, the latest being a come-from-behind upset victory in the state that Hillary represented in the U.S. Senate.

The way the Democratic primary has gone so far, its topsy-turvyness, even if Sanders wins New York Pennsylvania still could very well vote for Hillary.

I see a dead heat shaping up with aporia being the hallmark of the Democratic Party going into its summer nominating convention in the City of Brotherly Love.

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